What Leads the Hands or the Waist

Some good bagua styles seem to advocate that the hands must lead the weight of the body, while our approach says that the hands lead, but the waist must move to initiate the hand work—in other words, it should be simultaneous.

To confuse the issue, some good teachers say, rather categorically, that the hands must pull the body into position, which would seem to contradict that the waist and weight changes must lead the hands.

I find in my own practice and teaching that the hands will often feel as if they are pulling the rest of me into the target, and this is most evident in expressions of horizontal power (i.e., twisting from side to side), and less useful if you are using vertical power (i.e., the spine whipping forward and back).

There are frequent references to the desirability of this in other internal arts I have seen or practised, and I have also read that in the oldest version of the Chen Style, the first form you learn uses the waist to lead the hands, and the second (which is faster and more vigorous) has the hands leading the body.

It makes sense to me to be able to use this skill as appropriate in a martial situation, rather than having to do only one or the other. It is like choosing whether to always make a fist or an open hand. If you can only do one, doesn't that limit you in many ways?

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Heal Yourself With Qi Gong

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