I should give a little bit more of an intro to my teacher, Master Sun Ru Xian. He’s one of my two bagua teachers here in Beijing.
Once a week, I go across Beijing to train with Master Sun Zhijun, who is much more well known! That’s just for one hour. He lives a long way from me, though, and when I arrived, I was definitely looking for a master who lived nearby. I was introduced to Master Sun Ru Xian by Kong Cheng, currently the senior student/disciple of Master Liu Jing Ru.
Since both of my teachers here share the same surname, I’ll refer to Sun Ru Xian as Sun Lao Shi.
Sun Lao Shi also learned his bagua from Liu Jing Ru. He also knows and teaches other styles, including Xingyiquan and Tanglangquan. He’s written a book on Xingyiquan, and has co-authored another (on bagua, I think, though I need to check that) with Liu Jing Ru. That book hasn’t been published yet; I think it will be out later this year.
He’s a native Beijinger, born and bred in Houhai. At some point I’ll have to take him down there, and get him to tell me stories about when he lived there… He’s very well connected with the local, traditional bagua scene, and when I go to class there are often friends of his – all martial artists – hanging around to chat. He’s the most relaxed teacher I’ve had in Asia, perhaps! After class, he really insists that we stay and have lunch, a few beers… he’s really down to earth! He’s a pretty good musician by all accounts; he plays the erhu mainly, plus the pipa to a lesser extent. Music is truly his #1 passion. He’s trained in Chinese medicine, and until recently worked as a medical masseur. Don’t get the impression that he can’t fight, though! He’s a bruiser, and very practical when it comes to the fighting part… I mention this because it’s really a pleasure to have a teacher who’s rounded in all aspects of traditional Chinese culture!
One other style that he knows, btw, is Shanxi whip staff, which I’d never heard of before – but I now intend to get him to teach me in the not too distant future. I seem to be gravitating towards non-edged weapons… Anyway, this isn’t Sun Lao Shi, but it’s exactly the same style:
Sun Lao Shi is one of the teachers participating in the 2008 Beijing Martial Arts Summer Camp. The dates on the web site are wrong, I think – I don’t think it starts for another couple of weeks. It’s apparently being covered in depth by Mexican TV, who are bringing over a masked wrestler to participate… It’ll be interesting to hear how that goes! I won’t be taking part for various reasons, but I wish them well…