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Technical Description

The Japanese sword is renowned for its sharpness, and it poses an obvious threat to someone armed with only a wooden stick. Nonetheless, the jo has some advantages of its own that make it possible for a well-trained user to defeat a swordsman.

First is extra length. At about 128 cm (50 inches) in length, a jo is 20 to 30 centimeters (7 to 12 inches) longer than most swords. This extra length makes it possible for the user to attack the swordsman while staying out of range. Second is lighter weight. The jo, being made of wood, is half the weight of a sword, and can be wielded with greater speed and acceleration. Third is the jos different kind of strength. Historically, the Japanese made jo using Japanese White Oak (Shiro Kashi), but today, jo are increasingly made using American hardwoods such as ipe (Tabebuia spp.) and hickory (Carya spp.). regardless of species, it is unlikely that a sword will cut cleanly through a hardwood stick held at an angle. Fourth is the different grip. The sticks extra length allows its user to hold his hands farther apart than the swordsman, thereby giving the jo user an advantage in power and leverage. Moreover, the user of the jo does not need to worry about cutting himself. Consequently, he can change his grip from one end of the weapon to the other or slide the weapon through his fingers. Fifth, a jo is a very flexible weapon that can be used in an almost infinite number of ways, As an axiom of SMR puts it, Cut like a sword, thrust like a spear, sweep like a naginata. Twelve fundamental movements (kihon) make up the core of jodo practice: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. Honte uchi (basic strike) Gyakute uchi (reverse-handed strike) Hikiotoshi uchi (pull and drop strike) Kaeshi tsuki (flip over thrust) Gyakute tsuki (reverse-handed thrust) Maki otoshi (winding drop) Kuritsuke (roll and trap down) Kurihanashi (roll and release) Tai Atari (body check) Tsuki hazushi uchi (turn aside a thrust and strike) Do braai uchi (sweep aside a torso cut and strike) Tai hazushi uchi (step back and strike)

These twelve movements are put together in various ways to make up the kata of SMR and ZNKR jodo. SMR and ZNKR jodo kata are performed by two people. The person using the wooden sword (bokuto) is called uchidachi (striking sword), while the person using the jo is called shijo literally, the person using a jo. During practice, participants usually change roles numerous times, but during formal events the sword wielder is the senior of the pair. Jodo training clothing (keikogi) consists of the same clothing as is worn in kendo, namely the woven tuni (uwagi) and split skirt (hakama); standard colors are indigo or white. Jodo Kyohan by Kaminoda Tsunemori and Nakashima Asakichi Apparently, THE book, but not in PDF form or disseminated on internet.