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Sun Lutang
Portrait of the Chinese, neijia martial arts master Sun Lutang
BornSun Fuquan (孫福全)
1860 (1860)
Hebei, China
Died1933 (aged 72–73)
StyleSun-style tai chi,
Li Kuiyuan (李魁元),
later Guo Yunshen (from 1882)
Cheng Tinghua (from 1891)
Wu (Hao)-style tai chi:
Hao Weizhen (from 1911)
RankFounder of Sun-style tai chi
Founder of Sun-style baguazhang
WebsiteSun-style website
Sun Lutang
Traditional Chinese祿
Simplified Chinese
Sun Fuquan

Sun Lutang (1860-1933) was a master of Chinese neijia (internal) martial arts and was the progenitor of the syncretic art of Sun-style tai chi.[1] He was also considered an accomplished Neo-Confucian and Taoist scholar (especially of the I Ching), and was a distinguished contributor to the theory of internal martial arts through his many published works.[2]

Sun Lutang standing in xingyiquan's San Ti Shi stance.
Sun Lutang 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 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 and baguazhang before he came to study tai chi. His expertise in these two martial arts were so high that many regarded him as without equal. Sun learned Wu (Hao)-style tai chi from Hao Weizhen.[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 tai chi abilities to a high standard more quickly than is usual.

He subsequently was invited by Yang Shaohou, Yang Chengfu and Wu Jianquan to join them on the faculty of the Beijing Physical Education Research Institute where they taught tai 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 tai chi.[2]


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


Tai chi lineage tree with Sun-style focus


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:

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.

(Wayback Machine copy)