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Rolling The Ball Palm of Baguazhang

Emblem for the Dragon Method of Internal Martial Arts Practice

How to Perform Rolling the Ball Palm

Rolling the Ball Palm is an excellent exercise for your torso. It is also the first posture that requires you to change hand positions as you perform the Simple Change.

Stand on the edge of the circle facing in the counterclockwise direction. Assume the Supporting Palm posture then lift the right arm up and over the head so the right palm is facing down, and the fingers are pointing to the center of the circle. The image is that you are holding a large ball into the center of the circle as you walk around it.

Rolling the ball palm, left facing posture.
Rolling Ball Palm

Walk as before, but when you toe-in for the Simple Change, maintain the posture, with the left hand pointing directly to the center of the circle. Then roll your hands along the edge of your imaginary ball as you toe-out.

Complete the Simple Change movement with the Sweeping Step and walk clockwise around the circle with the changed posture.

Rolling the Ball Palm as a Mother Palm of Baguazhang

The Rolling the Ball Palm is also the Phoenix Palm of Sun Style Baguazhang, and the Lion Palm Posture from a Yin Fu based tradition. The different schools of Baguazhang are rarely consistent in how they map their postures to animals or trigrams. The mapping, especially to the trigrams, was a device to help a student who could not read or write remember the posture. Remember, these traditions were born in a time before the photograph, and the written word was reserved for the elite.

The change of direction I describe here is like the Yin Fu tradition of the Lion Palm Change, but without force. I want you to focus more on timing the change with your footwork, than snapping the torso into a new position.

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