Xiantian (Pre-Heaven) Palm Changes, are eight martially based forms that are infused with the teachings and philosophy of the great book of ancient Chinese wisdom, called the I Ching (Sacred Book of Changes and Divinations). According to the I Ching, the eight distinct energy manifestations of Heaven, Earth, Fire, Water, Lake, Mountain, Wind and Thunder help to explain the nature of change in our natural world. And, the history of these palm changes are a fusion of battlefield techniques used in actual combat, that have come from ancient and modern day warriors, married with noble truths, medicinal sciences and spiritual wisdom. Although we retain a fair level and spirit of its practical past, its modern-day evolution in our school is more focused on how its equally transcendent spiritual practices can help us refine our character.
Similar to the vitality and purity experienced by a child inside its mother's womb, not yet born and shielded from outside harm, training in the pre-heaven palm changes are also designed to protect your original essence; helping to restore and revitalize one's lifeforce back to its more integrated and natural state. Additionally, regularly practicing in these forms develops a type of functional flexibility that's at the root of many practical self-defense applications. They teach to unify your Qi/Chi (breath, lifeforce, bio-electric-energy) by learning to extend this power evenly to all parts of the body, even while moving continuously. In the art of baguazhang, xiantians/pre-heaven palm changes are the main vehicles used for simultaneously restructuring a healthier more limber body and building core self-defense and martial arts skills.