Jodo, or the way of the stick, is the Japanese art of using a 4 foot wooden staff or Jo, to combat a sword wielding opponent.
Jodo training involves the study of basic movements and prearranged attack and defence movements. 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, coordination, posture, decisiveness, and focus.
The art 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 20 th century when it was transmitted throughout Japan, and more recently the world.
Training involves the study of basic solo and paired exercises and the 12 standard forms (Seitei Kata) laid down by the All Japan Kendo Federation or Zen Nihon Kendo Renmei (ZNKR).
At more advanced levels, techniques of the Koryu or original tradition of Shindo Muso Ryu may also be studied.
Whilst the practical applications of the art are obviously limited in modern times, Jodo remains relevant in its own right and as a means of supplementary training to any martial art or other activity. Regular training develops overall physical condition including coordination and posture, whilst the meditative aspects of practice also develop mental qualities of decisiveness and focus.
The dojo is affiliated with the ACT Kendo Renmei and students are eligible for internationally recognised grades issued by the Australian Kendo Renmei.
Gradings are generally scheduled for each term at the Kuroyama Budokai. Opportunities to sit for higher level gradings are held throughout the year in conjunction with instructional seminars.
The principle motto for Jodo training at Kuroyama Budokai is Kon Mu Sui Zan which can be translated as to cut as if cutting through water. It encapsulates the concept of moving so precisely that it is barely visible.