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First Practice

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  • First Practice


    Since no one is posting here I thought I might try to start something.

    Jodo sessions are finally starting next week at my Kendo/Iai Dojo (After months of badgering, will you teach me Jodo, will you teach me Jodo etc etc etc).

    I start my first practice next, I have a Jo to start off with. I am wondering if there are any good books out there. I have a Micky Finn book, which I am not impressed with and a couple of others which appears to be Koryu rather than seitei (SP ???) and the other book seems to be a mish mash of the other two.


    Gareth Mason
    Do Shin Ken Yu Kai
    Last edited by GMason; 10th October 2002, 09:57 PM.

  • #2
    Jodo Books and Videos

    Gareth.....there are a few books in English but most in Japanese....check the following

    Kim Taylor....has a manual on Jodo....he writes the Jodo column for Kendo World

    Dave Lowrey has a book I think just called "JODO"

    The AJKF has some resources listed on their website

    Mugendo Budogu has some books and videos

    Good Luck


    • #3

      Thanks alot

      I will check these books out. From what I know of Jodo. I will need alot more than a books to help me get any good at it.


      Gareth Mason
      Do Shin Ken Yu Kai


      • #4
        Jodo Books

        I assume that you are talking about Seitei Jo Gata. The Finn text

        Finn, Michael, 1984. "Jodo: The Way of the Stick," Crompton, Ltd., London. 120 pp.

        is Seitei, poorly done; however, it was the first that I know of in English. Kim Taylor's text

        Tribe, Eric, and Taylor, Kim, 2000. "The Little Book of Jodo: A Goombas Guide to the Stick," Seidokai Press, Guelph, Ontario. 144 pp.

        is probably the current standard in English, a good book for the beginner.

        Avoid the Lowrey text; his Jodo refers to Aiki-jo, the Jo practice of Aikido, although you won't explicitly get that from the book, which is a point that highly annoys me; he pulled the same stunt with "Bokken," alluding to Yagyu Ryu Kenjutsu, but, in fact, it's just a flavor of Aiki-ken, the Bokuto practices of Aikido.

        There is also:

        Kreiger, Pascal, 1989. "Jodo La Voie du Baton/The Way of the Stick" (French-English), Sopha Diffusion S. A., Gland, Switzerland. 467 pp.

        It is expensive, easier to get in Europe than the US, and contains the first three Koryu sets as well as the Seitei Jo Gata in addition to Kihon.

        There are several books in Japanese including:

        Yoneno, Kotaro, 1997. "Jodo Nyumon (An Introduction to Jodo)" (in Japanese, edited by Kenji Matsui), Yudachisha, Tokyo. 222 pp.

        ___, and Hiroi, Tsunetsugu, 1999. "Jodo Kyoten" (in Japanese), Airyudo, Tokyo. 255 pp. (English translation of the text by Peter Boylan, self-published , Mugendo Budogu LLC,, 50 pp.).

        I personally prefer the pictorial layout in "Jodo Nyumon," a series of panoramic shots arranged vertically down the page.

        There are also two fine books in Japanese on the Koryu, both are very expensive, and one is out of print.

        Kaminoda, Tsunemori, and Nakashima, Asakichi, 1976. "Jodo Kyohan" (in Japanese, edited by Takatruga Shimizu), Japan Publications, Tokyo. 352 pp. (out of print)

        Otofuji, Ichizo, and Matsui, Kenji, 1994. "Tehshin Shoden Shinto Muso-ryu Jojutsu," (in Japanese), Sojinsha, Tokyo, 296 pp.

        BTW, Jeff Marsten, , of Highline Kendo Kai, Seattle, Washington, USA, has, in the past, had a ZNKR Seitei Jo Gata videotape available in English.

        Raymond Sosnowski


        • #5
          Lots of books !!!

          Thanks Raymond

          I have the Little book of Jodo which seems to be good, I suppose I should be able to undestand it better in a few months.

          I have seen the lowery one and was going to buy it. I might wait till after a few months, and get it just to have a read.

          You've given me quite a few books to go at there so thanks alot.

          Gareth Mason
          Do Shin Ken Yu Kai


          • #6
            Books, Tapes, and Training

            You're welcome. Good luck.

            I have a large number of books (and videos) because, not only do I practice, but I also do research, and write a bit.

            I can tell you from my own practice of Koryu and Seitei Jodo that neither all the books nor all the tapes can help you learn without the aid of a qualified instructor. Books and tapes are supplementary tools (and relatively poor ones at that); however, the teacher has the final say.

            I recently wrote an essay for private distribution to students called But It Does Not Look Like That in the Book It's based on an incident of a Chinese internal arts teacher confronting his own teacher with respect to T'ai Chi Ch'uan many years ago (FYI, it's a lineage that I belong to). The main point is encapsulated in the following:

            At one point, he [Henry Look] confronted Sifu Kuo, asking why the book [of Kuo's] would show one thing in a posture while in practice it was a bit different. Sifu simply replied that in this one particular picture it had been taken before the action was completed, that is, the posture in question was not quite right in the photograph because that photograph had been taken during the transition just before the posture was completed. However, those were the photographs that he had, so they were the photographs that he used. (p. 1)
            The art in particular does not matter; this applies to any book on any art.

            Further on in the essay, I address videotapes:

            The same argument applies to video. Was it a good day or a slightly off day for the demonstrator(s)? Interpretation of the action will also depend on perspective. Video as a 2-D recording medium (like photographs) does not effectively record the nuances of 3-D activity you will need a minimum of two cameras to do that, but it is still no guarantee that certain critical areas can be seen. (p. 2)
            The bottom line is: do not trust what you see in any book or tape. I reitterate: the teacher has the final say.

            That said, let me address the set of Jodo tapes by Mr. Kenji Matsui in Japanese available at Mugendo Budogu (I do know the owner personally and have done a lot of business with him).

            The Seitei Jo tape is Shinto Muso Ryu Jojutsu: Nyumon Ron. The Koryu Jo tapes are Shinto Muso Ryu Jojutsu: Jutsugiron Dai Ichi Maki. and Shinto Muso Ryu Jojutsu: Jutsugiron Dai Ni Maki. It is the first set of commercially available teaching tapes with the entire syllabus of Jodo on it (and the Koryu tapes contain two associated arts: Shinto Ryu Kenjutsu, and Uchida Ryu Tanjo-jutsu). Unfortunately, the Koryu Kata are quirky; they are neither Northern-style (Tokyo) nor Southern-style (Fukuoka), but appear to be some sort of hybrid. This quirkiness seems to have spilled over into the Seitei Gata. They are not the sort of tapes that I would like to see in the hands of beginners unless they are students of Matsui-s. YMMV.

            I would stick with the ZNKR Seitei Jo Gata tape in English mentioned in my earlier post. There is also a demonstration videotape in the "Nihon no Kobudo" series called Shinto Muso Ryu Jojutsu with three sets of Koryu Kata (although they are incomplete, that is, not all of the Kata are demonstrated) that is more representative, at least of the Northern-style (although the late Otofuji-s. as Uchitachi has a Southern-style Waza with respect to handling the Bokuto).

            Raymond Sosnowski
            Last edited by R A Sosnowski; 11th October 2002, 03:36 AM.


            • #7
              I agree

              Hi Raymond,

              I totally agree. With what you say about the teacher is everything. I found this out the hard way with my Kendo Kata. I started learing the first few Kata from my sensei, which was all well and good. I was obviously clumsy and stiff (I probably still am even after three years of practice) like all beginners, but being keen I decided to try and learn the rest of the Kata's from Ozawa sensei' book - "Kendo - the definitive guide". This is where I found out the main problem with trying to learn from a book.

              They rely heavly on the interpretation of the reader. Especially if the they are drawings and not photo's. I found once I got back to the Dojo. I had learn't the key waza etc. But there was so much I was missing, basic things like the transition between kamae (Sp??) and when doing suriagi to us the shinogi (sp??) instead of the edge.

              I am lucky with Kendo/iai and Jodo the the two sensei, and all the sempai I have, are all at least Sandan with a wealth of experience between them.

              So the need for books is minimal. I just read them becasuse like so many other people, yuo get so wrapped up in the enjoyment of training you want/need to know more.

              Thanks again

              Gareth Mason
              Do Shin Ken Yu Kai