Legendary and Historical Figures

Those that have influenced

This is a list of legendary and historic individuals that have influenced the history of taijiquan. Each of those listed have had a significant influence on the development or dissemination of taijiquan.

Legendary Figures

The following are some of the legendary figures that are said to have influenced the establishment of taijiquan.

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Xu Xuanping

8th Century

Some accounts of the history date back as far as the 8th Century crediting Xu Xuanping a Taoist poet from the Wudang mountain region as the origin of the art.

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Zhang Sanfeng

c. 12th Century

A legendary figure said to be the creator of the “internal martial arts” and the originator of taijiquan. Reported to have lived in the Wudang mountain region of China during either the 12th century or the 15th century.

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Wang Zongyue

13th Century

A legendary Taoist monk believed to be the student of Zhang Sanfeng. Some reports have Wang residing in the Taigu County of the Shanxi Province of China during the in the 13th Century whilst others during the 15th Century.

Historical Figures

The following is a list of some of the individuals that have influenced the establishment or development of taijiquan over history.

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Chen Wangting​

1580 – 1660

Sometimes known as Chen Zouting. Chen was a Ming Dynasty general who is credited with the formation of the Chen-style taijiquan.

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Chen Changxing

1771 – 1853

An influential martial artist of the ‘Chen style’ lineage training Yang Luchan who was to become know as the founder of Yang-style of taijiquan.

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Chen Qingping

1795 – 1868

Chen Qingping is credited as one of the teachers of Wu Yuxiang who is credited with the development of the Wu Hao-style of taijiquan.

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Yang Luchan

1799 – 1872

Yang played a major role in disseminating taijiquan throughout China. This resulted from his influence as an instructor of the Imperial Guard and members of the Qing Court and the many teachers he trained.

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Wu Yuxing

1812 – 1880

Wu Yuxiang is credited with the development of the Wu Hao-style of taijiquan in the 19th century. The Wu Hao-style of Taijiquan is characterised by slow and internally loose movements.

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Li Yiyu

1832 – 1892

Also known as Li I-yu or Li Yishe was the nephew of Wu Yuxiang and also considered his most famous student. Li authored several important text on taijiquan.

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Wu Quanyou

1834 – 1902

Also known as Wu Ch’uan-yu was a Manchu officer of the Palace Guard who became known as the co-founder (along with his son) of the Wu style of taijiquan.

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Yang Banhou

1837 – 1892

Also know as Yang Pan-hou, was the son of Yang Luchuan. He was also appointed as an instructor of the Imperial Guard and is credited with developing the “small frame” of the Yang style.

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Yang Jianhou

1839 – 1917

The youngest son of Yang Luchuan was a well-known instructor of the time who passed on his art to his sons Yang Shao-hou and Yang Chengfu. Yang Chengfu is credited with introducing Yang style to the public.

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Hao Weizhen

1842 – 1920

Also known as Hao Wei-chen. He was responsible for taking the Wu style he had learnt out to the wider public, and as a way to distinguish it this style it is often referred to as the Wu Hao Style.

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Sun Lutang

1861 – 1932

Sun Lutang (born Sun Fu Quan) is credited with the development of the Sun-style of taijiquan in the early part of the 20th century. His publications in the early 1900’s codified a set of ideas associated with the nature taijiquan that are still relevant today.

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Wu Jianquan

1870 – 1942

The son of Wu Quanyou was also known as Wu Jian-Quan or Wu Chien-ch’uan. A famous instructor and co-founder (along with his father) of the Wu style of taijiquan.

Yang Chengfu

1883 – 1936

Yang Chengfu (the grandson of Yang Luchan) is credited with modifying and popularising the Yang-style taijiquan. He modified and popularized the Yang Style Taijiquan, and published a number of books on the subject in the 1930’s.

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Chen Fake

1887 – 1957

Chen Fake was a member of the Chen family and a 17th generation practitioner is identified as one of the most influential figure in the history of Chen-style of taijiquan.

Who Else?

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If we have left someone of this list, then let us know whom and why they should be included.

Modern Historical Figures

The following is a list of some of the individuals that have influenced the establishment or development of taijiquan in modern history.

Chen Weiming

Chen Weiming

1881 – 1958

Sometimes known as Chen Zengze

Student of Yang Chengfu

Li Yaxuan

1894 – 1976

Student of Yang Chengfu

Tung Ying-chieh

1898 – 1961

Sometimes known as Dong Yingjie

Student of Yang Chengfu

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Zheng Manqing

1902 – 1975

Sometimes known as Cheng Man-Ch’ing

Student of Yang Chengfu

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Fu Zhongwen

1903 – 1994

Sometimes known as Fu Chung-Wen

Student of Yang Chengfu

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Yang Zhen Ming

1911 – 1986

Sometimes known as Yang Shou Zhong

Eldest son of Yang Chengfu

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Yang Zhen Ji

1921 –

Second son of Yang Chengfu

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Yang Zhen Duo

1926 –

Third son of Yang Chengfu

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Yang Zhen Guo

1928 –

Youngest of Yang Chengfu

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