~ translated by David Alexander
Many schools of Bagua Quan / Bagua Zhang have two categories palm style – Single Change Palm and Double Change Palm. However since most of them have different training programmes there are varying viewpoints on why ‘single’ and ‘double’ are used to differentiate between these two palm styles.
The Bagua Quan system which I have studied categorises Single Change Palm and Double Chang Palm as the two principle palm styles that lead the whole system. In this, Single Change Palm style trains Li (force) and Qi to unify and separate while Double Change Palm style trains internal Qi and movement to co-ordinate.
The main point of Single Change Palm style training is to lead, nourish and promote internal Qi by means of external Li, thereby enabling internal Qi to gradually cohere into available energy.
The main point of Double Change Palm style training is to co-ordinate the actions of the body and mind by means of available internal Qi into a directed and meaningful flow.
Therefore, Single Change Palm style is centred on Li while Double Change Palm style is centred on Qi. Li and Qi are the two most important constituents of martial arts training. Li is external and belongs to Yang while Qi is internal and belongs to Yin.
The Bagua divine ‘single’ as Yang and ‘double’ as Yin. So it is rational to call a palm style that is centred on Li and belongs to Yang ‘Single Change Palm’ and a palm style that is centred on Qi and belongs to Yin ‘Double Change Palm’.
But what is the meaning of ‘change’?
In walking palms when we walk circles, we alternately walk left circles and right circles. The methodology of change in the Bagua denotes the left as Yang and the right as Yin so, no matter whether Single Change Palm style or Double Change Palm style, the changes are all between left circle (Yang) and right circle (Yin). Consequently Single Change Palm and Double Change Palm are in fact ‘single change’ palm style and ‘double change’ palm style. That is to say:
- Single Change Palm is centred on Li and practices the methodology of left and right circle palms which enables Li and Qi to separate and unify.
- Double Change Palm is centred on Qi and practices the methodology of left and right circle palms which enables Qi and movement to coordinate.
This is what I have learned from the Bagua Quan system that I have studied. I provide this as a point of reference for martial arts practitioners.