Enter the Jakov (pronounced yakov).
Full Name: Fucking Jakov.
In Western Australia, born and raised. 18 years of age. Other then heaps of other stuff, I'm mainly into Nintendo, Martial Arts, drawing, cartooning, writing and acting. You can follow me if you want, but be careful though cause I'm pretty hilariously fucked up ;)
Historically, Chinese scientists used to greet each other by covering the left fist with the right palm. This meant peace; the hand covering the aggressive fist.
A warrior, however, held his weapon in the right hand. For this reason, the warriors greeted one another with the left hand covering the right fist. Eventually this became the standard greeting for martial arts practitioners in China.
During the Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911) when many Chinese fought against the Qing government to restore the Ming Dynasty, the original way of greeting was changed. The left hand became an open hand/palm which means ‘moon’ 月 and the right fist was held against the left hand, the right fist symbolized the Chinese character ‘sun’ 日. Together these characters mean ‘Ming’ 明 ‘bright.’ This greeting is called ‘Bao Quan’ 抱拳 and was used as a secret way for recognizing revolutionary fighters, and it also means 反清复明 ‘Destroy Qing, Restore the Ming.’
Today, it is used by Wushu/Martial Arts practitioners as a form of respect, and with the more modern explanation that the left hand symbolizes ‘5 Lakes’ 五湖 while the right clenched fist symbolzies ‘4 Seas’ 四海. When the left hand is placed onto the right hand, it means that ‘People within the 5 Lakes and 4 Seas are all Brothers’ 五湖四海皆兄弟.
Sources: Dr. Yang Jwing Ming’s Shaolin History, Bruce Thomas’ The Fighting Spirit, and KungFuForever’s site.