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Thread: learning the Jo staff..

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    Default learning the Jo staff..

    hey all. im curious if anyone here's done any work with the Jo staff.. whether you use it in your Kenpo, or have studdied another art and used it.. recently i ordered a book Jo: Art of the Japanese Short Staff (Weapons Series) by Dave Lowry on amazon.. so im awaiting that..

    different weapons fascinate me.. i know some basic nunchaku, and bokken from training on my own.. Tonfas weren't for me.. in Kenpo iv been learning clubs (and absorbing information fast i think), and eventually knife. learning the Bo staff doesnt interest me much.. the Jo does because of the manuverability and different balance. can anyone offer advice.. or other books to check out?

    I'll probably make my own Jo, like i made my clubs.. how long are they generally?

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    Default Re: learning the Jo staff..

    A jo staff is 4-4.5 feet long, from what my Aikido friends tell me, it's common to have taller folks use a longer jo staff. I'm...not tall.

    What I was surprised to learn was that the width is really important. A jo staff is usually just shy of an inch wide...usually 15/16". Having a jo staff that is 1" wide makes a big difference...or so the Aikidokas would have you believe.

    I haven't done very much with weapons myself...personally I'm trying to clean up my footwork before I get more adventurous. However...from what little I have done, I enjoyed it very much. If you know anyone that does Aikido, you may want to ask them as well. Good luck and keep posting as to how you like it!

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    Default Re: learning the Jo staff..

    Generally the are about 4' in length. They should come up to your armpit. It was created to be slightly longer then the katana. Books are very hard to come by and the few that are our there are in Japanese. Although you can get a lot from the pictures.

    Expensive but good DVD's are Shinto Muso Ryu Jojutsu. You can get them at http://budogu.com/shopsite_sc/store/...roduct691.html

    Not sure where you are; but, if you get the chance to attend a seminar with Sensei Carl Long, try to make every effort.
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    Default Re: learning the Jo staff..

    When i studied Aikido we would work weapons one night a week, bokken and jo. To me, the bokken was more intuitive to work with than the jo. The movements of aiki-jo and the way that they connect to the body arts seemed more difficult to grasp and apply; where the bokken taught stance, footwork, and hand/arm/shoulder/hip movement, the jo seemed to teach extension...

    The style of jo we practiced was not the same as Lowry demonstrates in the book you mentioned. The style in his book seemed to have more striking in it, where we emphasized the tsuki (thrusting) techniques. I only studied for 8 months though, so my perspective is that of a novice.

    With regard to length, I was taught that a jo should be long enough to reach from the ground to your armpit. The ones we had in the dojo were between 1" and 1.5" in diameter.
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    Default Re: learning the Jo staff..

    When I was training in Aikido we had our classes set up the same way. Weapons were only one night a week.

    Having worked both the Jo and the Bo staff. I would have to say that I liked the Bo a little better but, that is my personal preference. You might see if you can find anything by Takahasi Sensei. (First name is Francis) His family was very integral in bring Aikido to the Mainland. I believe that he is still residing in CA. Awesome guy, Great sense of Humor and incredible to watch. If you get a chance to attend a seminar he is teaching you will not be disappointed.
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    Default Re: learning the Jo staff..

    First off, any weapon is an extension of your base, empty hands skills. So don't learn the jo as a seperate art as it will only confuse what you train for now. I'd try to extract the principles and concepts from your training material, see how they relate to Kenpo, and bring it all back to base. The problem you may have is that some moves require differnt stance and footwork to support the technique effectively. For example, engage the lead end of your opponents weapon with the tip of your own. Useing small circles at the weapon tip, you can unballance or disorient your opponent enough to create a momentary opening. This type action is best supported from a stance similar to Aikido's Hanme. A neutral bow doesn't support it very well, and generally leaves you floating from the start of the move. Combineing the move with a cat, however, can work.

    If you think of military bayonet training as lower level jo training you can get an idea as well. US bayonet tactics and moves are based on boxig principles and moves. This doesn't support higher level moves that require more finesse (it doesn't have to in this aplication), but is very effective.

    I should tell you that I don't train the jo staff. I have trained the bo, and worked a little with JMA sword and staff practitioners. And, with seven years in the USMC, I've done some bayonette work as well. So take the advice for what it's worth.

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    Default Re: learning the Jo staff..

    exactly.. the weapon being an extension of the body isnt a hard concept for me its just all the applications and pros and cons.. like chucks especially since they can recoil back, etc.. the sword you can only hold at one end, etc.

    .. for a while when i was training regularly with my bokken. i would continuously find the Kenpo (the opposing forces/push and pull in striking being obvious) in what i was doing.. alot of the footwork i could use.. which was awesome because any art, weapons or not needs good footwork. so it made me feel more a beginning swordsman rather than someone just swinging a sword standing in place

    the 'chucks are a wee bit harder.. not really my weapon of choice..

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    Default Re: learning the Jo staff..

    As a long time Aikidoka, I can state that the Jo is an extension of your body. Many of the positions are from the Hara (center, jest below the belly button). This generates a grat amount of power. It was explained to me as the Jo being plugged into your center. Like others calsses for weapons are usually in weapons classs. This allows the students to use the weapon as an extension. The extension theme is one that is a constant. I always liked the Jo better the the bokken. There are different ways to train in the Jo. I learned the Aiki-Ken & Aiki-Jo via the Saito Sensei method. This differs from the way Aikido Association of America & United States Aikido Federation train with the Ken & Jo. I felt that Saito Sensei's Aiki-Ken & Aiki-Jo is the more practical method of training.
    I have seen Kenpo persons from Mr. Nick Ciero's lineage use the bo, which to me looked more the size of the jo. But I looked more like competition. I really do not know this other then what I saw at tournements. Maybe that line of weapon training would be what you are looking for.
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