Today I visited my Sun style Taiji teacher Dave Martin. Now retired, he studied with the late Sun Jian Yun and had the honour to become a formal disciple. Dave was introduced to her by Cui Rui Bin, the Yiquan Master.
It's always enjoyable to hear the stories regarding his training in China, an oral history that brings names on a page to life. Today there was one about when Sun Jian Yun was teaching him Taiji Sword. The weather was bad so they were in her tiny one room apartment. The room was too small to practise in with a proper sword so she lifted up her mattress and pulled out one of the wooden slats and proceeded to use that instead as it was shorter.
I've been studying traditional Sun style Taiji since early 2004 with Dave Martin and his wife Su Ying who is herself incredibly knowledgeable and skilled.