Shan Hai Men (Translated: Mountain Sea Gate) presents two participants in a down and dirty fight using Bo. As is the case with all two person sets, there are actually two
different Kata within the form. The initiator of the fight is “Tori”, and the respondent is “Uke.” Before the form begins, the partners establish who is to be “Tori”...usually done by “Tori” (typically
the higher ranked student) declaring he or she is “Tori”, at which point the partner acknowledges by responding “Uke.” The moves of “Tori” are learned separately from those of “Uke”. Generally, at Black Belt
level, both roles can be executed with equal skill.
The inspiration for the form comes from three venues:
1. The solid and committed Bo Kata of Okinawa (particularly those practiced in Isshinryu);
2. The flowing and graceful Bo moves of Hap Ki Do (and Northern China); and
3. Sifu Russ Kauffroath of Sam Pai Kenpo, who once shared the two person empty hand sets taught in his school, and showed me
several moves from a two man Bo Kata he started, but had not finished.
Shan Hai Men was our attempt at combining all three influences into a form which, if mastered, would leave the student with a complete
package of skills using the Bo.
The name Shan Hai Men is inspired by the different influences reflected in the executed form. “Gate” means once you have mastered this Kata, you may leave the temple.
Just joking...you can still hang around if you want, just pay your fees on time!