Thursday, July 13, 2017

Sun Style Taijiquan 73 Competition Form

Recently, a couple of people have written to me regarding the Sun Style of Tai Chi Chuan.  In particular, they wanted information to help them in their regular practice of the Sun Style 73 Taijiquan Competition Form.  

All I could do to help them was to refer them to my incomplete webpage on the subject, which I first published in 2003.  That webpage provides information on the many books, and instructional DVD and VHS resources about this Sun Tai Chi form.  

One person, David Dight, expressed interest in finishing this former Sun 73 webpage project of mine.  Fine.  Onward.  Best wishes, David.  

As for me, I have not practiced the Sun 73 form since 2013, and I only learned to do a good solo performance up to Movement 40.  I enjoyed playing those 40 movements at home alone for a decade.  

This led me to reflect on the many Tai Chi and Qigong forms I have learned, practiced, and played since 1985.  I have learned many and have forgotten many.  Typical for a dilettante, some would say; and, rightly so.  Nevertheless, I dabble and enjoy. Better half of a new good boysenberry pie than just eating peach cobbler.    

I taught the first 40 movements of the Sun 73 Competition Form to my Tai Chi students at the Tehama Family Fitness Center in Red Bluff, CA, from 2006-2013; and Yang style from 2002-2016.  I prefer variety: Yang 24, Chen 18, Sun 40, Yang 104, weapons forms, qigong forms, yoga vinyasa forms, etc. 

Many people do not have ready geographical access to or the financial resources for paying for studying person-to-person with a current master of the Sun Style of Tai Chi Chuan, yet they are eager to learn and practice the Sun Taijiquan Competition 73 form.  Using books and instructional media, you too can learn from the Masters.  
"With the development of information technology, the learners should further enhance their knowledge and perfect their skills through reading books and using the multimedia resources, such as video tapes and VCDs.  Sometimes, to some extent, you can master the competition routines even without a coach in person.  Quite a number of people are known to have learned and practice Tai Ji Quan by using the multimedia teaching materials and some even won places in competitions besides keeping fit.  But of course, if given a chance, it is always more beneficial to learn personally from masters."
The Competition Routine of Sun Style Tai Ji Quan, Edited by Zhong Shan, p. 138. 

Only YOU can actually make the effort, learn, practice, do the work, do the lessons, memorize the movements, imitate, persist, exercise, play, practice, embody the skills, practice ... Gongfu (Kung Fu) "Mastery due to hard work!"

The following text was written by Mike Garofalo in 2006:

"Lately, I have been studying and practicing the Sun Style Tai Chi Chuan 73 Competition Form. I have been using instructional videotapes by Paul Lam, Liang Shou-Yu, Jesse Tsao, Men Hui-Feng, Li Cheng-Xiang, and Jiang Jian-Ye to learn the form.

Sun Style Taijiquan is done at a "lively step" pace. The average time for the performance of the form is around 6 minutes for 73 movements.

Complete Performance of Sun Taijiquan International Competition 73 Form

Time Performer Source

5:31 Liang, Shou-Yu Sun Style Taijiquan with Applications, VHS, 1996
5:17 Tsao, Jesse Tai Chi Sun Style Competition Form 73, VHS, 2002
9:22 Jiang, Jian-Ye Sun Sytle Tai Chi Competition Form 73, VHS, 1997
7:30 Lam, Paul Sun Style Tai Chi - 73 Forms, The Competition Form, VHS, 2000
5:42 Men, Hui-Feng Sun Style Tai Chi - 73 Forms, The Competition Form, VHS, 2000
3:52 Li, Cheng-Xiang Sun Style Long Competition Form 73, VCD

My favorite instructional videotape is Sun Style Tai Chi - 73 Forms. The Competition Forms. An instructional videotape by Dr. Paul Lam. Narwee, Australia, East Action Video, 2000. A competition form created by Professor Men Hui Feng of Beijing University based on the Sun style. "This detailed instructional video includes a demonstration of the set by its creator, Professor Men Hui-Feng. Sun style is characterised by its powerful qigong elements, agile steps and flowing movements." VHS, 103 minutes. Contents: Introduction to Tai Chi and the Sun style. Comprehensive instructions. Demonstrations of the complete set by Dr. Paul Lam from front and back views. A demonstration by the creator of the set, Professor Men Hu-Feng. ASIN: B000066G1T."

My webpage on the subject of Sun Style Tai Chi Chuan provides a list of the movements in the Sun Style 73 competition form.

Sun Lu Tang's original Taijiquan form was longer, 98 movements.  The 73 version includes a few new kick moves, but is otherwise 80% the same as the original.  Both of these two forms, and other shorter Sun Tai Chi versions (e.g., Dr. Paul Lam's 'Tai Chi for Arthritis' forms), are all the same style ... lively steps, feet close together, erect posture, turning-spins, and the "open and close" qigong move." 

Grandmaster Sun Lu Tang says, 

"There is great emphasis on the method of cultivating the body. All people - men, women, the old, the young - may practice in order to replace temerity with bravery, and stiffness with pliability. Those who are extremely weak, who suffer from fatigue and injury or illness, or who have weakened your qi from the practice of other martial arts to the point that you no longer have the strength to train, all of you may practice Tai Ji Quan. With practice, the qi will quickly come to a balanced state and will become strong, while the spirit naturally returns to a state of wholeness. Disease will be eliminated, and the length of life increased."
-  Grand Master Sun Lu Tang, A Study of Taijiquan, 1921, p. 60. 

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