Sun Style Baguazhang Double Palm Change

第九章 四象學

The four manifestations are born from the dual aspects, which were generated by the grand polarity. Forming the solid lines and broken lines in the eight trigrams [active being represented by a single solid line, passive being represented by a single broken line], the dual aspects then have another solid line or broken line added on top of them. The result is the four manifestations: the greater passive [broken line added on top of a broken line], greater active [solid line on top of a solid line], lesser passive [broken line on top of a solid line], lesser active [solid line on top of a broken line]. Thus the four manifestations are the basic solid and broken lines with further lines of passiveness and activeness added on top of them. These four are each assigned associations: being associated to the elements of metal, wood, water, and fire, associated in the body to the organs of heart, liver, lungs, and kidneys, and associated in the boxing art to the directions of forward, back, left, and right. [The four manifestations as a boxing technique] are commonly known as the “double palm change”.
     The four manifestations do not include the element of earth. The grand polarity corresponds to earth. Within the boxing art, [the four manifestations make the actions of] lifting, drilling, dropping, and overturning. To act and not yet issue is to be in a flattened-out condition of activity, like the earth. The earth generates things endlessly because it is in continuous use, like the grand polarity. The grand polarity and the earth are in the place of the One, thus earth is not included among the four, for it lies between them all.
     As the four manifestations include the passive and active aspects, the eight trigrams interact with each other, shifting places with each other and getting placed on top of each other. The eight trigrams stacked in this way can further amount to sixty-four hexagrams. As per the Book of Changes, each hexagram is composed of six lines. The three lower lines represent the sky, ground, and mankind – the three substances. The upper three lines are piled on top of them and represent the passive and active qualities of the three substances. Understand that within the boxing art there are leftward circle walking and rightward circle walking, which each have a passive [rightward] and active [leftward] quality. Therefore leftward circle walking is associated with the lower trigram [whose influence rises up into the upper trigram], your head, hands, and feet representing the sky, ground, and mankind – the three substances. Rightward circle walking is associated with the upper trigram [whose influence percolates down into the lower trigram], the three substances each having a [corresponding additional] passive or active line.
     The eight trigrams are made from the passive and active aspects of the four manifestations, and then the sixty-four hexagrams are produced from the passive-active pairings [of the trigrams]. When the eight trigrams are arranged in such a way that they are stacked on top of each other, the resulting interaction between the passive and active aspects will generate things endlessly, and so why stop with the sixty-fourth hexagram? Because even if there were thousands [For instance, if we multiplied sixty-four by sixty-four, we would get four thousand and ninety-six dodecagrams.], they would never go beyond the basic sixty-four hexagrams anyway [and so to have thousands would be mostly redundant as well as spectacularly overcomplicated]. Furthermore, the sixty-four hexagrams would always be composed of the eight trigrams, the eight trigrams would always be made from the four manifestations, the four manifestations would always be made from the dual aspects, and the dual aspects would always be the result of the movement of the grand polarity.
     It says in Zhang Ziyang’s “On Reading the Three in Agreement”: “From nothingness came somethingness. The dual aspects then arose from the One. The four manifestations emerged from the two. The eight trigrams are the descendents of the four.” The sixty-four hexagrams then followed, as did the transformations of all phenomena. Approach these words sincerely, for they are mirrored in this art.

第一節 四象學 右式靑龍轉身

After beginning with the single palm change, whether circle walking to the left or right, you can switch to the double palm change. Start with going from the rightward circle walking, left hand in front, right hand behind, walking the circle from north to west.

《八卦拳學》 孫祿堂 (1917) - photo 8

第二節 四象學 靑龍縮尾

When switching palms, do it when your left foot is forward. Your right foot then steps forward, the toes hooking in as far as they can, coming down so the toes of both feet are pointing toward each other about two or three inches apart. The heels of both feet are equally twisted outward as far as they can be. Your waist has an energy of sinking. Your hips have an energy of drawing in. The posture seems to stop yet not stop.

《八卦拳學》 孫祿堂 (1917) - photo 9

第三節 四象學 靑龍返首

Your left hand extends, twisting outward until the thumb is pointing downward, the little finger is pointing upward, and the palm is facing outward. Your left foot at the same time lifts and comes down with its toes swung outward. Your left heel is in line with your right toes and the feet are making a ninety degree angle, as in the photo. The distance between your feet depends on your height. Although the foot comes down swung outward, your hips have an energy of drawing inward, with an intention of being like the inner curve of a ring. Your waist goes along with the outward twisting of your left hand. The forward section of your shoulders also has an energy of shrinking in, with an intention of containing your chest. Your right hand is still close to your body, palm facing outward below your left armpit, and has an energy of pushing, the elbow dropped down and staying where it is. Although your body’s posture comes to a halt, your intention does not stop.

《八卦拳學》 孫祿堂 (1917) - photo 10

第四節 四象學 右式黑虎出洞

Then your hands wrap inward until the palms are facing upward, your right palm threading out under your left armpit. Your right foot at the same time steps forward so the toes of both feet are pointing toward each other about two or three inches apart. Your right shoulder has a strong desire to thread through under your left armpit. Your heels are again twisted outward, your hips again have an energy of drawing inward, and your waist still has an energy of sinking. The posture must not pause long. Compare it to a lengthy sentence in a book. There may be a tiny pause with each comma, but there is a continuous flow of thought that does not get interrupted by such pauses. (This posture is like photo 4 of single palm change, but performed on the other side.)

第五節 四象學 鷂子鑽天

Then your right arm goes close to your right ear, the hand threading upward, wrapped inward as far as it can be so the palm is facing inward, your body going along with your right hand by extending upward. At the same time, your left hand, palm facing inward, goes downward along your right shoulder until at your ribs, fingers pointing downward, and with the back of the hand moving along your body, threads downward toward your right hip. Your hands spread apart in unison above and below to their limit. Your left foot at the same time quickly lifts, with the toes putting their energy into flexing upward, and goes close to the inside of your right ankle. Your body at this time has an energy of shrinking downward [despite stretching upward] and your waist continues to be sinking. Your right hand may thread upward as far as it can while your left hand threads downward as far as it can. Your gaze is upward toward your right hand. Your body should be stable.

《八卦拳學》 孫祿堂 (1917) - photo 11

第六節 四象學 白蛇伏草

Then your right hand puts its energy into covering in front of your left shoulder and lowering until over your left arm, your body going along with the covering of your right hand by shrinking downward. Your hands then spread apart forward and back, as though they are each a pendulum. Your wrists having an energy of bracing outward, the tiger’s mouths are facing each other front and back, and both arms are making semicircles. Your left foot steps forward in unison with your left hand and should be pointing diagonally when it comes down, as in the photo. Your waist has an energy of sinking while your body is pouncing forward. Your lower abdomen should settle onto your hips. Your gaze follows your right hand downward, then goes forward toward your left hand. Your shoulders and hips shrink in as much as they can. The inside of your body should now feel like the emptiness within a circle. If done in this way, you will then be able to obtain the subtleties within this boxing art.

《八卦拳學》 孫祿堂 (1917) - photo 12

第七節 四象學 右式黑虎出洞

Then your hands wrap inward as far as they can so the palms are facing upward, your right hand moving close to your body and threading out under your left armpit to its limit, making a T shape with your left arm. Your right foot at the same time steps up, coming down so the toes of both feet are again pointing toward each other about two or three inches apart. Your heels are again twisted outward and your hips again have an energy of drawing inward. Your waist has an energy of sinking as it follows your right hand to the left, again turning as though it is a rope being twisted. The energy of your body is again like winding up a watch to its full extent. However, there should always be an intention of emptying inside. This is achieved by the shoulders and hips shrinking in, naturally producing a sense of emptying within the chest and also preventing strain from being able to manifest in the body. (See photo 4 of single palm change, but performed on the other side.)

第八節 四象學 靑龍轉身

Then walk a leftward circle, first stepping out with your left foot, coming down at a distance which depends on your height. Always, regardless of the footwork, be it advancing or retreating, it will be most effective if it is performed with naturalness. Your right hand goes along with the step of your right foot by threading then extending then twisting outward, your left hand twisting outward at the same time. As your feet walk, your wrists twist outward as far as they can so that your right forefinger is standing upright, which should be in line with the center of the circle, the finger at eyebrow level. Your left hand, staying close to your body, puts its energy into continuously pushing toward your left [right] elbow, the forefinger pointing upward, and your hands stabilize in that position. Your waist follows your right hand by turning to the [left] right like a rope being twisted. Your gaze goes toward the tip of the forefinger of your front hand. As your wrists twist, the forearms bend in to point upward, elbows still pointing downward, and the twisting of your wrists must not be so comfortable that you feel they have not twisted all the way into place. Your wrists prop up your tiger’s mouths and have an intention of pushing forward, but must not visibly do so. Your shoulders have a strong energy of drawing in. Your hands get twisted into position after about three to five steps, and may stay in that position for as many circuits around the circle as you please.

《八卦拳學》 孫祿堂 (1917) - photo 13

As in the walking and switching postures of the single palm change, have coordination between your upper body and lower, and cooperation between inside and out, same as before. There is in the double palm change an intention of dividing it into four stages – begin [postures 1 & 2], develop [3 & 4], express [5 & 6], and finish [7 & 8] – though in practice it is actually one continuous action. You have to be aware of this.

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