Blocking is an external way of affecting an incoming force. It involves meeting force with force, and absorbing the energy of the force within your body. This is both damaging and tiring. Instead, Tai Chi uses softness and sensitivity to affect an incoming force.
There are a number of methods that we can utilize instead of blocking, such as filing, blending, wardoff, growing, interrupting, sticking, yielding, intercepting, wrapping, neutralizing, leading, borrowing, deflecting and folding.
While challenging to learn at first, these methods allow the practitioner to respond to the incoming force in a more subtle and effective way.