Sifu Barry Pang explains how being relaxed and loose is critical, while providing an emphatic demonstration.
Overpowering opponents with chain punches along the centreline may not succeed against a larger opponent that is able to protect this zone. This is where being relaxed and loose enables flow. Flow that can redirect stronger, heavier opponents.
In this video, Barry demonstrates with Scott Peterson, an experienced martial artist whose accomplishments include winning the welterweight division at the Australasian Kung Fu Championships in 1995 (an open styles tournament). Scott is incredibly hard to push out of position, yet here his strength works against him.
The takeaway is that relying on superior strength is risky. Wrestling is risky. Instead, embrace flow and redirect your opponent. This is easier said than done when under pressure, so dedication to developing power in your base and relaxed hands is a prerequisite.
Related article coming soon: 4 Levels of Footwork in Kung Fu.