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Length of jo and stances

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  • Length of jo and stances

    What length should the jo be in proportion to height? When I am in hikiotoshi no kamae, my jo is only mm's off the floor at one end and the other end is in front of my face. Is that acceptable? Will it affect my techniques (new to jodo)?

  • #2
    You should ask your sensei for starters. But you're not tall, are you?

    What drives acceptable is the stance, not the stick. If you can't do the techniques because the staff is too long, that calls for a shorter staff.

    In hikiotoshi no kamae, your left hand should be around your left upper breast, right hand on your right upper thigh, and the jo lies something beyond 135d.

    I think there are threads in this forum that address this but the standard length for Shindo Muso Ryu jodo's jo is 128cm; there are allowances for shorter folks to lop off some distance (BTW I don't know if that reduction is standard, but I think it is).

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    • #3
      Hi there

      If you are doing Seitei Jodo then your jo will have to be 125cm I'm afraid. But don't worry, I'm pretty sure by what you say that you are about the same height as Shimizu Sensei (founder of Seitei Jodo). There was an interesting habit developed in Europe years ago when jodo was being introduced of the end of the jo being made to hit the floor in some kata. It turned out that these weren't actual technical issues, people had just been copying some of the shorter Japanese Jodo teachers who had to do this and it ended up becoming an institution.

      If the Jo only hovers mm above the ground but the other end is in your face then it might be necessary to swing the lower end out behind your rear foot a bit. If you make sure that upper end is about chest level then the rest will just have to fit.

      If you're doing SMR Jodo outside of ZNKR requirements then I think you are allowed to shorten the jo.

      Hope that helps

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      • #4
        Hi, that does help (both responses) so thanks. You're right I am short (145cm). I'm doing the Shindo Muso Ryu jodo covered by the British Kendo Association and according to the supplier I bought the jo from, mine is 127cm.

        I'll have a go at doing hikiotoshi no kamae with my top hand at chest level and see if that helps.

        I'll look Shimizu Sensei up. Maybe seeing how they do it will help my technique.

        Thanks.

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        • #5
          145cm? OK, you may need the shorter jo, I'd ask around, it's not like this hasn't been done before. I see it all the time in Japan.

          This lady's picture shows the basic hikinotoshi no kamae:
          http://www.shindomusoryu.com/images/hikiotoshikamae.jpg
          I can just hear my instructors now.... her right hand is a bit too high, etc etc. But see how the jo lies at about 145 degrees or so.

          This is not the problem typically. Even if you jo smacks the ground you can still perform the technique correctly.

          This where the problem typically comes up.
          http://www.shindomusoryu.com/images/ichimonjikamae.jpg
          There are techniques you'll learn later that involve grasping the ends of the jo so you can react either to the left or right, and if you can't maneuver both ends of the jo, you're forced to do things not in the syllabus to make that happen.
          (This is a great shot, but what's with her holding up the curtain? )

          So, check it out.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by MiddleEarthNet View Post
            I'll look Shimizu Sensei up. Maybe seeing how they do it will help my technique.

            Thanks.
            Check out these vids:
            http://www.youtube.com/user/SMRnagoya

            And these ones:
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fr4YB2iRNqw

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMcUgjz2oNY

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_XaLglr4RA

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irpwnE41ZVY

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Yonshakujo View Post
              145cm? OK, you may need the shorter jo, I'd ask around, it's not like this hasn't been done before. I see it all the time in Japan.

              This lady's picture shows the basic hikinotoshi no kamae:
              http://www.shindomusoryu.com/images/hikiotoshikamae.jpg
              I can just hear my instructors now.... her right hand is a bit too high, etc etc. But see how the jo lies at about 145 degrees or so.

              This is not the problem typically. Even if you jo smacks the ground you can still perform the technique correctly.

              This where the problem typically comes up.
              http://www.shindomusoryu.com/images/ichimonjikamae.jpg
              There are techniques you'll learn later that involve grasping the ends of the jo so you can react either to the left or right, and if you can't maneuver both ends of the jo, you're forced to do things not in the syllabus to make that happen.
              (This is a great shot, but what's with her holding up the curtain? )

              So, check it out.
              I wonder at what point she realised, it is lined up with the curtain .
              Anyway, I'll try holding my jo like that when I get home. I suspect I'll be able to reach but my arms will probably be at their maximum. I'll have a go anyway.

              Thanks for the links. I'll view those when I get home.

              Comment


              • #8
                Update:
                Well I attempted to hold my jo in that stance and I can definatly see it is going to be a problem. I could get my fingertips just to the end but not my palms which meant I couldn't wrap my hands around the jo like in the photo. Because my arms were at their maximum reach, it meant rather than clear above my head, the jo was touching my head (actually it didn't clear it - I had to hold it slightly behind my head) so rules or not it is too long for me.
                I do know, that the best size bo for me is 5 foot rather than 6 foot. Is taking a foot off too much? That then becomes a hanbo. I also spoke to my sensei so he is going to find out what would be allowed.

                And those videos were really interesting. I've added them to my favourites.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I didn't know that 125 was the mandated length for seitei... my sensei tells us that the appropriate length is what's comfortable to hold between your palms with your arms outstretched.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The seitei manual has specifications for jo and bokken (page 4 of the English version).... on one occassion I made the mistake of packing my koryu bag when travelling for a ZNKR seminar instead of my seitei bag (same model jo, different bokken and tsuba) - the lead sensei spotted the bokken across the room and came and threw the manual at me - literally - saying read it (it is always handy for them to have a living exemplar of badness so that points can be made in context and over the last decade I have enjoyed this sign of favour often). My SMR bokken has no tsuba notch and so the tsuka is usually not quite 24.2cm.....

                    Comment

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