H. WON TAI CHI INSTITUTE
FAQ & Tips
4 oz. Overcoming 1000 lb.?: If only 4 oz. is required to defeat 1000 lb., why do so many literatures on Tai Chi Chuan talk about deadly internal power?
Solution: This is the most commonly misunderstood principle of Tai Chi Chuan. The concept of 4 oz. is, of course, not literal; therefore, a thousand pounds, as well, is not literal.
The common interpretation of it is that a very little energy is used to get out of the way of oncoming, greater force, & by appling this technique, an opponent is caused to stumble off balance; follow by, then, a push technique, etc.
This interpretation is valid as far as the neutralizing technique is concerned, but it is not the principle of 4 oz. defeating 1000 lb.
In traditional Tai Chi Chuan, the most important aspect is the internal power. Without it, he/she does not have the true martial art of Tai Chi Chuan. Therefore, the practitioners spend his/her lifetime accumulating this power. To feel what this power is like, it is worth while to seek out someone who has it. For someone who has trained correctly for years, he/she can make the arms feel like a steel bar or make them feel very heavy. It is this hardness disguised in softness that gives the concept of "steel wrapped in cotton" a fearsome & effective power. It is, then, so powerful that he/she only needs to release a tiny bit of this power to destroy the opponents. Anyone who is bold enough to take on this power would feel as if they were hit by a thousand pounds even though only four ounces were released.
Anyone can learn how to evade, turn, side step, etc, & these techniques do not need profound principles, only some common senses. But, understanding the internal power principles is another matter; he/she needs a knowledgeble teacher. Therefore, on a low level of understanding, 4 oz. deflecting 1000 lb., can be interpreted as an evading skill; but, at a much higher level, it is about effective application of internal power.