It does not take a genius to figure out that to increase power by using less strength is simply a matter of being efficient at leveraging what you have in terms of strength.
The question then is how to use less strength.
For that the key is rather simple – practice, practice, practice.
If you keep practicing in accordance to the Taijiquan Classics you will be able to whittle away your excess, unproductive, inefficient movements. A quality movement is one that is simple, unimpressive to look at but conceals great power and a multitude of possibilities.
This is one of the functions of the form – to teach you about possibilities from using the postures from the form. Each change must not be just fluff but contain hidden power and sound strategies.
The origin of this skill lies in the most basic principles (3-5) that we learn but because it seems to be too simple not enough attention is paid to it. No matter how deeper students try to dig for the secrets or try to think hard to figure things out they will not get it until they put aside and focus on what they already know but fail to practice to fruition.
3-5 is simple enough to learn and more importantly can actually be implemented in practice. Its also something that once learned can be refined to the stage where its no longer evident and if you don’t exaggerate the movements its impossible for an outsider to steal your skill. So its important to keep working on it again and again. So don’t despise the mundane.
When you understand 3-5 in your movements then you may have a sudden realization of what you are doing in your form. The day you can tell me what this thing is that arises from 3-5 is the day you can pat yourself on the back for having learned the form properly. From this many other understandings will also arise to confirm a certain level of mastery.
3-5 also lays the ground work for learning many other principles and skills. When you read the Taijiquan Classics and they don’t make a lot of sense its because you still lack the foundation to understand what the classics is about. This is why its crucial to make that breakthrough in understanding because 3-5 will take you far in your subsequent learning.