Jo dori and jo nage – O’sensei style

osensei-saitoTraining in the use of a wooden staff (a jo) for self defence purposes (jo nage) is an integral part of the syllabus for most  schools of Aikido.  Aikido practice also typically includes training in disarming techniques (called jo dori or jo tori) where the attacker (uke) is the one armed with the jo.  

Interestingly, O’Sensei’s technical manuals do not refer to jo nage or jo tori.  However, the 1936 manual Budo does include broadly comparable weapons such as the bayonet and spear. Those of us interested in O’sensei’s approach to jo nage and jo tori fortunately have access to the extensively recorded works of Morihiro Saito Sensei (9th Dan). Saito Sensei  (1928 -2002) dedicated his life to preserving O’Sensei’s Aikido as taught to him (much of it as a one on one student) over a 23 year period in Iwama, Japan.

In the below video recorded in 1986 and made publicly available by Aikido Journal, Saito Sensei Sensei provides detailed instruction on jo nage  and jo dori as directly taught to him by the Founder of Aikido. The instruction covers a wide variety of techniques (with a heavy emphasis on kokyu ho forms).  As is typical of Saito Sensei, his instruction is candid, insightful and martially focussed.  Some of the key differences between the Aikido practised by its creator and later ‘less -martial” incantations are also touched on.

Have a great weekend

Ian Grant
Dojo Cho
Aikido Warrior Dojo

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