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Karate/Origin of form Shem pa


Randal S. Gay, 3rd Dan. wrote at 2012-12-05 00:18:48
It is interesting that I was also taught this form in Tang Soo Do.  Our root master is deceased and we knew not much more than you do except that one of our current masters thought that it was once referred to as the 'dancing ladies' form.

I contacted a nearby first-line student of GM Hwang Kee (now a Master of course) and he found some references in his notes that he was generous enough to share with me.  Apparently this form is all but extinct and very rarely practiced today.  It is a point of pride that we still teach it as a required form at my Dojang.

Bear with me as I am quoting from memory.

Origin: Chinese

Original name:  Yurl Wha (?sp?)

Translation: 8 steps of the union - man/woman.

It was originally a ladies form.

There was a little more (but not much) in the notes that he shared with me.  A little is better than nothing.  If anyone else has additional information, please add it to this thread.  I would love to add to my store of knowledge.  I am constantly scanning the Web looking for additional information and that is how I stumbled across this thread.


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Michael Cummings


I am available to answer your questions in regard to the history, philosophy, technique and practice of Okinawan and Japanese karate, jujutsu, kenjutsu and iaijutsu. I also have knowledge and experience in Okinawan kobujutsu and traditional Japanese. I also have a good foundation to answer general questions concerning various other Japanese, Okinawan, Korean and Chinese martial arts, including their traditions, history and philosophy.


I have a diverse background with over 30 years of study and practice in Japanese and Okinawan bujutsu (martial arts). I presently hold licenses/rankings in karate, iaijutsu, kenjutsu, jujutsu and Okinawan kobujutsu. I have also studied several Chinese systems, including Hung Gar tiger/crane and wing chun, and hold a black sash (shodan) in Song Shan Kempo. I have been fortunate to have studied and trained with a number of highly qualified and revered practitioners, sensei and sifu from several different martial traditions. I am also an amateur marital arts historian and student of hoplology.

Bachelor of Science in Psychology Black Sash Song Shan Kempo Chuden/Mokuroku (Karatejutsu/Jujutsu/Kobujutsu) Tengu-Sho-Oku (Kenjutsu/iaijutsu)

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