Tàijíquán Philosophy – The Soft And The Pliable Will Defeat The Hard And Strong!

The philosophy of tàijíquán is that, if one uses hardness to resist violent force, then both sides are certainly to be injured at least to some degree. Such injury, according to tàijíquán, is a natural consequence of meeting brute force with brute force. Instead, students are taught not to directly fight or resist an incoming force, but to meet it in softness and follow its motion while remaining in physical contact until the incoming force of attack exhausts itself or can be safely redirected, meeting yang with yin. When done correctly, this yin/yang or yang/yin balance in combat, or in a broader philosophical sense, is a primary goal of tàijíquán training. Lao Tzŭ provided the archetype for this in the Tao Te Ching when he wrote, “The soft and the pliable will defeat the hard and strong.”