Sun Lutang

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Sun Lu-tʻang
1930 sun lutang.jpg
Portrait of the Chinese, neijia martial arts master Sun Lu-tʻang.
BornSun Fuquan (孫福全)
1860 (1860)
Hebei, China
Died1933 (aged 72–73)
StyleSun-style taijiquan,
Li Kuiyuan (李魁元),
later Guo Yunshen (from 1882)
Cheng Tinghua (from 1891)
Wu (Hao)-style taijiquan:
Hao Wei-chen (from 1911)
RankFounder of Sun-style taijiquan
Founder of Sun style Baguazhang
WebsiteSun-style website
Sun Lutang
Traditional Chinese祿
Simplified Chinese
Sun Fuquan

Sun Lu-tʻang 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 tʻai chi chʻüan.[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-tʻang standing in Xingyiquan's San Ti Shi stance.
Sun Lu-tʻang performing Baguazhang.


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 taijiquan (t'ai chi ch'uan). 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 Wuzi (孫务滋; 1897-1922)
  • Daughter, Sun Jianyun (孫劍雲; 1913-2003)


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


  • 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 linesDirect teacher-student.
Dot linesPartial influence
/taught informally
/limited time.
Dash linesIndividual(s) omitted.
Dash crossBranch continues.CHEN-STYLEZhaobao-style
WU (HAO)-STYLEZhaobao He-style
Hao Weizhen
3rd gen. Wu (Hao)
Sun Lutang
Sun Cunzhou
2nd gen. Sun
Sun Jianyun
2nd gen. Sun
Sun Wanrong
3rd gen. Sun


In later life, he published five martial arts texts which were also later translated to English recently:

  • 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 Bagua spear, though this was never published.


  1. ^ a b Yip, Li (Faye) (April 1998). "Principles and Practice of Sun Style Tʻai Chi – TʻAI CHI The International Magazine of Tʻai Chi Chʻüan Vol. 22 No. 2". Tʻai Chi. Wayfarer Publications. ISSN 0730-1049.
  2. ^ a b c Wile, Douglas (1995). Lost Tʻai-chi Classics from the Late Chʻing Dynasty (Chinese Philosophy and Culture). State University of New York Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-2654-8.

External links[edit]

(Wayback Machine copy)