New Schedule and Location for 2016

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Jodori or jonage?

In aikido there comes a point where we begin playing with sticks (called jo).  There are a couple of major practices modes that we play with called jodori (in which we are taking a stick away from an attacker) and jonage or jotsukai (in which we are throwing an attacker that has grabbed our stick).
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Somewhere around second or third degree black belt we begin playing with jodori and jonage in these sets of techniques that are included in Koryu Dai San and Koryu dai Roku.  There are a few of each sort of technique scattered between these two kata.  But I have a bit of a problem with this sort of stick practice, and my problem is sort of hard to articulate.
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Suppose for instance, I am tori and I am doing jodori.  Uke stabs the stick at me and I step aside and parry or grab it.  At this point my problem comes in... when we are both touching the stick, whose stick is it?  Does the stick belong to uke and tori is trying to take it away or does the stick belong to tori and he is trying to prevent uke from taking it away?  Are we working within the set of jodori like we originally thought, or might I just as well sidestep, grab the stick, and consider myself to be in the set of jonage (throwing uke off of my new stick)?
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If uke stabs the stick at me I can do the jodori techniques or I can grab the stick, take ownership of it, and then do the jonage techniques.
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The division between these two practice modes is arbitrary, and I generally don't do well with arbitrary.
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Rather than learning (for instance) 8 ways I can take a stick from an attacker and 8 ways I can keep an attacker from taking a stick from me, I'd rather just do stick-aiki.  I want to be able to flow into and out of these two technical ranges freely and appropriately instead of learning 16 new things and having to select which one of the 16 is appropriate at any given moment.
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I want to be able to do real randori, pitting the jodori ideas against the jonage ideas.
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Does that make sense?
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If so, perhaps you should come play with us this weekend at the Aiki Buddies Gathering, because that is some of the material that I want to work on.

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Patrick Parker
www.mokurendojo.com