View Full Version : Your reason for taking up Jodo
06-28-2005, 08:10 AM
Hi all, I just thought i would ask this quetion just to garner everyone's purpose for practcing jodo, in spite of the many other displines one can study (this is not to say that Jodo is superior to all other arts). Like, do you learn Jodo because; there is some finincal gain, it is very relaxing and puts your mind at peace, it has been practiced in your family for many generations, I was bored and had nothing else to do, I hate using swords so I use a staff, etc...
My reason lies mainly in the notion that I feel at peace when practicing and nothing else matters, except to learn and progress in the art of Jodo.
Please respond and let me know why you took up Jodo (if nothing else at least we keep this forum alive =D )
06-28-2005, 09:33 AM
I started with jodo because it is a good supplement to iaido, and because good instruction was available. My sensei in iaido is also a jodoka, and the same is true of his sensei. Of course, jodo is a fascinating study all on its own, and given the chance to study it more in depth, I wouldn't mind focusing on jodo exclusively. But as usual it's a practical question of having the time and the resources that are necessary.
I also like the fighting style of SMR jodo. My impression (as a novice) is that it is a very direct, no-nonsense approach. No fancy moves, just a knock-out punch to the solar plexus or a hard hit on the head! I can relate to that, as a descendant of barbarians! :D (Although I'm sure there is a lot of sophistication in the details.)
In jodo, you can start very early with two person kata (unlike iai, where these may be introduced at a higher level). This makes it easier to nurture the fighting spirit, and work on maai. And already in the kihon, you start practising kiai. Generally, one is able to experience very early on the effectiveness of the techniques, which is very rewarding.
06-28-2005, 10:41 AM
I was looking to practice a marital art around the time I was going to graduate school. I knew I couldn't dedicate 3-4 dys a week to Karate classes, but formal Jodo classes were held was once a week.
The more I looked into it, the more I found out how little people know about it. I like the simplicity of the Jo and the fact that it's not main-stream. It's been kept secret for much of it's history - so I feel fortunate that I am able to study the same way as generations before me.
As far as doing Jodo - it was much more involved than I thought (paired kata, etc.). It felt totally un-natural at first, and now five years later, the movements come without thinking about it - that's when it really became fun. I think you get more of the relaxation/enlightenment benefits as time goes by. It really is facinating the further you get into it - the kata, the nuances of the movements, the purpose, etc.
06-28-2005, 11:08 AM
All of the above.
My original reason though was after reading "Moving Zen" by CW Nicol. He studied Shotokan karate in Japan and in order to develop his time and distance awareness he was advised to take up a weapon art. Mr Draeger advised him to take up jodo which he did and he explained that it felt like it made him a well rounded martial artist.
I was doing Shotokai karate at the time of reading this book and decided that Jodo was for me. In addition to this, I believe that Jodo is unarguably an art based on real combat experience rather than something that might be dream inspired. The latter doesn't stop me practising and loving iaido however but it's good to practise an art which is easier to defend its background.
06-28-2005, 11:30 AM
Timing & distancing
06-28-2005, 03:34 PM
Wow these are some very intresting and telling responses-for instance I did not know that Jodo could help with other arts (karate, iaido etc...)-proably because all I do is Jodo but anyway... And yes I do agree that jodo is not as "popular" as some other arts, but for me that is part of the appeal and draw to Jodo, it's utter simpleness (just a stick right) yet profund complexity seems to draw many into the art of the Jo.
06-28-2005, 08:12 PM
This question is similar to what was asked for my Shodan examination, the following was my response. Certainly not the most indepth piece, but hope someone might find it interesting??
Question State the purpose of learning Jodo.
The purposes of learning Jodo are many, most importantly to me is the Jodo is a humble martial art that mainly focuses on defense against the sword.
The weapon is not restricted to one surface edge for striking but has infinite striking possibilities due to the geometry of the stick and can be used equally from left and right side. The Jo can be used to thrust like a yari, cut like a sword and sweep like a naginata and therefore opens the mind to a full bujutsu curriculum.
The use of the Jo as a weapon also follows the ‘life giving’ path as is taught in Taoist philosophy – injure rather than maim, maim rather than kill and kill only to save life. I assume that this is also part of the Shinto philosophy and was developed into the art by the monk Muso Gonnosuke Katsuyoshi.
In Jodo training we get to use in a practical or partnered form, aspects of zanshin and ma-ai in a manner that lifts the energy between the two combatants. Remaining completely calm whilst a swordsman is approaching with intent to kill is emphasized in Jodo and adds understanding to what it must have been like to live and survive in feudal times.
As with the sword, training in Jodo is a path in seeking perfection and as perfection can never really be attained it is a constant learning path and a source of refinement, both in body and spirit.
Yours in budo
06-29-2005, 01:16 AM
Because my iaido teacher also teaches jodo. I had the opportunity so I thought, why not?
SMRjo adds paired kata practice to suppliment my solo kata practice.
Originally I took up jodo to help with my understanding of the sword - I soon found though that it was eminently satisfying in its own right, which was just as well since it did nothing for my kendo and iaido except reduce the amount of time I spent training due to being busy training at jo.
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