Jojutsu – Japanese Short Staff Martial Arts
Jojutsu (or Jodo) is a Japanese martial arts focused on the martial arts weapon known as the Jo staff. A Jo is a wooden staff about 4 feet long (versus the longer Bo staff which is roughly 6 feet long).
History of Jojutsu
According to Jojutsu.com, “Shinto Muso-ryu jo is said to be the oldest style in Japan for using a stick (jo) in combat. It was founded in the early 17th century by Muso Gonnosuke Katsuyoshi, an exponent of Tenshinsho-den Katori Shinto-ryu. Shinto Muso-ryu oral tradition maintains that Gonnosuke once fought Miyamoto Musashi, one of the most famous swordsmen of the time, with a staff (bo) in a training match and was defeated by Musashi’s cross-block (jujidome) technique. According to legend, Gonnosuke was dissatisfied with this outcome and retired to Mt. Homan, in what is now Fukuoka Prefecture, in Kyushu, where he engaged in a series of religious austerities, all the while contemplating the reasons for his defeat. Finally, he received “divine” inspiration about a new method of using a staff-like weapon, making it shorter (128cm) and thinner (26mm) for more rapid manipulation. He devised a number of techniques for this new weapon, which he called a stick (jo) (as opposed to staff or bo), that included the use of the thrust of a spear, strike of a sword and staff and sweep of a naginata. Factual documents of the style (ryu) are quite rare. It is said that there is a record at Tsukuba Shrine, in Ibaragi Prefecture, that reports that Gonnosuke was able to defeat Musashi in a rematch.”
Demonstration of Jojutsu Techniques
- Jojutsu.com, Historic Overview, http://www.jojutsu.com/historic_overview.php, Added – 8/15/13