Popular among so-called martial arts demos, and similar circus acts, is the 'heavy body' trick. The performer asks 2 volunteers to lift him. First, he tenses his whole body, and they lift him easily. Then, he goes limp, which generates 'chi', and gets heavier, i.e. rooted to the ground.
So how does this relaxation technique make him unliftable?
You can pick the performer up pretty easily if you curl your fingers in his hair and pull upward.
But if the agreed upon method is to raise up by getting your arms under him and lifting, then it's pretty easy to see how to defeat that. Take a garbage bag and put in it 8 gallons of water, which weighs only 64 pounds, a weight most people can lift with ease. But put your arms under the bag and try to lift it.
Best I can do is contrast the lifting of a sword from the hilt or a stiff steel or wooden rod, and then touching the other endpoint to, say, a doorknob, both ends of the sword being at chest height, to picking up a steel chain, cable, or towel from the end and attempting to lift it in a similar fashion and touch the same doornob with the other end of the chain.
Can't be done unless one flicks the chain or towel rapidly. (Flicking cables will probably damage them. ;-) )
Chi has nothing to do with it, AFAICT.
A similar suggestion has been made regarding protesting; the protester goes limp, and the police attempting to drag him off need more manpower to get him out of the way. The effect is limited, of course.
In some cases one can also bring a stretcher, usually if the person is unconscious and injured.
It is not "heavier" It has less rigidity. The less the rigid, the harder it is to control the object. The more rigid the less control points needed to pick up the object. Spreading force to more control points lessens the force that can be put into any one control point.
Perception is everything. Several people have supplied the correct answer. It's easier to grab and hold a stiff object, than one that is limp or semi-fluid. It's not the weight, it's the grip and handling. This is emphasized in Aikido, which is also known as the "relaxed" martial art. It's not easy to be relaxed under stress, which is much of what Aikido teaches. Aikido also emphasizes balance, which is something that a limp and relaxed person lacks. There is no obvious or consistent center of gravity, about which one can lift and throw. That's why it's so difficult to lift a loose bag of water. When limp, the center of gravity moves around almost at random. When rigid, its location is obvious and easily exploited.
The same thing also applies to automobile accidents. A very limp and loose drunk driver will tend to survive much better than the "frozen" terror stricken sober driver. On impact, a limp person will tend to distribute the force of over the entire body via "fluid" coupling, while a muscularly rigid person will tend to absorb the force locally via rigid muscle and solid bone coupling.
You might ask the same question in one of the martial arts newsgroups.
Jeff Liebermann email@example.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Two explanations are possible; Either the bag of water was a chi master, and chi doesn't work - or maybe - just maybe, neither you nor a bag of water has much chance of using their chi. Nahh that couldn't be it. Water is a chi master, we take that fact as a given...
lol is it any wonder you have trouble figuring stuff like chi out... i mean, any wonder at all?