Wu Yu XiangLi Yi YuHao Wei Zhenlineage


 The founder of Wu Style Taijiquan, which developed primarily from Chen Style Taiji, was Wu Yu Xiang (1812-1880).

Wu Yu Xiang was born into a wealthy landowning family from Yong Nian in Hebei province. Yang Lu Chan (founder of Yang Style Taiji) learned Chen Style in Chen Jia Gou (the village of the Chen family in Henan province) and returned to his home in Yong Nian. 

Wu Yu Xiang learned the Large Frame Old Form of Chen Style from Yang Lu Chan and travelled to Henan province to learn Small Frame Chen Style from Chen Ching Ping (1795-1868, 3rd generation Chen Style). By chance during his travels, he acquired from a salt merchant the famous manuscript on Taijiquan theory “The Manual of Taijiquan”.

Wu Yu Xiang studied Taiji theory and philosophy and experimented with Taiji techniques for many years before developing his own Wu Style. He wrote new theories based on his exceptional understanding of Taijiquan.

His nephew and successor Li Yi Yu (1832-1892, 2nd generation Wu Style) followed in his footsteps studying Taijiquan and almost completing the work “Taijiquan Theory and Principle”. This became the basic instruction manual for Yang, Wu (Hao), Sun and Wu Styles. Both Wu Yu Xiang and Li Yi Yu lived as bachelors in the countryside and never taught Taijiquan for a living. Wu Yu Xiang taught reading in school and Li Yi Yu was a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

For many years, Wu Style was only practiced and taught within the family. Very few outsiders could learn until Hao Wei Zhen (1849-1920) an exceptional student, started to teach a chosen few outside the family, in Xing Tai and Beijing. The style was later taught by the son and grandson of Hao Wei Zhen in Shanghai and Nanjing.

Because Hao Wei Zhen was responsible for bringing this style out of the family to a wider public, and to distinguish it from the (Wu Quan You 1843-1902) Wu Style it is often referred to as Hao Style. Later, Sun Lu Tang (1860-1932), a famous master of Chinese martial arts and master of both Xing Yi Quan and Ba Gua Zhang, learned Wu Style from Hao Wei Zhen and combined Xing Yi Quan and Ba Gua Zhang with Wu Taiji to develop Sun Style Taijiquan.