View Full Version : Jodo and the ZNKR

Andy Watson
18th February 2003, 12:50
We just had a jodo seminar in the UK and were fortunate enough to have the guidance of sensei's Ishido Shizufumi 8 dan and Yano 8 dan hanshi.

Apparently, on the 1st April 2003, there will be a central meeting to harmonise the seitei jodo actually taught and that which is laid down in the official manual.

With this comes a number of small changes concerning reiho and especially affecting the movements of the tachi.

Yano sensei's intention was to convey as much as he knew about the changes before they actually happened.

Before everyone starts screaming about freedom of thought and style, this affects seitei jodo only. What people do in koryu is essentially up to the teaching faculty.

If people are interested I will post these changes as I learn about them.


R A Sosnowski
18th February 2003, 13:20
I think that it would be a benefit to the Jodo community if you were to post the changes.

Andy Watson
18th February 2003, 13:27
Oookay. I might be open to critisism for posting this before it has been officially released and there is the potential for this to change before April 1st (this isn't an April Fools thing by the way).

Here is the first significant one...

Shi Uchi Kotai

When the weapons are exchanges, the hands should be roughly at shoulder height and the distance between the exponents should allow a naturally easy exchange. Stretching the arms or bending the body are unnecessary. After the exchange, where previously the uchidachi would take one step to the left, now both exponents take a half step to their respective lefts. When they reach their starting point, they should naturally turn clockwise so they are both back on the centre line.

More to come soon

Diane Skoss
18th February 2003, 13:37
Thanks, Andy!

Please do post more. It is definitely interesting.


Diane Skoss

Andy Watson
18th February 2003, 14:14

Uchi Dachi Specifics

After the bow to each other ("Sogo ni rei"), the tachi assumes keito shisei. This is a sword carrying posture and does not necessarily represent wearing the sword in the obi which is taito shisei. Because of this, it is not necessary when drawing the sword, to draw through the hand (representing the saya) all the way to the end. One may draw about a third of the sword and then release the left hand to take hold of the tsuka.

When the sword is drawn, the right foot moves slightly forward and the sword is held in chudan kamae. This means the tip is approximately level with the throat and the extension line of the sword should be to the opponents eyes. The reason for this is that seigan kamae can have different interpretations depending on the ryuha. Now all chudan-like kamae's, including that before receiving hikiotoshi, are actual chudan kamae's.

When the uchidachi moves back during osame jo at the end of the kata, do not bring both feet together. Instead, ensure that the right foot is forward of the left, approximately left toes in line with right heel. As the tachi then retreats and returns to the original position, the same rule applies. Do not bring both feet together, keep the right slightly in advance of the left. As one takes chudan kamae for the next kata, it is not particularly necessary for the uchidachi to take an additional right step forward: raising the sword to chudan kamae may be enough.

I will personally caveat this now by saying that Yano sensei is of the Otofuji lineage. At a previous seminar which was supposed to clarify decided points on ZNKRSJ held by a Shimizu lineage sensei, we were told slightly different things.

Will this year's ratification really bring all the SJ teachers together? I don't know. It is probably just worth being aware of potential changes so that they don't take you by surprise at seminars etc.

More again soon.

Andrei Arefiev
20th February 2003, 12:47
Mr. Watson,

Thanks for posting these details! I'll be looking forward for more.

In about 3 weeks we will have a seminar taught by Ide Katsuhiko-sensei (iaido 8-dan hanshi, jodo 8-dan kyoshi, kendo 7-dan kyoshi) here in Moscow, thus there'll be a chance to see these for ourselves. Last time he was in Moscow (late in 2000), he showed us the two new seitei iaido kata before they were officially adopted.

I'll let you know what he says regarding these points.


Andy Watson
20th February 2003, 12:59

I remember Ide sensei from the World Kyoto Taikai in 1997. You are very lucky to be visited by such as skilled teacher.

I would be very grateful to hear what he has to say especially if it is conflicting with what we have been taught. If so then it will be back to the normal state of affairs (i.e. pick your favourite sensei and use his style)


Have a good time.


20th February 2003, 15:30
Dear Andy,

To chime in with my respect for Yano senseiís jodo...(I'm assuming it was the same Yano (Jodo Hanshi from Kanagawa-Yokohama area) as at your semnar).

Yano sensei went over the same points you mentioned with a Jo study group I was in during a 2-day seminar on ZNKR Jodo at the Edogawa Sports Center on Feb 1 and 2 in Tokyo. The seminar started with some opening speeches and such and then we all did the first few kihon en masse in the big gym together.

After that Matsui-sensei (hanshi--uchitachi) and Matsumura-sensei (kyoushi-shijo) demonstrated, in detail, the entire seitei kata showing all the important parts and redoing each kata multiple times and showing various parts virtually in slow motion and at speed for about an hour and a half. Each kataís method was read from the official ZNKR seitei kata manual and then performed.

Then for the rest of the seminar we all were broken up into groups by dan level and studied under one of the teachers. My group was fortunate enough to be led by Yano sensei, so I was able to observe his jo work up close for 2 days straight. He was very impressive.

And I do remember him showing the ending kamae, talking about keitou vs taitou, and, of course we were doing the mutual step-to-the-side shiuchi-kotai.

So, Andy, thanks for reminding me of those important changes. Hearing them again brought a very enjoyable seminar back to mind.

Keep stickin'


Michael Rogers

Andy Watson
24th February 2003, 10:54
Personally speaking I have seen this demonstrated the "wrong" way fairly recently by another high grade jodo teacher so it could be that this is also personal taste but I will share it with you as it did come from a hanshi...

Jo-Tachi Awase

At the beginning of those katas where it is required for the jo and the tachi to adopt an awase distance (i.e. both weapons forward with a 10cm - 10cm crossover), the approach and forming of the awase should be done in such a way that the 10/10 relationship is hardly breached. To simplify, the two exponents should not come to an unnecessarily close maai so that the two weapons can meet high up above their heads and then the maai corrected as the weapons descend. Instead, a one-step-one-cut (Ippo itto maai) distance should be maintained as much as possible and the 10/10 relationship be completed at the end of the approach.

Applies to:

Tachi otoshi
Rai uchi
Midare dome

within the seitei kata set.

The author takes no responsibility for you getting a b0llocking at the next jodo seminar for doing this "incorrectly" or quoting this as an authoritive statement.

Spoonifer wa ashigaru shika ja nai!

28th February 2003, 21:14
Sterling work from Andy on the changes being seen.
I was at the same seminar. I will be interested to see wether a unified seitei will evolve from the ZNKR, I have seen many differant ways over the years of executing each technique and while they all work or have a valid point, the main problem is remembering which Sensei does which style etc. And then showing them that I have practised and understand what they last taught.
Luckily over the last few years the Sensei I have trained under are all similar. So I haven't had to stretch the old brain.
Keep up the good work of getting this information out to everyone.
from Nashie

Have not got a witty line or saying to add to this message.

Andy Watson
12th March 2003, 16:33
Here is a link to the BKA website and the article written about this recent seminar if you can be arsed to read it...

BKA - Jodo seminar (http://www.kendo.org.uk/newsevents/misc/yanoishido03.shtml)

Lots of love

12th March 2003, 22:38

er, 'lots of love' - is there something you want to tell us before the Watchet seminar?


Andy Watson
13th March 2003, 10:35
Only that I am in touch with my feminine side.