Written by Wu Guo Zheng
Translated by Warren Fox
Original Chinese Version: http://eaglewu7.myweb.hinet.net/
In Bagua there are many different uses for the spearhand. Almost every technique involves the spearhand, especially in the Post Heaven movements where it is used extensively. What is the reason for using the spearhand so much? To put it simply its because the spearhand's special trait is that it is simultaneously an attack and a defense. In all of the martial arts forms every movement and technique is either an attack or a defense. In Bagua the spearhand is both, which is why it is used so extensively. Because the spearhand is so crucial, were going to look into the best timing and method to apply it.
First lets discuss the use for defense. In the area of defense the spearhand is practically our armor. An opponents straight punch, back hand, chopping palm, peeling palm and the single handed crashing palm all can be redirected with the spearhand. Also at the moment of redirection it allows for a very effective counter attack. So in the Post Heaven movements this combination of first a spearhand followed by a counter attack is adopted in most of the techniques. So lets say that an attack is coming toward us, first we have to deflect it, then we can open them up for our own attack. If the opponent is able to avoid it then we quickly follow up with another attack. It was this idea that was used to design the our bow into the Post Heaven movements. When we bow in, the first hand is used to parry an incoming attack.
In almost all of the sixty four palms there are no exceptions. The first hand in most cases is used to parry, and many times the parry is a spearhand. Lets take a deeper look into the details: In section one (the way of striking) there are five movements that first use the spearhand and move into a counter: the extending palm, yanking palm, searching palm, selecting palm and covering palm. In the second section(the way of the hands) there are four: The hidden palm, peeling palm, double palm and snatching palm. In section three(the way of diverting) there is the stopping palm and the flipping palm. In section four(the way of the body) there are three: Taking palm, staining palm and repeating palm. In section 5(the way of the elbow) there is the crouching elbow, measuring palm, the obstructing palm and the stacking palm. In section 6(the way of the legs) there is the quick stepping kick, the outward kick, hanging kick, lifting kick, intercepting kick, drifting sweep and crashing sweep. In section 7(the way of Entry) there is the pressing palm and the splitting palm. In section 8 (The way of footwork) there is the fox palm, trembling palm, horizontal palm and scurrying palm. So look at the details for a minute and see that out of the 64 palms of the earth movements or Post Heaven techniques you'll see that thirty two of them first use the spearhand to parry or to engage. So it is easy to see the importance of the spearhand in Bagua. Because of its speed and effectiveness defensively it is the trademark of Bagua.
(You can see me use the spear hand to parry on you tube in Fox Applications 2. I use an extending palm to counter and also the searching palm.)