Snake Palm Change of Sun Style Baguazhang
How to Perform the Snake Palm Change
The Snake is associated with the Kan trigram. Kan represents water, the single Yang line between the two Yin lines represents a river running through a gorge. Inside the body, it is the kidneys and the ears on the outside. In the martial arts, it is the Flowing Palm.
The Flowing Palm Change turns to the outside of the circle. Because of this, you will not change direction after completing this sequence of movements and will have to add a Single or Double Palm Change to practice Snake in the other direction.
When walking counterclockwise around the circle and the left foot is forward, step forward with the right foot and toe-out, to the outside of the circle. When you toe-out with the right foot, bend the elbow of the left arm to bring the palm of the left hand even with the forehead and facing out. The right hand does not move and guards the side of the body.
Toe-in with the left foot, creating a large sweep across the floor. The hand positions remain the same, but the large toe-in movement causes the torso to twist so it is facing in the opposite direction, and the left hand to pierce above the forehead with palm facing up.
Perform a large toe-out with the right foot so the right heel is opposite the left heel. The toes of the right foot are pointing forward along the line of the circle. This is similar to the lowering posture of Double Palm Change, but more weight is on the back leg.
Complete the Flowing Palm change by turning the right foot out on its heel, then toe-in with the left foot to perform a Single Palm Change. When you have completed that change, you will walk in the same direction.
Essential Points of Snake Palm Change
This is the third of three fundamental changes from Dong Haichuan’s original Baguazhang. Combined with the Single Palm Change, the Double Palm Change, and the Mother Palms you can construct your own circle walking routine. After completing this change, you must add a Single Palm change or Double Palm change to practice the change in the opposite direction.