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Sun Lu-t'ang

Sun Lu-t'ang
Portrait of the Chinese, neijia martial arts master Sun Lu-t'ang.
Born Sun Fuquan (孫福全)
1860 (1860)
Hebei, China
Died 1933 (aged 72–73)
Nationality Chinese
Style Sun-style taijiquan,
Teacher(s) Xingyiquan:
Li Kuiyuan (李魁元),
later Guo Yunshen (from 1882)
Cheng Tinghua (from 1891)
Wu (Hao)-style taijiquan:
Hao Wei-chen (from 1911)
Rank Founder of Sun-style taijiquan
Notable students Sun Xingyi (孫星一),
Sun Jianyun (孫劍雲),
Sun Cunzhou (孫存周)
Website Sun-style website
Sun Lu-t'ang
Traditional Chinese 孫祿堂
Simplified Chinese 孙禄堂
Sun Fuquan
Chinese 孫福全

Sun Lu-t'ang or Sun Lutang (1860-1933) was a renowned master of Chinese neijia (internal) martial arts and was the progenitor of the syncretic art of Sun-style t'ai chi ch'uan.[1] He was also considered an accomplished Neo-Confucian and Taoist scholar (especially in the I Ching), and was a distinguished contributor to the theory of internal martial arts through his many published works.[2]

Sun Lu-t'ang standing in Xingyiquan's San Ti Shi stance
Sun Lu-t'ang performing Baguazhang


  • Biography 1
  • Family 2
  • Teachers 3
  • Publications 4
  • T'ai chi ch'uan lineage tree with Sun-style focus 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


He was born in Hebei and was named Sun Fuquan (孫福全) by his parents. Years later, his Baguazhang teacher Cheng Tinghua (程延華) gave him the name Sun Lutang. (It was common in old China for people to have multiple names). He continued to use his original name in some areas, including the publishing of his books.

He was also well-versed in two other internal martial arts: xingyiquan (hsing-i ch'uan) and baguazhang (pa-kua chang) before he came to study t'ai chi ch'uan (taijiquan). His expertise in these two martial arts were so high that many regarded him as without equal. Sun learned Wu (Hao)-style t'ai chi ch'uan from Hao Wei-chen.[1] Sun started studying with Hao relatively late in his life, but his accomplishments in the other two internal arts led him to develop his t'ai chi abilities to a high standard more quickly than is usual.

He subsequently was invited by Yang Shao-hou, Yang Chengfu and Wu Chien-ch'üan to join them on the faculty of the Beijing Physical Education Research Institute where they taught t'ai chi to the public after 1914.[2] Sun taught there until 1928, a seminal period in the development of modern Yang, Wu and Sun-style t'ai chi ch'uan.[2]


In 1891 he married Zhang Zhouxian, with whom he had three sons and a daughter.

  • First son, Sun Xingyi (孫星一; 1891-1929)
  • Second son, Sun Cunzhou (孫存周; 1893-1963)
  • Third son, Sun Huanmin (孫換民; 1897-1922)
  • Daughter, Sun Jianyun (孫劍雲; 1913-2003)



In later life, he published five martial arts texts:

  • Xingyiquan xue (A study of form mind boxing) 1915
  • Baguaquan xue (A study of eight trigrams boxing) 1916
  • Taijiquan xue (A study of grand ultimate boxing) 1921
  • Baguajian xue (A study of eight trigrams straight sword) 1927
  • Quanyi Shuzhen (An explanation of the essence of boxing)

He also wrote a study of Xingyi spear, though this was never published.

(These five texts are available in a collected Chinese language edition from Lion Books, and English translations of individual texts can also be acquired)

T'ai chi ch'uan lineage tree with Sun-style focus


  • This lineage tree is not comprehensive, but depicts those considered the 'gate-keepers' & most recognised individuals in each generation of Sun-style.
  • Although many styles were passed down to respective descendants of the same family, the lineage focused on is that of the Sun style & not necessarily that of the family.

Solid lines Direct teacher-student.
Dot lines Partial influence
/taught informally
/limited time.
Dash lines Individual(s) omitted.
Dash cross Branch continues. CHEN-STYLE Zhaobao-style
WU (HAO)-STYLE Zhaobao He-style
Li-style (郝為真)
Hao Weizhen
3rd gen. Wu (Hao)
WU-STYLE (孙禄堂)
Sun Lutang
Sun Cunzhou
2nd gen. Sun
Sun Jianyun
2nd gen. Sun
Wudang-style (孙婉容)
Sun Wanrong
3rd gen. Sun


  1. ^ a b Yip, Li (Faye) (April 1998). "Principles and Practice of Sun Style T’ai Chi – T’AI CHI The International Magazine of T’ai Chi Ch’uan Vol. 22 No. 2". Wayfarer Publications.  
  2. ^ a b c Wile, Douglas (1995). Lost T'ai-chi Classics from the Late Ch'ing Dynasty (Chinese Philosophy and Culture). State University of New York Press.  

External links

  • Sun-style website
  • Sun-style researched
  • Sun-style Forum
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