Phoenix Palm Change of Sun Style Baguazhang
How to Perform the Phoenix Palm Change
The Phoenix is associated with the Sun trigram. Sun represents the wind, the single Yin line below the double Yang line representing movement under heaven. Sun is associated with wood. It represents the limbs and lower back in the body, and the Windmill, or Hurricane Palm, in the martial arts.
The Phoenix is Rolling the Ball Palm with a unique rolling the ball palm change.
Toe-in with the right foot as if beginning a Single Palm Change. Do not change the hand positions.
Toe-out with the left foot and move the right hand in an arc from above the head down to waist level. This is similar to the movement you practiced when doing a Simple Change from this posture.
Toe-in with the right foot and exchange the hand positions again. The right hand moves in an arc above the head. Both hands should move as if they are holding a large ball and rolling it about the body.
Perform a large toe-out with the left foot. As you toe-out, bring the arms down with both palms facing up, as if you are now cradling the ball against your chest.
Turn the left foot out on its heel and toe-in again with the right foot to perform a Single Palm Change. As you exit the Single Palm Change, assume Rolling the Ball Palm in the clockwise direction.
Essential Points of Phoenix Palm Change
I have seen two versions of Sun Lutang’s Phoenix palm change, and two versions of the associated Hurricane palm. The change I detail here is called the Dragon Palm Change in other schools and performed from the Supporting Palm Posture. well. The alternate version of this change, and the one detailed in Sun Lutang’s book, involves a chopping motion of the hands, thus the Hurricane Palm.
The Bear Palm Change had two yin and one yang line. In this palm change we have one yin line under two yang lines. This means the top should be firm and forceful while the bottom should move like the wind, changing endlessly between the steps.