Ba Gua Lesson 3

The Default Hand Position

This lesson applies to not only ba gua, but the martial arts of t'ai-chi (taiji) and hsing-i (xingyi) as well. It has to do with a VERY SERIOUS ISSUE IF YOU ARE STUDYING THE INTERNAL ARTS FOR SELF-DEFENSE. It has to do with the "default hand position." Please look at, and compare, the below two photos.

Those comparisons present two questions and a challenge. What is the correct hand / palm orientation in the internal martial arts.  1) What is the difference between an open (toward opponent) vs. edge (side of palm toward the opponent) orientation.

2)  What is the reason (use) of the open -- opponent facing -- palm

Those photos are of the late Fu Zhongwen, senior disciple of t'ai-chi master Yang Cheng-fu. Notice his practice of holding the edge of the hand toward the opponent. We propose that this, for the espression of power, effective body mechanics, and pratical self-defense, is the proper hand angle for all the internal martial arts. Please consider the following photos and the hand angles shown there.

The above photos demonstrate how the outside aspect / or edge of the palm faces the opponent.

Want to learn more about the "default hand position?" It is highly recommended that you watch the below video on the subject.