Sun style (孫氏) The Sun style (孙氏) t’ai chi ch’uan is well known for its smooth, flowing movements which omit the more physically vigorous crouching, leaping and fa jin of some other styles. Its gentle postures and high stances make it very suitable for martial arts therapy.
Sun style t’ai chi ch’uan was developed by Sun Lutang, who is considered expert in two other internal martial arts styles: xingyiquan and baguazhang before he came to study t’ai chi ch’uan. Today, Sun-style ranks fourth in popularity and fifth in terms of seniority among the five family styles of t’ai chi ch’uan. He was also considered an accomplished Neo-Confucian and Taoist scholar, especially in the Yi Jing and the T’ai chi classics. Sun learned Wu (Hao)-style t’ai chi ch’uan from Hao Weizhen, who was Li Yishe’s (李亦畬) chief disciple. Sun style t’ai chi ch’uan is considered to be part of the umbrella of Sun style internal martial arts developed by Sun Lu T’ang
Creator: Sun Lu-t’ang (1861–1932)
Chen Style (陳氏) Contemporary t’ai chi ch’uan is typically practised for a number of widely varying reasons: health, external/internal martial art skills, aesthetics, meditation or as an athletic/competition sport (sometimes called “wushu tai chi”). Therefore, a teacher’s system, practice and choice of training routines usually emphasizes one of these characteristics during training. The five traditional schools, precisely because they are traditional, attempt to retain the martial applicability of their teaching methods. Some argue that the Chen tradition emphasizes this martial efficacy to a greater extent
Yang Style (楊氏) The Yang family first became involved in the study of t’ai chi ch’uan (taijiquan) in the early 19th century. The founder of the Yang-style was Yang Luchan (楊露禪), aka Yang Fu-k’ui (楊福魁, 1799–1872), who studied under Ch’en Chang-hsing starting in 1820. Yang became a teacher in his own right, and his subsequent expression of t’ai chi ch’uan became known as the Yang-style, and directly led to the development of other three major styles of t’ai chi ch’uan (see below). Yang Luchan (and some would say the art of t’ai chi ch’uan, in general) came to prominence as a result of his being hired by the Chinese Imperial family to teach t’ai chi ch’uan to the elite Palace Battalion of the Imperial Guards in 1850, a position he held until his death.
Wu Hao Style (武氏) The Wu or Wu (Hao)-style of t’ai chi ch’uan of Wu Yu-xiang (武禹襄, 1813–1880), is a separate family style from the more popular Wu-style (吳氏) of Wu Chien-ch’üan. Wu Yu-hsiang’s style was third among the five t’ai chi ch’uan families in seniority and is fifth in terms of popularity. and fourth in terms of family seniority. This style is different from the Wu style of t’ai chi ch’uan (武氏) founded by Wu Yu-hsiang. While the names are distinct in pronunciation (Chinese: 武氏; pinyin: wǔshì) and the Chinese characters used to write them are different, they are often romanized the same way.