"Si liang bo qian jin" is a Chinese saying that is often poorly translated as "Four ounces can repel a thousand pounds". This saying is frequently heard in Tai Chi classes around the globe. This principle is not about one’s size or even if your opponent is bigger and stronger than you are. It is about putting tai chi concepts into a practical application when it counts.
When addressing this concept keep in mind that we are addressing 'live' weight - not 'dead' weight. To use 4 ounces to move 1000 pounds we do this by applying leverage. We use power not brute force or mere strength. By understanding the application of the movements within your form, by understanding yin and yang, by understanding triangulation, by understanding movement VS stillness… by understanding the fundamentals of Natural Law of movement and Chi the concept of "Si liang bo qian jin" becomes second nature…. And it is not supernatural or magick!
Push hands, sticky hands and concepts like 7-10, move twice, center of origin, attack the center and such all play into this elusive concept in many hard style martial arts. The concept of "Si liang bo qian jin" is the foundation of our martial practice. Push hands and sticky hands is so important in tai chi chuan training as it teaches us sensitivity and how to attempt to unbalance our partner by applying these tai chi philosophies; using sensitivity and giving up brute strength allows the 98lb old lady to overcome the fight of the muscle bound 30 year old jock. Our goal to not use force, it requires profound study and perseverance to acquire the skill; but with dedication this can be learned in less time than most think.
Keep these concepts in mind to perfect "Si liang bo qian jin":
-Don’t resist – Don’t push into resistance
-A fly landing on the body should set it in motion; be the steering wheel and let your opponent be the motor
-Use mind/intent, not force
PHYSICS. It’s all about PHYSICS! Work with your teacher and be patient. Feel. Remember your eyes are deceivers. And yes Grasshopper, you will soon be able to move 1000 pounds with just 4 ounces.