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Shindo Musō-Ryū Jōdō 


What is Jodo.


Jodo is the study of effective body positioning and application of a 4 foot wooden staff to defend against an attack from a sword. The mobility, multiple striking aspects, and length of the staff make it a highly versatile weapon that gives a skilled practitioner an advantage over the sword.



What are the origins of Jodo.


The traditional jo taught in this system is the short staff of the Shindo Muso ryu which is approximately 1.4 metres long. This is the weapon which the founder of this system, Muso Gonnosuke, used to overcome the legendary Musashi Miyamoto (Book of Five Rings).

Beginners commence with the kihon (basic movements) and continue with the 6 koryu kata. Other weapons which are taught in conjunction with the jo are - Uchida ryu tanjo jutsu (short stick), Kasumi shinto ryu kenjutsu, Isshin ryu kusari gama jutsu (sickle and chain) and Ikkaku ryu jutte jutsu.

The Shindo Muso ryu is too dangerous for freestyle and is practised with a partner with a bokken, but well trained practitioners bring a focus and fierceness to their training which is mirrored in all old school weapons traditions, due to the life and death nature of their beginnings. These together with combative distancing, cultural understanding and upper body strength are the reasons practitioners of other styles seek out traditional weapons training.

I commenced my study of jodo with Paul Maloney sensei in Sydney in 1980 and, at Paul's suggestion, went to Japan for nearly a year in 1981 to study with Kaminoda Tsunemori sensei and Phil Relnick sensei. I returned to live in 1985 for 8 years and Kaminoda sensei eventually became my sponsor and mentor. Relnick sensei and Maloney sensei, who studied with Kaminoda and the late Donn Draeger sensei, under Shimizu Takeji sensei (the first to teach westerners) taught the traditional style with no thought of reward.

Jodo has its origins in 17th century Japan with the founder Muso Gonnosuke, a master of kenjutsu (sword) and bojutsu (6 foot staff). Legend has it that he developed the Jo as a weapon to successfully overcome the famous swordsman, Miyamoto Musashi. The art of the Jo subsequently became one of the combat arts of the Kuroda Clan based in present Fukuoka until the 20th century when it was transmitted throughout Japan, and more recently the world. 

The original Seitei Iaido curriculum was developed as a subset of Shindo Muso Ryu Jodo, a 17th Century Koryu (a term for Japanese martial arts that predate the Meiji era). In 1968, the 25th headmaster of the school, Shimizu Takaji, developed a more compact form of the art, called Zen Ken Renmei


What is involved in Jodo training.


Jodo training involves the study of Kihon (basic movements) both Tandoku (solo) and Sotai (paired) and Kata forms comprising both attack and defence movements.

The Seitei Kata are the basis of a system of  training that offers significantly challenging yet rewarding study.  The movements are often simple but can be very difficult to master. Ongoing practice builds the skill and understanding needed to perform each kata with precision and control.


Why study Jodo.


As with other Budo arts, Jodo is designed to preserve the ancient combat techniques, but with the aim of helping the modern student to achieve control over mind and body through repeated practice. Training develops timing, spatial awareness, coordination, posture, decisiveness, and focus.


What "style" of Jodo do we train.


Study at Kuroyama Budokai principally involves the ZNKR Seitai Kata and Kihon (basic movements).  For more advanced students, deeper study of Iaido is achieved through the practise of Shindo Muso Ryu Koryu.


Who are the Kuroyama Budokai Jodo Instructors.


Our Principal Instructors are:

Our Assisting Instructors are:

  • Andrew Thompson - Yondan (4th Dan)

  • Lee Walsh - Sandan (3rd Dan)


Who are the governing bodies for Jodo.

  • International Kendo Federation (FIK) is the internationally recognised world-wide federation of national Kendo, Iaido and Jodo.

  • Australian Kendo Renmei is the FIK recognised organisation in Australia.  It is also recognised by the Australian Sports Commission as the National Sporting Organisation (NSO) to develop Kendo, Iaido and Jodo in Australia. 

  • ACT Kendo Renmei (ACTKR) is the AKR recognised affiliate organisation for the development of Kendo, Iaido and Jodo in the ACT.

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