Single Palm Change

While the Single Palm Change movement is not one of the eight main changes which make up Gao's pre-heaven Ba Gua, its movements form the template from which all eight pre-heaven changes are derived. In most of the Gao style schools the beginning student will first learn the basic circle walk practice and then spend a great deal of time studying and practicing the movements of the single palm change prior to learning any of the other eight changes.

Gao style practitioner Luo De Xiu, of Taipei, Taiwan, states that all of the movements in Gao's Ba Gua Zhang can be derived from the single palm change. He feels that when Dong Hai Chuan invented this art, he wanted to create a fundamental set of movements which embodied all of the possible ways the body moved while executing combative tactics. The single palm change is the movement he created to fit this criteria. It expresses circular movement in the horizontal plane, the vertical plane, and at oblique angles. Varying the single palm change motions from high to low, inside to outside, left to right, opening to closing, center to eight directions, and their opposites, the single palm change can be seen as the foundation for all of Ba Gua Zhang's characteristic movements.

Liu Feng Cai taught the single palm change to his students in the "swimming body" style. This means that when the change is executed, the feet are continually moving while the arms change. In "fixed step" practice the practitioner stays in relatively the

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