Skip to main content
Sparrow Hawk Palm from Sun Style Baguazhang Featured Image

Sparrow Hawk Palm Change of Sun Style Baguazhang

Emblem for the Dragon Method of Internal Martial Arts Practice

How to Perform the Sparrow Hawk Palm Change

The Sparrow Hawk is associated with the Li trigram. Li represents Fire, the single Yin line between the two Yang lines represents the radiance of a fire burning. Li is visualizing and represents the eyes on the outside of the body and the heart on the inside. In the martial arts, it is the Lying Palm.

Li trigram is fire

From the left Pushing Millstone Palm toe-in with the right foot to begin the change.

Green dragon turns its body
Green Dragon Turns Its Body

Toe-out with the left foot and turn the palms over so they are pushing in the direction of the change.

Green dragon turns its head of sparrow hawk palm change
Green Dragon Turns Its Head

When you toe-in, do not pierce the right hand past the left arm, turn the right palm out as in the Sky and Ground Palm posture. The feeling should be like the right arm is pushing against something solid, causing the lower part of your spring to get stuck while the upper part continues to load for a strike.

The left hand does not remain fixed as in the Single Palm Change, it turns palm up, above the head, preparing to perform an arcing chop with next movement.

Winding body for sparrow hawk palm change.

Spin on the toes of the right foot as in the Double Palm Change and bring the left hand and left leg around in two arcs. The left hand performs a chop across the head and neck of your opponent while the left knee comes up to strike their lower body.

Big Boa Constrictor overturns its body
Big Boa Constrictor Overturns Its Body

From this posture, lower the left leg and foot into a large toe-out posture along the edge of the circle. Then perform a large sweep of the right leg as you toe-in for a Single Palm Change to end the form.

Green Dragon Turns Back Its Head
Green Dragon Turns Back Its Head

Essential Points of Sparrow Hawk Palm Change

The sparrow hawk has special significance in the internal martial arts. In the Xingyiquan tradition there is a complete routine based on this agile bird. In my neighborhood, red-tailed hawks are common. They hang on the wind like a kite, then suddenly swoop down to capture a pigeon or chase a squirrel. The other birds are always wary of the hawks, and I have learned to recognize when they are warning others the hawks are in flight!

The Li trigram has one yin line, so you might imagine this palm change is more flowing, like the Qilin. Instead it is it is more forceful, like the Lion. Think of both striking and cutting.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More from the Earth Component

The Yin Yang Posture

Universal Post Standing Posture

When standing in the Yin Yang Posture, you can imagine that the solid leg is heavy and downward seeking (Yin). While the open leg is light and floating upwards (Yang). Likewise, you can imagine that the solid leg is active and represents the solid Yang line, while the open leg is passive and repr…
The Diagram for Qi Featured Image

Internal Power Set

I developed this set from a line in a Taijiquan classic text that says: “Power is generated by the feet, transferred through the legs, directed by the waist, and transmitted through the arms to the hands.”
Wuji Posture Featured Image

Wuji Posture

There is very little that can go wrong by standing in Wuji Posture. Some side effects that you may feel include stiff shoulders and neck (indicating that you need to reinforce your Wuji Posture practice with upper body exercise) tingling in the legs and feet (indicating that you need to walk more…