View Full Version : Palm formation: Yang style

08-03-2004, 11:46 AM
Is your palm flat, extended as if pushing against a wall? (e.g. brush knee/twist step-final leading hand positioning)
Can you describe?

I have seen many variations and was curious how other's might difer.

08-03-2004, 01:10 PM
For practicing the form, my teacher asks that we keep our hands totally relaxed, so the shape is as if palming a basketball. Exceptions occur; in White Snake Darts Out Tongue, the left hand is almost flat; the left at the end of Standing Single Whip is nearly flat; the right is nearly flat in Ward Off Left (my right hand doesn't flatten in this posture anymore because of orthopedic reconstruction); and in Brush Knee Twist Step BOTH hands are almost flat.
I was not specifically taught this, and have seen a range of hand positions from other practitioners, especially Brush Knee Twist Step. Body mechanics may contribute, or unconscious "Contamination" from other martial arts I've practiced may be creeping in.
For fighting purposes, my hands are very similar to Yang style with thumbs held close to the palm to reduce jams. This is because I have to grasp people I tangle with rather than uproot or strike. Bill

08-03-2004, 03:36 PM
at the end of posture both hands are flat;right hand centered "pushes the wall" in front left hand "pushes the floor" below the left hip.Old style Yang and Terry Dunn emulator of Gordon Liu,Cheng Man-Ching's student,differ in their respective transitions into this posture.Terry Dunn keeps the left hand low actually almost brushing around the side of the knee before coming to rest below the left hip;film of Yang Zhen Duo and pics of Yang Cheng Fu,the left hand appears to come across at about stomach level before coming to rest on the left side.

08-03-2004, 10:30 PM
Which posture are you talking about Stanton?

I agree with Shark and Bill, when practicing the form i.e. bending and storing up energy my hands are relaxed. However, at the end like "brush knee" or "single whip" which is a fa jing movement, the muscles become more compressed(not tense) and naturally the palm becomes flatter

08-04-2004, 07:19 AM
As in brush knee/twist step, where I learnt the lower palm facing ground (concave flat??).,while the outstretched palm is not flat but turned to side (palm edge). A few of my past teachers have taught that but the modern ones have stressed a flat palm facing forward.

Perhaps application/usage has determind the outward placement, I do not know. EVen in single whip, the outstretched palm takes the same shape. As an extension, diagnonal flying the palms per se, are not flat but at angle.

just curious as to differences and awareness!

08-04-2004, 10:32 AM
i've seen some individual styles in single whip where the palm comes to rest facing "taiji north" instead of "west" as if striking w/the leading edge of the left hand.In photos i considered this to be the result of the picture having been taken before the posture was complete;before the inevitable turn of the left hand;conversations with my betters have resulted in strong denials and shaking heads;asserting that this hand position would be improper but i'm still unconvinced;perhaps this demonstrates two martial applications for the same posture.Or someones messin' up

08-04-2004, 12:18 PM

I think that as long as the participant feels good (hate to say it), then so be it (health). Gor the martial person, it may make no difference if he is aware of usage.

as I understand my own view as I imagined as I was taught, the palm should be "insubstantial" (no definite endpoint). It should be alert, appear useless but can go in any direction in applying qin'na or pushing and trapping (combination hand/palm) and foot placement. Remembering that foot only or hand/palm only, is insifficient in an encounter.

The spread of wushutaijiquan appears to be a culprit since people only follow without regard for usage ot utility. In competition it is wonderful to look good, I must admit, therfore nothing else is important.

I love wushu. it is the best competitive arena for showmanship.

08-04-2004, 06:03 PM
while the entire body and both hands are involved in single whip,the Cheng version specifically mentions a strike to the eyes as the prime function of the left hand;for this of course the hand and in particular the fingers would need to point due west;and careful instructions are given to the student to make sure that one is aligned so that the gaze is directly over the fingertips;and that the palm is not flat but the edges of the fingers are leading slightly;bringing his famous example of "beautiful ladies wrist" into the arena of pragmatic self defence application; while it's common knowledge that the application of these postures fluctuates according to the situation i think it can be interesting to look a bit closer at what may originate some of the style differences.glad you brought it up
My problem with wushu is how the term is defined these days.A monk is windmilling himself with a spear across the center of a stage floor with a rapt onlookers in the name of a wushu exhibition.What are we looking at? is it Peking opera? gymnastics? Shaolin boxing? all of the above?
or just a show for the sake of entertainment?

08-05-2004, 12:13 AM

I think i do know what you mean, however I'm asking the same question as Shark.

As far as i'm concerned TCC IS wushu(martial arts). As far as i have been taught by ALL my teachers, it is martial art, moving meditation and therapeutic exercise in ONE and inseparable. There is a martial and/or competition aspect, health rehab aspect and it is still ONE art

What d'y think?

08-05-2004, 05:16 AM
i'm not sure taiji can be lumped into the word wushu
(allthough everything else pretty darn near has been)
"kung fu",western name for Shaolin boxing,(according to wushu master Pan Qing Fu) is "more appropriately defined in China as wushu"
i think in that instance taiji must be regarded as separate;still i refer to my earlier question,what is wushu in it's totally bastardized modern day format but some kind of grotesque side show,aimed, like kung fu movies for mass audience entertainment

08-05-2004, 07:15 AM

in agreement. wushu describes everything 'internal' and 'external' though the exposure of fast external movements tend to pigeonhole taijiquan as separate entity.

I agree that taijiquan has the potential as being martial art, health rehab, and all but we come back to the teacher and his orientation. The martial part is all but lost but no problem health is the main thing.

Degree of health maintenance that the teacher imparts is usually for the well disciplined and well educated who can think for themselves and see beyonf lineage and other distractions. Think and reason are operative words here, no well educated or well disciplined but they count.

Just like Chengfu revolutionized taijiquan but he lived to 53 years or so while his nephew Zhongwen lived to 91? I can with certainty say he will be the epitome of Yang taijiquan regarding age!

It is more than taijiquan itself but the spirit of the practitioner plus taijiquan or qigong.
As Goethe said (I believe) maybe Schopenhauer, that 'man imagines his personal limits are those of the world'.

08-26-2004, 06:55 AM
In class we are told to keep our hands in tigers mouth except for moves like snake pokes out tongue and single whip, although there are many variations depending on where you learn or who your teacher is and the style and form you are learning

08-26-2004, 08:37 AM
"hands in tiger's mouth?"
what does that mean exactly?

08-27-2004, 11:20 AM
The thumb and second finger form the equivalent of an open mouth of a tiger (hou kou??-spelling might be off). Just a partial variation of the actual palm placement (my purposes) and very distinct.

08-30-2004, 03:15 AM
The flap of skin between your thumb and finger is supposed to look like a tigers mouth. Sorry I can't find a better description, if we were in the same room I'd show you!