Hardness to the extreme is softness. Once it reaches the end, cannot be any harder, but soft.
This softness is actually very hard, fine and smooth, such as polished jade, polished stone, stainless steel surface, glass screen of mobile phone, etc.
From these examples, it can be seen that the softness of Taiji is not true softness, but an appearance of softness on the outside, it is actually hard and rigid.
Once you understand this truth, you don’t need to think about “relaxed but not loose” and “soft but not soft”.
In the same way, if you are stronger than the opponent and can deal with the opponent easily, you will appear loose, soft, smooth, not stiff, and not conflicting.
If you are weak and can’t stand the pressure from the opponent, you must be stiff, conflicting, hard, and with other non-Taiji qualities.
Of course, how to get the strength that can be used to overcome the opponent is another topic!
Original post in Chinese by Master Chen Zhonghua. Translation-Yuxin Liu