David Orange wrote:
However, since then, I've trained in tai chi, xing yi and baguazhang. Bagua uses the open hand and palm almost exclusively, parrying and redirecting attacks and penetrating with palm strikes to vital areas, delivered with internal power. I would hope that today I would not close my hand in an encounter. It's bad for the ki flow.
Just ... couldn't... resist...
Using a fist isn't necessarily bad, and its not bad for "Ki" flow, assuming David even knows what Ki flow is?
Simply clenching the hand is bad for the "ki" flow. Hold it like they do in Baji, and it's just fine. But that's assuming you have a connected body and can move things in a unified manner.
I will relent this much and say David's correct about using the palm, (not in its ub3r d3ad1lniess) but if you don't know how to punch, it's better to stick to a palm. It's harder to screw up the aligment.