무식태극권의 창시자는 무우양(武禹襄)이며, 양노선에게서 진식태극권 노가식을 배웠으며, 후에 진청평(陳靑萍)에게 진식태극권 신가식을 배웠고, <태극권보>를 열심히 연구하여 후대에 전했으며, 그의 조카 이경론(李經綸)이 다시 더 발전시켜 무식태극권을 만들었다. 또한 무식태극권을 이가태극권(李家太極拳)이라고도 한다.
무식태극권의 특징 은 자세가 밀접하고 동작이 부드럽고 느리며 특히 보법은 허실이 구분이 명확해야하며, 가슴부위와 배부분은 수련시 시종일관 중정을 유지해야 한다. 왼손은 오른쪽으로 신체중심을 넘어서면 안되며 오른손 또한 왼쪽으로 신체중심을 넘으면 안된다. 손은 발 앞꿈치를 초과해서 밀거나 찌르거나 할 수 없으며, 또한 원래는 높게 뛰어오르는 동작도 있었다.
◈ Wu Yuxiang (1812-1880), Founder of the Wu(武) School
Wu Yuxiang came from a family of wushu lovers and profited from his brief association with Yang Luchan from whom he learned taijiquan. In order to get the hang of the Chen style, he paid a visit to Chen Changxing in 1852, only to find him too old and feeble to give instructions. So he found one of his distant nephews, Chen Qingping, who taught Wu the new-frame taijiquan as distinguished from Chen Changxing's old-frame style. After more than one month of hard training, Wu acquired its essential points, as shown by what he said to his brother: "Now that I have obtained a deep understanding of the Chen school, all that needs to be done is persistent practice."
Meanwhile his brother had by change obtained a copy of Manual of Taijiquan written by Wang Zongyue, which was of great enlightenment to Wu. It was on the basis of this book that he wrote two of his own, namely, Important Points for a Wushu Master and, ironically enough, Four-Character Secret Formulas Not to Be Passed On to Anybody. Concise and to the point, they laid down the foundation of the unique Wu school of taijiquan, which is characterized by quick and short-range movements.
While his brothers served as officials in different parts of the country, Wu Yuxiang lived a secluded life in his home village studying and teaching the martial art. Even at his death bed, he was still discussing taijiquan with his attendants.
Wu's most outstanding disciple was his sister's son Li Jinglun (1832-1892), who in turn passed on his skills to his fellow townsman Hao He (1849-1920). It was said that Hao was so strong that, in practising the push-hand exercise, he could lift his partner and hurl him to settle securely in a chair ten feet away. It was one of his pupils who founded the Sun school of taijiquan.