Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Seitei jo kihon in 31 jo kata

Jo and aikido go together like peas and carrots. But what kind of jo?  There are several jo systems that various aikido classes use as an adjunct to aikido, including
  • Shindo Muso-ryu Jojutsu (developed feudally)
  • ZNKR Seitei Jo (developed 1968)
  • aikijo and aikiken (developed pre-war by Ueshiba and formalized in 1973 by Saito)
One distinctive feature of Aikijo is its pair of extended, solo kata titled (uncreatively) the 31-step kata and the 13-step kata.  Seitei Jo does not have this sort of prolonged solo forms and from what very little I've seen of the Koryu Jo, neither do they. 
31-jo kata is interesting as an exercise when you do not have a partner because it provides a method of practicing some of the same kihon as found in Seitei Jo - but within a context of aiki-like movement.  The Seiteijo kihon that are easiest to identify in 31-jo kata include:
  • tsuki (both honte and gyakute)
  • honteuchi
  • gyakuteuchi
  • hikiotoshi uchi
  • kaeshizuki
  • gyakutezuki
  • makiotoshi
  • kuritsuki
  • kurihanashi
More kihon analogous to stuff in Seitei Jo are probably in 31-jo kata but I just haven't been able to find them yet.  In any case, 31-jo kata makes for an interesting solo exercise when you don't have a jo partner available to help keep your jo skills honed.
[photo courtesy of Quemando Chirucas]
Patrick Parker
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