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Promoting Seitei Jodo

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  • Promoting Seitei Jodo

    How do you promote seitei jodo? First of all to other MAist and secondly to the general public who may be looking to take up a martial art?

    We have a bit of a catch 22 problem in Adelaide. We only have a shodan (ZNKR, that is. A couple of the koryu dojo do or have just started doing seitei). Now there are three of us, including our sempai who do seitei jodo and five of us doing seitei iaido (though one of those has expressed an interest in jodo). Now, because numbers are so low, sempai has trouble justifying a regular training time to his wife but it's hard to say "come and do jo (or iai, i guess )!" when there's no regular training time... So sempai's asked me to start promoting and recruiting.

    I was thinking of posters, to start with. I have a really nice kendo poster made up with a little bit down the bottom saying "also seitei iaido & jodo" but thought I could take that off and make seperate posters for all three (I need to get some local iaido and jodo pics first). Now, whilst I think the kendo poster is fine for both MA shops and community notice boards, I think having two different ones for iaido and jodo would be better.

    But what do you put on them? There is so much to jodo, it truly is very deep. But that only becomes evident after you start. Kendo looks exciting - you get to hit people and the energy is obvious. Iaido you use a sword and looks impressive and has a definite majesty about it, plus people like swords. But jo... numbers seem to be low everywhere. Last figures I heard for Australia, though they're a couple years old now were kendo:600, iaido:300 and jodo:150. Who of you started jodo before other MA or only do jodo? What attracted you?

    What on earth can you put on a poster that would attract people to jodo?

    What ways have you guys been able to promote jo and how do you make it attractive to other budoka and to non-budoka? How do you make seitei attractive to budoka already practising? I don't think just posters is gonna cut it but I'm at a bit of a loss cos most of our kendoka just don't seem interested and they're the most likely recruiting ground.

    Thanks for your help. I'm hoping this thread will help in the discussion of raising jodo numbers all over.

  • #2
    Good luck.

    Be careful on this forum though somebody else tried to promote Jodo but got told he was spammer.


    • #3
      I'm not trying to post jo on the forum. I'm asking how people on the forum promote jo.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Newbie View Post
        I'm not trying to post jo on the forum. I'm asking how people on the forum promote jo.
        Well, you'd think posting on Kendo World would be one way but other members didn't like it and shot him down.

        My suggestions

        - PR Video on youtube with your groups name added
        - one day free introduction course
        - get story in local newspaper

        As I said good luck.
        Last edited by dgilliespie; 11th September 2007, 06:04 PM. Reason: spelling


        • #5
          I think it helps a lot to know a bit about swords before you pick up a jo, which means having some background in Kendo, Iai or Kenjutsu. Jodo (especially seitei) tends to appeal to iai people as it's studied in a similar way, so I'd suggest your main target audience should be iaido clubs and organisations. Few kendoka want to do Jodo in my experience (new thread subject?), and it's very, very rare for someone to want to just do Jo without doing another sword art as well.


          • #6
            Yeah, I only started cos my asthma got too bad to do kendo for a month or so, so sempai said "right, jodo then" till it came back under control. But always thought it'd be "something i'd get round to doing" cos I did kendo and iaido (though only dabblind in iai at the time).

            None of us have a video camera but induction course through WEA could be promising..


            • #7
              Hi Newbie

              I have the similar problem here in the UK I'm trying to start up a Jo group and to be honest the response from my Iaidoka is slow to say the least. The best response I've had is from the Aikidoka who attend our Iai group. They already train with the Jo (be it Aikijo) so they are familiar with the weapon at least.

              So my advice to you would be contact your Aikikai & Yoshinkan Aikidoka and also try the Jutsu people they love weapons ;-)

              Have you thought of advertising a beginners seminar, all welcome etc?

              Hope your numbers improve it would be a shame to lose a Jo dojo :-(


              • #8
                Ha! Jo dojo. Funny. There are three of us registered as practising seitei jo under AKR and one other interested. And only one of our seitei iai guys isn't that interested. Yup, only five of us doing seitei iai.

                But anyway, there was one kendoka a while back at Christmas that expressed an interest in jodo cos he enjoyed aikijo so much but I haven't seen him since, unfortunately. However, I'm really funny about what might be considered 'poaching' from the other arts and clubs.

                We have an organisation here called WEA (can't remember what it stands for) but they run courses everything from a few hours to two months, from tiling to bush walking, to travel, to cookery, to singing, to languages. I was thinking maybe a day course/seminar of Japanese swordsmanship with an hour and a half each of kendo, iaido and jodo. But I'll have to talk to our state pres and the guys that would actually be running it.

                Great ideas though.


                • #9
                  Poaching sounds a bit strong, I'd call it improving their knowledge of Budo by experiencing other arts. Thus making them a more rounded exponent of their chosen art ;-)


                  • #10
                    Yeah, but you gotta go about it really, really carefully so you can't be accused of poaching. Last thing I want to do. I maintain that no martial art is better than another - just different (with a few exceptions, of course) and different arts appeal to different people for different reasons. Sorry, I just hate the "my fighting style's better than your fighting style" crap and don't wanna be accused of doing the same. Esp as we're on good terms with some of the other MA clubs.


                    • #11
                      Hey, no problem I totally understand your position. I've moved around a bit in the past and I can see why people get into those types of arguments. I think we've all had them at some point

                      My only thoughts are that you're not trying to get people to change and stop what they do already, that would be foolish. It's more along the lines of doing something that sits quite well alongside their existing training. The only issue here is convincing your wife/girlfriend/partner/cat etc that you now need to go out for yet another evening to train. That's the difficult bit

                      My main study at the moment is MJER and I found it quite easy to slip into Jodo. It gives me even more to think about.


                      • #12
                        My cat's gotten used to the kiai now. I couldn't kiai whilst training before - frightened the life out of her, more than waving a sword about. (and before one of the more protective boys jumps on you, i'm a lass )

                        I was thinking of posters promoting all three arts (cos we are under the South Australian Kendo Assoc and don't wanna get them offside.. well, seeing as it's my club and all) cos it's actually easier to promote them all than just one, and that way noone's nose is out of joint, but with posters at the uni gym notice boards cos they have various other MA in there and the notice board at one is on the way to the change rooms.

                        For poster locations I was thinking: unis, community notice boards, anime shops, Japanese shops, roleplaying shops, MA shops. I'm also designing a little bookmark sized flyer (so three to an A4 page) promoting SAKA with Kendo, Iaido and Jodo all mentioned with the contact name and email addy under each art heading.


                        • #13
                          Oh yeah, sorry I hate double posting but forgot to ask this - how do you make jodo attractive to people who haven't done it before? What makes someone want to do jodo?


                          • #14

                            We (at our dojo) made a decision a few years ago to not let people just drift in and start practising but instead to develop a waiting list and then hold a 6-week induction course.

                            The course was as widely advertised as we could with a very nice poster, all the relevant information on it etc etc.

                            In parallel with this we also realised that attracting beginners wasn't a problem but keeping people was and so we had the following process to eliminate those who wouldn't really give it their all...

                            1. You pay a 30 deposit 2-3 weeks before the course and then the remaining amount (30) after the 1st of the 6 sessions.

                            There ya go. That was enough to bring a 46-person waiting list plus all the people who saw the advert and were interested down to about 9 people for iai. Repeating that for jodo, we went from maybe a 20-person waiting list plus interested others down to about 12.

                            We did retain four people after the iai (down to one now after 4ish years) and four from the jo (currently down to 1 or 2).

                            What I think works quite nicely is that people immediately start in a peer group instead of being, for a period, the worse person in the dojo. A peer group is a powerful thing and I don't think detracts anything from the martial arts.

                            We ensured that we had an anticipatory 6-session lesson plan and revised everything every week and built upon their knowledge bit by bit (if you are interested I can send you the lesson plan).

                            The initial course fee was to cover the cost of a jo and BKA temporary membership and a bit to cover hall rental.

                            The thing is that will be people who will take it up, be brilliant at it and keep it going for the rest of their lives - provided they hear about it in the right way and start practise. You have to advertise as far and as in many ways as you possibly can.

                            This is a very interest subject for me, not least because it is now my responsibility to grow the number of members and dojos doing jodo in the UK.



                            • #15
                              Andy, a few questions - do you have separate weekly jo & iai sessions they signed up to? was this a significant increase in membership over the medium-long term and did you repeat this course approach? We've considered something like this, obviously not being in London we don't have the same catchment population but it's food for thought.