I forgot to write before. There`s also a qigong form called 18 Buddha hands, which as everything has its variations.
The first thing that comes to my mind when I hear (read) Buddha palm is healing something, more that hurting someone. Although, beating up an attacker might heal him from the desire to hurt or rob you or anyone else ever again.
In his book Chia says that Buddha Palm is another term for Cosmic Healing Chi Kung.
I`m sure that that the name Buddha palm and the energy centers in the hands have some relation, since palms are more often used for healing than other parts of the body.
Oh and Fisherman, when did you become so mean?
Fisherman isn't the mean one, I'm the mean one...!