What You Will learn through Jodo
Our Sydney dojos provide opportunities for all adults to learn Jodo.
SELF AWARENESS. Jodo teaches you self discipline, respect and alertness. You will sharpen your reflexes, learn how
to co-ordinate your whole body to move with speed and agility. You will develop your confidence and ability to rely on yourself.
SELF DEFENCE. Your main objective in Jodo is not to get hit. You will learn how to maneuver your way around
the attack of an oncoming sword or Jo in order to keep yourself out of danger. You will also learn vital target
points and how to strike your attacker whilst escaping at the same time. Your peripheral vision will develop as
well as widen and you will have the ability to see an oncoming attack before your opponent even begins to move.
SAFETY FIRST. Jodo is a martial art originally conceived in part to kill. A hit with a Jo (wooden stick)
or a bokken (wooden sword) can have very serious consequences. Jodo is mostly practiced with a partner
without any protective gear so any injury inflicted through carelessness will leave you without a
training partner (among other things). You will be taught how to respect each other's safety and
your responsibilities with managing a weapon.
PARTNER AND TEAM WORKING SKILLS. You will learn how to work together with a partner and develop trust as well as wariness.
You will learn how to communicate with each other through timing and body language. Being sincere in your training
is also being respectful to the other person as you enable them to train properly and develop at a faster pace.
Weapons You Will Train With
The jo is a stick made of hardwood oak and is about 30cm longer than the average sword.
Its cylindrical shape makes it difficult to break. This resembles the Japanese field plowing
tools that the workers would utilize as self defence from an attacking samurai sword. The typical
length is 128cm, a diameter of 2.4cm - 2.6cm, and a weight of 550g.
The bokken is a Japanese wooden training sword. Legendary samurai Musashi was known to kill opponents
with a mere wooden sword.
In higher grades of training you will be introduced to other weapons such as the Kodachi (short sword),
Tanjo (short wooden stick), Kusarigama (a sickle with ball and chain), and the Jutte (truncheon).
Jodo is practised with 12 basic techniques known as the 'kihon' and partner duelling enforces the
basics through a series of 'kata' (choreographed sequences) that become more complicated as you
progress through your levels of training.
What to Wear
When you first start Jodo you may train in any exercise clothes that are comfortable and provide ease
of movement. Jodo is trained barefoot however shoes can be worn outside for protection.
As you become more proficient there is an optional training uniform that can be bought.
It consists of the 'gi' (martial arts top that wraps at the front), the hakama (samuari pants)
and obi (belt for holding the sword).
Shindo Muso Ryu Jodo
History of Shindo Muso Ryu Jo:
Shindo Muso Ryu Jo is said to be the oldest style in Japan for using a stick (jo) in combat.
It was founded in the early 17th century by Muso Gonnosuke Katsuyoshi, an exponent of Tenshinsho-den
Katori Shindo Ryu. Shindo Muso Ryu oral tradition maintains that Gonnosuke once fought Miyamoto
Musashi, one of the most famous swordsmen of the time, with a staff (bo) in a training match and
was defeated by Musashi's cross-block (jujidome) technique.
According to legend, Gonnosuke was dissatisfied with this outcome and retired to Mt. Homan,
in what is now Fukuoka Prefecture, in Kyushu, where he engaged in a series of religious austerities,
all the while contemplating the reasons for his defeat. Finally, he received "divine" inspiration
about a new method of using a staff-like weapon, making it shorter (128cm) and thinner (24mm)
for more rapid manipulation. He devised a number of techniques for this new weapon, which he
called a stick (jo) (as opposed to staff or bo), that included the use of the thrust of a spear,
strike of a sword and staff and sweep of a naginata. Factual documents of the style (ryu) are quite rare.
It is said that there is a record at Tsukuba Shrine, in Ibaragi Prefecture, that reports that
Gonnosuke was able to defeat Musashi in a rematch.
Training is conducted in formal two person pre-arranged kata. In Shindo Muso Ryu Jodo there are a total of
64 techniques which are divided into a number of series, each with a different character.
Training is systematic and develops the exponent's technical skills and psychological abilities,
from body movement and weapons handling to the proper use of targeting, distancing and timing, and
intense mental or spiritual training, all originally aimed to enable the exponent to successfully use
the weapon in mortal combat.
Exponents begin their study of jo by learning a series of twelve basic techniques (kihon waza), which contain
all the essential movements of the style. They then proceed through different series of techniques of stick
versus sword(s): omote, chudan, ran-ai, kage, samidare, gohon-no-midare, and okuden.
A final series, the gokui hiden (also called go-muso-no-jo), consists of techniques that are taught only to
exponents who have received a menkyo-kaiden, the highest level in the system.
Also included in the curriculum of the Shindo Muso Ryu Jodo are twelve techniques of the swordsmanship
system called Kasumi Shinto Ryu kenjutsu. The first eight techniques are long sword versus long sword,
followed by four techniques that are long sword versus short sword.
There are five levels of recognition in Shindo Muso Ryu Jodo. They are the Okuiri-sho, Shomokuroku, Gomokuroku,
Menkyo and Menkyo Kaiden. Holders of Menkyo Kaiden are the only people qualified to issue mokuroku and menkyo
in Shindo Muso Ryu Jodo.
In addition to Shindo Muso Ryu Jodo and Kasumi Shinto Ryu Kenjutsu, a number of separate arts are taught at various
points in an exponent's training. These are considered assimilated arts, and include:
- Uchida Ryu Tanjo jutsu (short stick)
- Isshin Ryu Kusarigama jutsu (ball, chain and sickle)
- Ikkaku Ryu Jutte jutsu (truncheon)
- Ittatsu Ryu Hojo jutsu (Rope tying and restraining)
Text adapted from Meik and Diane Skoss' "Field Guide to the Japanese Classical Martial
Arts" in Sword & Spirit:Classical Warrior Traditions of Japan, volume two. ©1999 Koryu Books.
Counting in Japanese
Within a class moves are called out and counted in Japanese. This is to ensure you are able to participate in any
seminar or class around the world if you choose to take your Jodo with you abroad.
- 0 zero 零
- 1 ichi 一
- 2 ni 二
- 3 san 三
- 4 shi/yon 四
- 5 go 五
- 6 roku 六
- 7 shichi 七
- 8 hachi 八
- 9 kyuu 九
- 10 juu 十
For those desiring training in Japanese swordsmanship with a robust sporting outlet, Kendo is highly recommended.
The Sydney Kendo Club (SKC) is the longest running Kendo club in Australia.
SKC are located in the Willoughby Park Center and operate on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Counting in Japanese
An introduction to Jodo
The things you should note while practicing Jodo
An explanation of the Uchidachi and Shidachi roles in Jodo
Koryu Bujutsu Introduction
Sword & Spirit Intro: A Coconut Palm in Missouri
Sighting the Grizzly
What is a Ryu?
Transmission & Succession in the Classical Arts
Classical Martial Arts in the West: Problems in Transmission
The Meaning of the Martial Arts: Some Reflections From Along the Way
Some Thoughts on Learning Koryu in the West
The Meaning of Martial Arts Training: A Conversation with Sawada Hanae
The website of the European Jodo Federation
The website of the Pan American Jo Federation
A recommended reading list for beginners and others interested in traditional Japanese martial arts (Koryu)
The names of Jodo's Kihon, Kata and assimilated weaponry
Kihon (basic techniques)
The Kihon or basic techiques are fundamental to good jo practice. These are the foundations for the Jo Kata.
- Honte Uchi
- Gyakute Uchi
- Hikiotoshi Uchi
- Kaeshi Tsuki
- Gyakute Tsuki
- Maki Otoshi
- Tsukihazushi Uchi
- Dobarai Uchi
- Taihazushi Uchi
Omote is the first series of 12 kata in Shindo Muso Ryu. The emphasis is on teaching correct technique,
and developing an understanding of Ma-ai (distance), Ri-ai (timing), and Zanshin.
- Tachi Otoshi
- Tsuba Wari
- Tsuki Zue
- Kasa no Shita
- Neya no Uchi
- Hoso Michi
These kata were developed by Shimizu Sensei from the Tanjo techniques and are often taught with the Omote kata.
Chudan is the intermediate series of 12 Kata following Omote.
- Ichi Riki
- Oshi Zume
- Midare Dome
- Ushiro Zue (Zen and Go)
- Kiri kake (or Kikkake
- Shin Shin
- Rai Uchi
- Yokogiri Dome
- Harai Dome
Ranai translates as "Disorder to Harmony" and combines Omote and Chudan techniques.
- Odachi (long sword) no Ranai
- Kodachi (short sword) no Ranai
Kage is intermediate training and it is a series of 12 Kata of whose names are identical with the Omote Kata.
Samidare is a series of 6 Kata taught to advanced students emphasizing training the mind.
- Kodachi otoshi
- Mijin Zen
- Mijin Go
- Gan Tsubushi
Gohon no Midare
Gohon no Midare is a series of 5 Kata added by Shimizu Sensei around 1939.
They are a synthesis of Omote, Chudan, Ran-Ai and Kage Kata.
- Tachiotoshi no Midare
- Sakan no Midare
- Kengome no Midare
- Kasumi no Midare
- Shamen no Midare
Okuden is a series of 12 kata taught to advanced students.
- Tsuki Dashi
- Uchi Tsuke
- Kote Dome
- Kote Garami
- Uchi Wake
- Sayu Dome
The Hiden Gokui are a series of five Kata, and are "secret forms" taught only to those who are Menkyo Kaiden.
Kasumi Shinto Ryu Kenjutsu
Odachi (long sword)
- Ai Suri (Sa)
- Ai Suri (Yu)
- Chi Barai
- Uke Kaeshi
- Nitto Ai - uchidachi armed with both odachi and kodachi
- Suri Komi
Kodachi (short sword)
- Uke Nagashi
- Miuke Dome
- Tsuki Dashi
Uchida Ryu Tanjojutsu
- Kote Uchi (Sa)
- Kote Uchi (Yu)
- Kuri tsuke
- Ushiro Zue
- Suigetsu (Sa)
- Suigetsu (Yu)
- Shamen (Sa)
- Shamen (Yu)
- Kobushi Kudaki
- Sune Kudaki
Ikkaku Ryu Jutte
The modern Ikkaku Ryu system fields 24 training-forms (kata) divided between 2 series called Omote and Ura.
Both series have identically named kata.
Isshin Ryu Kusarigama
A total of 30 kata divided into 3 series: Omote; Ura, and Okuden
Omote and Ura
- Furikomi (zen)
- Furikomi (go)
- Isô no Nami
- Tatsumi no Maki
- Yariai (jo)
- Yariai (ge)
These 12 Jodo kata were selected by a committee headed by Shimizu Sensei from the Omote and Chudan kata for training by the Zen Nihon Kendo Renmei (Japanese Kendo Federation).
- Tsuki Zue
- Rai Uchi
- Midare Dome
For more information refer to this
Sydney training classes are led by instructors holding traditional Gomokuroku license or above with over 30 years
of Jodo experience as well as having senior Dan grading from the International Jodo Federation.
Initially we request that you watch a class first to see if this is what you want to learn. By all means at the end
of that class, feel free to ask questions of the instructor and students to get a better picture of our art and our school.
When you start, we would also suggest you give yourself three months to try it out properly.
Saturday 7.45am to 9.45am
Willoughby Community Centre Hall
Cnr Warrane Rd and McLelland Streets
Sydney NSW 2068
Instructors: Paul Maloney and Michael Yates
We acknowledge the kind assistance of Willoughby City Council for the concession we receive on facility hire.
Wednesday 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Boronia Park (Gladesville):
Uniting Church Hall
93a Pittwater Road
Instructor: Andrew Poulos
Tuesday 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Police Citizens Youth Club
224-230 Falcon Street
Sydney NSW 2060
Instructor: Michael Yates
We are a "not for profit" organisation.
All the monies we collect go towards paying the various expenses (such as hall rent) we have throughout the year.
No one, including instructors, in our association receive any renumeration.
Please note that our fees are subject to change without prior notice.
Schedule of fees
- One month's training: $80.00
- Three month's training: $215.00
- Six month's training: $400.00
- Casual rate: $25.00 per class
All trainees are also required to pay an annual membership fee of $80.00.
This fee includes a levy that covers our required insurances.
From time to time seminars are organised.
These allow us to share knowledge and ideas that will, at times, challenge us and help us to grow in our understanding.
They are usually open to all and require additional payment to cover the costs involved.
For full-time students, discounts to all fees apply - please contact us for more details.
Australia Japan Society of NSW Conference
There's an opportunity for a Jodo demonstration at a Japanese conference conference in Sydney in October.
If you're interested in being in the demonstration then let an instructor know.
Sydney Matsuri Festival
A festival to celebrate Japanese culture was held outdoors in Parramatta (a suburb of Sydney) and we were proud to be a part of it.
Three of us braved the wet weather to put on a Jodo demonstration that was enjoyed by all present.
IJF Gasshuku Brisbane 2018
The International Jodo Federation's Gasshuku (seminar) will be held in Brisbane in early August.
That's less than 6 weeks away!