Training Notes: Jo nage kokyu nage

Jo nage throwIn the below video Master Koretoshi Maruyama demonstrates and provides instruction for the Aikido technique kokyu nage where the nage is armed with a wooden staff (a jo).  This type of training is referred to as jo nage.

For instruction purposes, Maruyama Sensei demonstrates the key components of the technique from a static position. To illustrate how the technique looks from a dynamic perspective, archive footage of O’sensei (circa 1950’s) is also included. The uke in the  footage is a very young Morihiro Saito Shihan.


Technical notes

  • Don’t merge the foot work into one move

In the video Maruyama Sensei demonstrates the foot work in 3 separate segments – (1) enter with leading foot; (2) tenkan; and (3) moon-shadow the lead foot forward to enter into the uke’s space.  These 3 segments are performed as separate movements and should not be merged.  Further, the final projection is not executed by the nage until all 3 segments of the footwork are completed. The key parts of the technique (including footwork) are illustrated below.

jo nage 1ajo nage step 1Jo nage step 2Jo nage step 3




(1) Initial position           (2) Step in                   (3) Tenkan                    (4) Moon-shadow

Jo nage throw




(4) Complete technique

  • Don’t pitch back to “bow and arrow/sling-shot” the projection

There is a tendency when performing tenkan kokyu nage based projections for the nage to pitch back their upper torso after the tenkan movement, or to slide their rear foot an extra distance back. This is done in an effort to put extra power in the move and “sling shot” the uke.

This should be avoided. All it does is separate connection and give the uke an opportunity to counter attack. For further discussion of this point, including the correct way to enter and tenkan in kokyu nage techniques see Training Notes: Munetsuki kokyu nage (ura).

  • Use centre point of jo

saito osenseiMaruyama Sensei particularly emphasises in the video the importance of focusing on the centre point of the jo as measured between the distance of the uke‘s hands.  It is only by focussing movement of the jo at this point that the nage is able to not only retain control of the jo, but also move the uke’s centre so that the conditions for a successful throw are possible.

All the best for 2016.

Ian Grant
Do Jo Cho
 Aikido Warrior Dojo

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