Dan Huan Zhang
baguazhang's foundational form

Teaches How to Utilize Spiraling Energies

Functions like a Hologram, Encapsulating the Essence of Other Forms within the Whole Baguazhang System

Trains How to Wind in Life Force into Your Center and How to Release it





circle walking

mother palms

single palm

pre-heaven palms

post-heaven palms

tao stretching








Above, Joseph demonstrates the signature guard stance associated with the internal martial art of baguazhang, called Dan Huan Zhang (single change palm).

DAN(single) HUAN(change) ZHANG(palm) is considered by many respected internal martial artists as a core practice from which all aspects of the baguazhang system can be built upon. Acting like a hologram, its fractal nature contains all of the key principles and methods of movement within the entire baguazhang system.

eceptively simply in its choreography, the single palm change form effectively disguises its multi-faceted nature. Dynamic stepping techniques, such as Kou Bu (hooking step) and Bai Bu (swinging-out Step) are used to twist and coil the whole body, generating a serpent like strength. This type of footwork further trains you to tap into centripetal force, in order draw in energy from your surroundings and in towards your center; additionally, you also learn to use centrifugal force to release energy outwards and away from your center. The combined skills results in these two types of spiraling energy to move more vigorously throughout your entire body, leaving you very invigorated and with a sense of fullness.

Some baguazhang masters have been known to only practice this particular form for many years, before learning any other forms or styles. This provided them with a solid foundation from which to later learn more complicated or longer forms with greater ease, and also facilitated their ability to learn multiple forms and arts simultaneously.

Learning how to smoothly oscillate spiraling energy in and out of your body, allows you to better synchronize and blend with the Earth’s natural pulsing and rhythms, resulting in a greater sense of internal space and freedom of movement. This is similar to the way in which a free floating reed, underneath seawater, can effortlessly sway back and forth due to the waves of the ocean. Learning to imitate this type of movement, inside and outside the body, is the basis by which internal martial artist develop the skill of “effortless” power.

When practiced from a more martial perspective, the single palm change form teaches you how to smoothly transition power from one side of the body to the other. This skill allows you to make unpredictable changes of direction during combat situations in order to confuse your opponent. Great emphasis is placed on training to be equally strong, coordinated, fluid and connected on both sides of the body, to prevent imbalances on all levels from taking root.

Regular practice of the single palm change form helps students become more natural, nimble and better able to embrace one of the Yi Jing most important principles: "Everything in nature is in constant motion and ever changing, thus we must also be willing to constantly adapt, improve and change." Considering how the Internet and today's modern day gadgets have radically changed our society, this timeless pearl of wisdom is most enlightening and appropriate for our times.






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