Kayako Ueda Sensei, 8th Dan, is shown here in white (right hand side) with the Jo, demonstrating Jodo in the Butokuden. Ueda Sensei is the head of the line our two jodo instructors follow and we are deeply honoured to train with her.
Jodo is the art of using the jo, a short staff, 128 cm in length, to defend against an opponent armed with a (wooden) sword. It sounds simple, everyone has a stick to hand, but Jodo is by far, one of the most comprehensive martial arts in Japan.
There are numerous advantages to the Jo over the sword from practical, tactical, physical and philosophical concerns. Practically, as the jo is a wooden weapon, it can be manufactured quicker and far cheaper than a sword, and does not require the same type of upkeep as a sword does to prevent rust etc.
Tactically, the jo is a more versatile weapon than a sword. It can strike, thrust and sweep, and do so equally from the left and right, as both ends of the jo can be used, unlike the sword, where the design of the weapon only allows cutting from the blade. As both ends of the jo can be used without impediment, the jo can be used in continuous and flowing fashion, preventing counter attack and doubling it’s offensive capacity.
As the jo is a dual ended and flowing weapon it provides physical opportunities not expressed in the sword, the arms, hips, legs and whole body is used in a bilateral manner developing an ambidexterity not present in most studies of the Japanese sword.
Philosophically, the jo offers a wider range of options than the sword in dealing with an opponent. The sword is a tool ultimately of cutting and killing, where as the jo can offer lethal force, it can be better used to ensure peace and the preservation of life. Within the densho (old scroll) of Shintō Musō-ryū Jo (a traditional style of Jo, practised by some of our instructors) it states, “Without injuring, the Jo can punish the wicked” . This is reflected in the spirit in which the ZNKR teaches Jo, “You can chastise and discipline someone, without injuring them”. This ability is perhaps a reason why the great swordsman Nakayama Hakudo once said, jodo was a ”national treasure martial art”
However, Jodō is not just limited to using a stick. In fact, there are several Fuzoku Ryūha (Assimilated Schools) within Shintō Musō-ryū. Each of the fuzoku ryūha retain a separate identity with their own history and tradition though they are generally not taught to people outside the Shintō Musō-ryū. They include:
Isshin-ryū kusarigamajutsu (一心流 鎖鎌術): This is a school of using a chain and sickle weapon. It is composed of 12 Kata.
Ikkaku-ryū juttejutsu (一角流十手術): Is is a school of 12 Kata using a pronged truncheon called a jutte against an attacker armed with a sword (katana).
[Kasumi] Shintō-ryū Kenjutsu (霞神道流剣術); is a school 8 long-sword and 4 short-sword kata, (including one Nito [two-sword] kata).
Uchida-ryū Tanjōjutsu (内田流短杖術); was developed by Uchida Ryogoro, menkyo Shintō Musō-ryū, as a way to incorporate the teachings of jodō with a western-style walking stick into a weapon of self-defence. It contains 12 simple and easy to learn kata, and is one of the most practical martial arts to study today.
Ittatsu-ryū hojōjutsu (一達流 捕縄術); is a school of 24 forms of rope-tying.
A dynamic and comprehensive art, with an extremely extensive curriculum, Jodō continues it’s long history with a new chapter here in Ireland.
It's really easy. Just come along to one of our training sessions. 🙂 Don't worry about equipment, you just need comfortable workout clothes, like a tracksuit or martial arts uniform and we will provide the rest. Our beginners' course is €60 for three months. Some people choose to train in one art only, others practice two or even all three.
See our Training Times and Locations below, to find out when and where would suit you. And if you want to talk to one of our instructors just click here to send us an email.
Our beginners' course has a rolling start date, so you can join any time. The beginners' course will run for three months from when you start, although we can make allowances for missed dates. Beginners can attend one or more sessions a week, how much you choose to train is up to you!
The beginners' course and regular training fees also allow you to practice any of the martial arts that we teach. Some people choose to train in one art only, others practice two or even all three. Your first session is free.
All beginners' courses costs €60. This covers you for three months of training, as well as temporary membership of the Irish Kendo Federation (the National Governing Body for Kendo, Iaido and Jodo in Ireland).
After your beginners' course training fees are as follows:
Jodo - Beginners
8 - 9 pm *
St. John Bosco Youth Centre,
Jodo - All Levels
7:30 - 9:30 pm*
St Andrew's Presbyterian Church,
Mount Merrion Avenue,
* Due to building restrictions, Saturday and Monday classes are unfortunately cancelled on bank holiday weekends.
The following are some recent clips from our seminars and public demonstrations.
A short fun video showing the members of Dublin Kendo Demonstrating Iaido, Jodo and Kendo. And some general fun behind the scenes moments as we enjoyed the 'con. 🙂
Ueda Sensei is centre, right holding the jo. This embu (demonstration) was filmed the day after she passed her 8th dan examination.