The Yin & Yang Strikes of the Internal Martial Arts

When you see a practitioner of the internal martial arts perform a particular form or sequence of movements. You will see a combination of both open hand and closed fist strikes being shown. The reason is many, but one particular reason is that we use the theory of Yin & Yang in such way that the open hand strikes which are considered to be Yin are used to strike against the more firmer or hard areas of your opponent. Like his or her head or joints which would be very painful to us if we used a fist. The use of a closed fist strike which is considered to be Yang would be used to strike the opponents more softer areas. Like his or her stomach, ribs, groin or lower back.
If you have ever used a closed fist strike against an opponents head, such as his jaw for example then you know how much it can hurt and possibly damage the knuckles on your fist. Whereas, you would be better of using a palm strike. Again on the other side of the coin, if you where to use a palm strike against your opponents groin you could possibly bend your fingers back breaking them.
Obviously there are areas on the body where you could use either a fist or palm strikes such as the torso, arms or legs. Usually it’s the bone areas of the body that you would be better off using a soft palm strike. Soft strikes include not just the palm, but all areas of the hand, including the fingers, whereas the hard strikes include the whole fist and various knuckle strikes, such as the Leopard fist, Tigers Paw Fist and the Eye of the Phoenix fist strike which are used to attack the opponents soft areas.
This is one reason why the practitioners of the internal martial arts uses a combination of both palm and fist strikes, as depicted by the salute that is used to greet and show respect to each other by covering the closed fist with an open hand.

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