A popular concept, "four ounce can overcome 1000
pounds" is something many Tai Chi Chuan practitioners love to talk about.
Although this concept has been demonstrated in Push Hand Exercises for a long
time, contemporary Push Hand practitioners have not been able to demonstrate
this in competition, leading people to doubt if this concept really works in
practice. If masters have been able to do it in the past, why is it nobody can
do it today?
Actually, this is a simple concept in physics. The concept of centrifugal
force and rotational force are the same as "four ounce overcoming 1000 pounds."
In actual everyday life, we encounter this concept often. It is just that we do
not pay much attention to it. For example, when you shoot an arrow, it has a lot
of power to move forward. However, if you applied the same force from the side
to the tip of the arrow, this arrow will go off to the side and miss the target.
It's the same thing with a spear. If you grabbed the spear and shook it, the
spear will lose its power. The principle is the same as the concept of "four
ounce will overcome a thousand pounds."
Whenever there is a power that goes straight forward, you can easily avoid it
by stepping to the side. Tai Chi Chuan often applies this concept in Push Hand
exercise and the Tai Chi Chuan Classics often refer to this as "sticking to the
opponent." Tai Chi Chuan Push hand is meant to train a practitioner to intercept
the opponent's power, make contact and stick to him. This "sticking" technique
applies power from the side to counteract the straight power. In Push Hand
practice, practitioners often practice this technique called "neutralization."
This can be demonstrated by the following illustration:
In A direction, a very small amount of power is applied from the side, just
enough to change the direction. B and C demonstrated that when one's skill has
improved, one can apply greater power from the side to cause the opponent to go
to B direction or yet go backward in the C direction. When a skillful
practitioner demonstrates this technique, one cannot see this circle on the
contact point but only see the opponent come in and then go backward at the same
time. It is often said that one begins with a circle, but with the improvement
in skill, one's execution will no longer be a circle. This is why a skillful
practitioner seems to perform an amazing feat like magicians do. But it is
really quite simple. The "no circle" begins with the concept of "four ounce
moves a thousand pounds." The results of direction A and B are the effect of the
technique called neutralization. The result of the direction C is the effect of
Fa Jing technique.
The application of the concept of "four ounces" cannot be sufficiently
applied when one is just a beginner in Push Hand. One must practice the Tai Chi
Chuan and Push Hand regularly to improve sensitivity, timing and skill. The
practitioner must progress from immobility to movement, from clumsiness to ease;
he must be able to listen to power in hand to hand maneuvers and eventually
understand it and perform amazing feats with it.
Article By Master Vincent Chu