Baguazhang, a martial art deeply rooted in Chinese philosophy and cosmology, offers a rich tapestry of movements and forms. One of the most intriguing and complex among them is the Double Palm Change. This blog post aims to delve into the intricacies of this form, its philosophical underpinnings, and its practical applications.
The Genesis of Double Palm Change
The Double Palm Change is one of the original forms developed by Dong Hai Chuan, the founder of Baguazhang. The form was designed to cultivate vertical circular power, in contrast to the Single Palm Change, which focuses on horizontal circular power. Over time, various styles of Baguazhang have modified these original forms to suit their specific techniques and power applications.
The Mechanics of Double Palm Change
When performing the Double Palm Change, the practitioner steps into the Dingzi stance with the outer foot, while the inner foot swings horizontally. The body sinks down, and the Qi naturally descends. Both hands are rounded and full, and the form progresses through a series of intricate movements, ultimately leading to the “Pointing to Heaven, Pressing to Earth” posture. The form is a beautiful blend of stances, hand movements, and Qi flow, all orchestrated to develop vertical circular power.
Philosophical Underpinnings: The Four Symbols and Taiji
The Double Palm Change is deeply rooted in the philosophy of the Four Symbols, which refer to the yin-yang of each of the Two Principles. These Four Symbols are Gold, Wood, Water, and Fire, representing the heart, liver, lungs, and kidneys in the body. The form is a manifestation of these principles and serves as a physical representation of the flow of Qi energy.
The Sixiang Theory
The Sixiang Theory further elaborates on the relationship between the Double Palm Change and the philosophical principles it embodies. According to the Book of Changes, each Fist technique has a pattern of yin and yang in its rotation. The form is a complex interplay of these energies, represented by the Eight Trigrams and the Sixty-Four Hexagrams. Understanding these principles is crucial for mastering the art of Baguazhang.
The Double Palm Change is not just a philosophical or aesthetic form; it has practical applications in self-defense. The form teaches the practitioner how to generate vertical power, which can be applied in various combat scenarios. The intricate hand movements and stances also train the body for quick reflexes and agile movements, essential skills in any martial art.
The Double Palm Change is a fascinating form that serves as a gateway into the deeper philosophical and energetic layers of Baguazhang. Understanding its mechanics, along with its philosophical roots, can provide a practitioner with a more profound appreciation of this ancient art. Whether you’re a seasoned martial artist or a beginner, the Double Palm Change offers a rich field for exploration and mastery.
For those interested in delving deeper into the Double Palm Change and other forms, consider studying Sun Lu Tang’s A Study of Baguaquan.
Thank you for reading. Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences with the Double Palm Change in the comments below.