Introduction

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.

Jodo weapons in use during Sydney training

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

Sydney Jodo seminar

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.

Sydney Jodo training

Traditional curriculum

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.

Training Jo in Sydney

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

Kendo

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.

References

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)

Terminology

Jodo weaponry

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.

  1. Honte Uchi
  2. Gyakute Uchi
  3. Hikiotoshi Uchi
  4. Kaeshi Tsuki
  5. Gyakute Tsuki
  6. Maki Otoshi
  7. Kuritsuke
  8. Kurihanashi
  9. Taiatari
  10. Tsukihazushi Uchi
  11. Dobarai Uchi
  12. Taihazushi Uchi

Kata

Omote

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.

  1. Tachi Otoshi
  2. Tsuba Wari
  3. Tsuki Zue
  4. Hissage
  5. Sakan
  6. Ukan
  7. Kasumi
  8. Monomi
  9. Kasa no Shita
  10. Ichirei
  11. Neya no Uchi
  12. Hoso Michi

Supplementary Kata

These kata were developed by Shimizu Sensei from the Tanjo techniques and are often taught with the Omote kata.

  1. Suigetsu
  2. Sharmen

Chudan

Chudan is the intermediate series of 12 Kata following Omote.

  1. Ichi Riki
  2. Oshi Zume
  3. Midare Dome
  4. Ushiro Zue (Zen and Go)
  5. Taisha
  6. Kengome
  7. Kiri kake (or Kikkake
  8. Shin Shin
  9. Rai Uchi
  10. Yokogiri Dome
  11. Harai Dome
  12. Seigan

Ranai

Ranai translates as "Disorder to Harmony" and combines Omote and Chudan techniques.

  1. Odachi (long sword) no Ranai
  2. Kodachi (short sword) no Ranai
Jodo demo in Sydney

Kage

Kage is intermediate training and it is a series of 12 Kata of whose names are identical with the Omote Kata.

Samidare

Samidare is a series of 6 Kata taught to advanced students emphasizing training the mind.

  1. Ichimonji
  2. Jumonji
  3. Kodachi otoshi
  4. Mijin Zen
  5. Mijin Go
  6. 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.

  1. Tachiotoshi no Midare
  2. Sakan no Midare
  3. Kengome no Midare
  4. Kasumi no Midare
  5. Shamen no Midare

Okuden

Okuden is a series of 12 kata taught to advanced students.

  1. Sengachi
  2. Tsuki Dashi
  3. Uchi Tsuke
  4. Kote Dome
  5. Hikisute
  6. Kote Garami
  7. Jutte
  8. Mikaeri
  9. Aun
  10. Uchi Wake
  11. Suigetsu
  12. Sayu Dome

Hiden Gokui

The Hiden Gokui are a series of five Kata, and are "secret forms" taught only to those who are Menkyo Kaiden.

  1. Yamiuchi
  2. Yumemakura
  3. Murakumo
  4. Inazuma
  5. Dobo
Training Jo

assimilated weaponry

Kasumi Shinto Ryu Kenjutsu

Odachi (long sword)

  1. Ai Suri (Sa)
  2. Ai Suri (Yu)
  3. Ju
  4. Chi Barai
  5. Sarin
  6. Uke Kaeshi
  7. Nitto Ai - uchidachi armed with both odachi and kodachi
  8. Suri Komi

Kodachi (short sword)

  1. Inchu
  2. Uke Nagashi
  3. Miuke Dome
  4. Tsuki Dashi

Uchida Ryu Tanjojutsu

  1. Kote Uchi (Sa)
  2. Kote Uchi (Yu)
  3. Sutemi
  4. Kuri tsuke
  5. Ushiro Zue
  6. Suigetsu (Sa)
  7. Suigetsu (Yu)
  8. Shamen (Sa)
  9. Shamen (Yu)
  10. Kobushi Kudaki
  11. Sune Kudaki
  12. Irimi

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.

  1. Uken
  2. Zanken
  3. Saken
  4. Keageken
  5. Ichiranken
  6. Irimiken
  7. Ippuken
  8. Meateken
  9. Utoken
  10. Gorinken
  11. Isseiken
  12. Kasumiken
Kusarigama training in Sydney

Isshin Ryu Kusarigama

A total of 30 kata divided into 3 series: Omote; Ura, and Okuden

Omote and Ura

  1. Ishiki
  2. Hagaeshi
  3. Soemi
  4. Mugan
  5. Jûmonji
  6. Furikomi (zen)
  7. Furikomi (go)
  8. Isô no Nami
  9. Tatsumi no Maki
  10. Midokorozume
  11. Ukibune
  12. Sodegarami

Okuden

  1. Mae
  2. Ushiro
  3. Hidari
  4. Migi
  5. Yariai (jo)
  6. Yariai (ge)

Seitei

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).

  1. Tsuki Zue
  2. Suigetsu
  3. Hissage
  4. Shamen
  5. Sakan
  6. Monomi
  7. Kasumi
  8. Tachiotoshi
  9. Rai Uchi
  10. Seigan
  11. Midare Dome
  12. Ranai

For more information refer to this Wikipedia entry.

Contact

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:

Willoughby Community Centre Hall
Cnr Warrane Rd and McLelland Streets
Willoughby
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
Boronia Park
Sydney NSW 2111
Instructor: Andrew Poulos

Tuesday 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
North Sydney:

Police Citizens Youth Club
224-230 Falcon Street
North Sydney
Sydney NSW 2060
Instructor: Michael Yates

Fees

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.

News

End Start Dates

The last training for the year is Saturday 15th December, 2018.

The first training for the new year is Saturday 5th January, 2019.

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additional Information

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