The Taiji principle didn’t work well. 4 oz could not defeat 1000 lb.

Here’s an interesting post, complete with pictures, by David Ross of NY Sanda about the Lei Tai tournaments in China in the 1920s. These were supposedly the first organised national martial arts championships. They would have been part of the GuoShu movement of the Republic as they set about using martial arts to strengthen the nation.

The following are some quotes said about the tournament, from his post. I’m just providing them here without commentary. I leave it up to the reader to draw their own conclusions.

Some quotes said about the tournament:

– 这次比赛没有看到高深的内功,没有发人于丈外的场面
You don’t see high level internal power, and Faijin that send people flying 10 feet away in this tournament.

– 太极打法毫无建树,四量难拨千斤
The Taiji principle didn’t work well. 4 oz could not defeat 1000 lb.

– 也就是说号称以巧取胜的中国功夫 实际上也是在跟人拚勇力比高大
The taller, heavier, stronger guys won in that tournament.

– 要学打擂台的拳术
After this tournament, people wanted to learn the style that can be used on the Leitai.

2 thoughts on “The Taiji principle didn’t work well. 4 oz could not defeat 1000 lb.

  1. In many respects, the Chinese martial-arts’ principles are just being understood, despite a number of westerners assuming that they understand the arts and talking as if they are experts on the subject. The ones of us who are of the opinion that we don’t have enough information in the West, yet, to fully and intelligently make comments are sometimes astounded by the wannabe “experts” who sell themselves (and their books) to the public.

    Just to give an example, the statement about four ounces deflecting a thousand pounds is often taken by the amateurs as some compelling principle of Taijiquan. In actuality, that statement is common throughout the Chinese martial arts and it refers basically to the idea of using martial skill to deflect rather than to block. To say that this was disproved makes no sense, if you think about it for a moment. Worse yet, the people who focus on it as “disproven” are shown to be missing the point.

    I’ve been aware of those old bouts for many years, but I took them as interesting data to know, but not definitive about much, if you look at the who’s, what’s, and where’s.


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