Is life hard all the time?
Is life soft all the time?
Shouldn't any system be adaptable to the situation at hand, whether, soft, hard or more likely somewhere in between?
Perhaps I am missing the point but it seems to be the ability to adjust to the current situation and apply the correct amount of hardness, softness or combination of the two allows for the greatest amount of flexibility, options and opportunity for success.
I think we're talking about different things, Mark. I could think of a number of examples, but the quickest would probably be to point at the fact that in real traditional Taiji there is no use of "hard" in the training for a few years while they train the qi and jin. There's a reason for that which is very important. The "hard and soft" comparisons in Shaolin training (which is what most people on this thread are talking about) is something else.
However, as I've said before, I think it's better for people to get at least *some* skills rather than no skills, so I'm happy to see the conversations moving forward. This would be a good thread to capture, BTW, and ask some of the participants to look back on in a few years.