A brief biography of Master Sun Cunzhou
Master Sun Cunzhou (Tsun Dgo) (1893-1963) was the second son of Great Master Sun Lutang, creator of Sun style Tai Chi Chuan. He began to learn martial arts at the age of 6 with his father. Extremely intelligent and gifted, Sun Cunzhou quickly mastered the essence of the martial arts. At age 17, he followed his father to the capital and had the opportunity to meet with numerous martial artists of various schools. He beat them all in formal combat challenges. At 19, he left his father to travel alone to southern China in order to further pursue his education in the martial arts.
One day when Master Sun was 27 years old, he met a famous martial artist at a friend's home. The man expressed doubt and contempt towards Sun Cunzhou, and asked the young Sun to engage in combat. With a single Bagua hand movement, Sun Cunzhou threw the challenger to the ground. Afterwards, the man, a veteran martial artist of over 70 years, sighed and said "It has been decades since an opponent has forced me to taste the ground."
In 1924 Master Sun lost his left eye in an accident. After a brief recovery period, he confined himself to his home for several years and worked harder to improve his skill. By the end of this reclusive period, it was said he could beat most opponents by employing the use of only one hand.
In the 1930s, Wu Yihui, a well known master of Liu He Ba Fa style, said "I think Mr. Sun is invincible. Nobody can beat him".
Apart from developing complete mastery of his family art, Master Sun was also very proficient in Qi Gong (Chi Kung), the Chinese art of developing internal strength. One day he made a public demonstration of his Qi Gong abilities. Asking somebody to drive a 2 foot metal stake into the ground, he took in each hand a 20 foot wooden pole and wielded them like a pair of giant chopsticks to uproot the stake from the ground.
One day, Chen Zijian, a well known master of Xing Yi and Bagua expressed doubt of Master Sun's skills and asked for proof. Master Sun accepted the challenge, half lying on a sofa. When Chen attacked, he was immediately thrown behind the sofa. When he tried again, he was lifted horizontally and tucked away between a trunk and the wall, like an oversized ragdoll.
Master Sun spent his entire life researching and perfecting combat techniques study. When asked once why he liked martial arts so much, he jokingly replied "So I can beat people!" He was always eager to learn from any style. One good friend recalled "As soon as he saw some new skill demonstrated by somebody, he quickly mastered it as his own."
After 1949, due to unfavorable circumstances, he ceased to teach. During the rest of his life, Sun Cunzhou only admitted two more disciples.
Upon hearing of Master Sun's death, Zhu Guiting, a well known master of Xing Yi and Tai Chi, exclaimed, "There is no one left in the world for me to fear!"