More

This article has the following major sections. Click on a link to jump to that section.

  1. A Detailed Study Of Ba Gua Zhang's Single Palm Change
  2. Four Pillars of Training
  3. Ba Gua Zhang Movement
  4. The Definition of Single Palm Change
  5. The Form
  6. The Movements
  7. The Principles
  8. Conclusion

Discuss this article


More Articles

Check out items related to this site from Amazon.com

If you find that these ads are not helpful or are offensive, please contact us.

A Detailed Study Of Ba Gua Zhang's Single Palm Change

The Movements

Click to play Luo De Xiu demonstrates the
single palm change

In the sequence shown to the right, the first 3 are simply an opening sequence. Each school will have their own version of the opening movement. Some forms, like the popular form taught by Jiang Rong Qiao, will execute a single palm change sequence directly from the opening movement as depicted in the illustration above (and as discussed in the article by Sha Guo Zheng in Pa Kua Chang Journal, Vol. 5, No. 1).

After the practitioner has transitioned into the basic circle walking posture (or any of the other circle walking postures such as the eight mother palms) he or she will begin by walking the circle holding that posture for a desired number of rotations. When the practitioner is ready to change directions on the circle, the single palm change is executed. This maneuver begins with the execution of a kou (hooking) step shown in footwork illustration number 2. The body begins to rotate around its center line with the execution of the kou step. The lead arm begins to come across the front of the body while maintaining a rounded shape.

Single Palm Change Footwork Single palm change footwork illustration

The opening demonstrated here by Luo De Xiu is a simple opening which brings the practitioner to the basic circle walking posture.

From this position, the practitioner continues to turn the body smoothly around its center line and executes the bai (swinging) step as shown in footwork illustration number 3. The lead hand is held at about shoulder height, the palm facing downward. The bottom hand remains in the same position it was relative to the body. When discussing variations of the single palm change later in this article we will refer to this segment of the single palm change as "the turn around."

Jiang Rong Qiao's form The opening movements of Jiang Rong Qiao's popular form transition directly
into a single palm change maneuver before the practitioner begins walking the circle.

Next the practitioner will begin to step up into a kou step with the right leg as depicted in footwork illustration number 4. The body continues to turn around its center as the lower hand comes underneath the upper elbow. The upper hand is still held at about shoulder height with the palm facing down and the lower hand is held under the upper elbow with the palm facing up. When discussing variations of the single palm change later in this article we will refer to this segment of the single palm change as the "winding."

Next the practitioner begins to unwind the body, change the palms, and execute a bai step (as shown in footwork illustration number 5). The upper palm turns to face upward and leads the motion as the body begins to turn. Then the bottom palm moves up along the upper arm (palm up) and both arms lift upward as the body turns. As the body begins to reach the full extent of its turn, both palms begin to rotate and then the arms fall down into the original circle walking posture on the other side. When discussing variations of the single palm change later in this article we will refer to this segment of the single palm change as "the unwinding."

Continue: The Principles Next section