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The 70 % threshold


Well-Known Member
Sensei Sandeep Desai on the 70 % threshold in Taoism...

At the heart of Tao philosophy is the 70% rule. It states that you should do a T’ai Chi movement to only 70% of your potential.

Striving for 100% inherently produces tension and stress because when you strain yourself, your body experiences fear. Even without you being aware of it, your tense body responds by shutting down. At 70% capacity, you can throw 100% of your energy and effort into practice, and you still generate 100% of the possible Chi that a T’ai Chi movement is capable of producing.

Going beyond 70% drains your energy reserves. Staying within 70% of your capacity produces optimum physical accomplishment, simultaneously reducing psychological stress. The more you relax, the more energy, stamina and strength you will have.


Veteran Member
I hadn't heard of this, before, but I guess it makes sense.

But is it relatable only to physical exercise? Or is it applicable to life in general? I would say the answer is to consider the fool's gold of perfectionism. Wherein the closer we get to attaining it, the harder it becomes. Until we end up exhausted and defeated. And the reason this happens is that we have assumed that we know what perfection is, and/or that we can or even should achieve it. And we assumed wrongly.

We are relative beings living in a relative reality. Perfection is an absolute. It is therefor not something we can know or achieve. And the harder we insist on trying, the more intense will be the resistance. Exhaustion and failure will be the inevitable result.