- “A force of four ounces deflects a thousand pounds.” Wang Tsung-yueh
People for some reason generally translate this to mean that if they are really passive and yin, then somehow they will be able to beat somebody who is really hard and yang. This quote does not mean that somebody with no power can beat somebody with power. It means that in Tai Chi you should use a more complex power, one with leverages, balances, and scales. With correct balance, counterbalance, and long lever power it only takes a small amount of effort to move a heavy object.
- “…being double-weighted is sluggish.” Wang Tsung-yueh
This one people often translate to mean that you should have all of your weight on one foot or the other. Eh, no. This means that you should learn to read your partner/opponent to know where they are issuing power and where they are not. Then you do whatever they are not doing. Where your partner is giving power, you take power, where your partner has a hole, you fill. Do not try to give power where your partner is giving power.
- Distinguishing solid and empty. Yang Cheng Fu
At first this can mean feeling where you have your weight and where you don’t, and this kind of physical balance is important to learn. But this really is referring to knowing the difference between your physical body and your chi body, and then your chi body and spirit body. Then, do the same with people and things external to you.
- “From true softness comes true hardness”. Yang Cheng Fu
Do not confuse being to yin with being empty. Being to yin or to yang are equal but opposite mistakes. Being truly soft means to be empty- it means to have equilibrium of soft and hard. The body is soft, but the chi is powerful. The mind is active and alive while the body is nothing.
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