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-   -   31 jo kata (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1572)

kowey 02-25-2002 11:55 AM

31 jo kata
 
First Issue
---------------
Follow along here:<br>
(http://www.aikiweb.com/weapons/31jo1.html.)

4) twirly thing (right hand top / right foot forward)
5) shomen (right hand/ right foot)
6) shomen (right hand/ left foot)
7) pivot - strike (shomen?) (right, right)
8) strike (LEFT?, right)

How in the world do you wind up with left hand on top? I've sort of inserted a hand-switch between 7 and 8, but i'm betting there's something way more natural i could be doing.

particular request
What i propose is that somebody submit a revised version of the jo kata page with a short amendment at the end of EACH and EVERY step, with hamni and hand-on-top. Maybe this seems stupid because it should be totally obvious following the recipe(s), but i personally don't get my body enough to make it work right. A little extra notation like this would do wonders, by making sure we are really ARE on the same page.

Second Issue
-------------------
Is there some subtlety to pivoting that i'm missing here? It seems that i can do a simple blocking exercise fine, say happo-waza, but then you stick a jo in my hand and all of a sudden i've got my legs crossed in a pleasantly unstable position.

Third Issue
----------------
How uniform are jo kata across the aikido styles? Sure, diversity's good and all. but sometimes people say blatantly contradictory things. So i was hoping somebody might forewarn me to places where things simply differ, and it's not just me thinking too hard.

[snipity-snip... i had originally yammered on about nothing here... that made me embarassed, so i took it out]

Greg Jennings 02-25-2002 03:09 PM

Re: 31 jo kata
 
Quote:

Originally posted by kowey
First Issue
---------------
Follow along here (http://www.aikiweb.com/weapons/31jo1.html.)

4) twirly thing (right hand top / right foot forward)
5) shomen (right hand/ right foot)
6) shomen (right hand/ left foot)
7) pivot - strike (shomen?) (right, right)
8) strike (LEFT?, right)


You can find the version that I do at http://www.ysaohio.com/4thkyu.htm#31%20Jo%20Kata

I can also recommend the CD-ROMs that are sold via the above site.

You can best learn the 31 jo kata via learning the 20 jo suburi.

The 4-5 transition is learned in #5, tsuki jodan gaeshi uchi although the suburi version is from the choku tsuki hand position while the kata version is from the gaeshi tsuki hand position.

The 5-6-7-8 series is learned in #7, renzoku uchi komi.

Quote:


How in the world do you wind up with left hand on top? I've sort of inserted a hand-switch between 7 and 8, but i'm betting there's something way more natural i could be doing.

You don't end up with your left hand on top. From 5-11, your hands are in ken kamae. You switch into it at #4 from gaeshi tsuki and stay in it till #12 where you transition into choku tsuki kamae.

If you practice renzoku uchi komi, you'll learn how it's done. You go from the gyaku ken kamae at #6 to the shomen at #7 by
pivoting on the balls of your feet, raising the jo into jodan and striking down all in one movement. Impossible to explain, really easy to do once you learn the suburi.

Quote:


particular request
What i propose is that somebody submit a revised version of the jo kata page with a short amendment at the end of EACH and EVERY step, with hamni and hand-on-top. Maybe this seems stupid because it should be totally obvious following the recipe(s), but i personally don't get my body enough to make it work right. A little extra notation like this would do wonders, by making sure we are really ARE on the same page.

Wow. Too much work for me. I'll pass by referring you to the AVI on the page above.

Quote:


Second Issue
-------------------
Is there some subtlety to pivoting that i'm missing here? It seems that i can do a simple blocking exercise fine, say happo-waza, but then you stick a jo in my hand and all of a sudden i've got my legs crossed in a pleasantly unstable position.

Yes, there is a subtlety: Correct hanmi. W/o correct hanmi, you'll always have trouble pivoting.

Quote:


Third Issue
----------------
How uniform are jo kata across the aikido styles? Sure, diversity's good and all. but sometimes people say blatantly contradictory things. So i was hoping somebody might forewarn me to places where things simply differ, and it's not just me thinking too hard.

They really aren't all that uniform. The version that my dojo does is Saito Sensei circa about 1978. The version on the site I quoted to you is Saito Sensei, but a little more up-to-date. But it hasn't changed that much.

Best,

deepsoup 02-25-2002 05:13 PM

Re: 31 jo kata
 
Quote:

Originally posted by kowey

Third Issue
----------------
How uniform are jo kata across the aikido styles?

The Fudebakudo-ryu version is beautifully illustrated at http://www.fudebakudo.com/jo31.html

Sorry, couldn't resist. :D
I'll get me coat...

kowey 03-01-2002 03:06 PM

Re: Re: 31 jo kata
 
Quote:

You can best learn the 31 jo kata via learning the 20 jo suburi.
Noted... i was trying to do the other way round.

Quote:

You don't end up with your left hand on top. From 5-11, your hands are in ken kamae.
Oh... really? Number 9 in the posted jo kata page says "you begin with L foot forward, L hand on top". Would that be a mistake, or a stylistic difference? I'll try seeing if that feels natural enough. Or maybe i'll just adopt the Fudebakudo-ryu techniques, probably way more compatible with my current state of Aikido anyway.

Thanks for the help.

Erik 03-01-2002 03:24 PM

Re: Re: 31 jo kata
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Greg Jennings
They really aren't all that uniform. The version that my dojo does is Saito Sensei circa about 1978. The version on the site I quoted to you is Saito Sensei, but a little more up-to-date. But it hasn't changed that much.
Greg, I've seen the 31 kata done at least 31 different ways. Often it's something someone just changed around because they like it a certain way but I've also seen it done different ways amongst the Iwama folks and from conversations with some of them have come to the conclusion that there have been changes made. The version you mentioned on the link for instance is not exactly the version I learned.

I'm curious if you have a sense of what Saito has changed over the years?

Tony Peters 03-02-2002 01:27 PM

versions
 
What it should come down to is what does your sensei teach. I have seen major rifts occur, both in aikido and koryu, over "How" a technique or Kata is done. The movement may look the same but the exact details of how it is done vary by drastic amounts. What is correct in Maryland is totally wrong in Hawaii and vice versa. Ask your sensei

Mares 03-02-2002 05:42 PM

Re: Re: Re: 31 jo kata
 
I was under the impression that O'Sensei left us with a jo kata. And inorder to help teach his students it was Saito Sensei who added the count in. I believe it was originally a 22 count jo kata, but overtime Saito Sensei found that his students learned it best as a 31 jo kata. I thought that was how it came about. Subsequently, I'd be interested to know if other styles of aikido adopt the 31 jo kata, or is it just an Iwama thing and perhaps Aikikai?

However, I could have my facts wong.

Tony Peters 03-02-2002 07:55 PM

22 vs 31 jo kata
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Mares
I was under the impression that O'Sensei left us with a jo kata. And inorder to help teach his students it was Saito Sensei who added the count in. I believe it was originally a 22 count jo kata, but overtime Saito Sensei found that his students learned it best as a 31 jo kata. I thought that was how it came about. Subsequently, I'd be interested to know if other styles of aikido adopt the 31 jo kata, or is it just an Iwama thing and perhaps Aikikai?

However, I could have my facts wong.

Actaully the 22 kata is a Tohei sensei thing and can be found in the book Aikido and the dynamic sphere (it was first written and published during the Tohei reign). The 31 kata is a Saito sensei thing and came from Iwama. Others do the 31 and if they are old school enough (there are two such Dojos here in Honolulu) also do the 22...most don't.

Greg Jennings 03-02-2002 08:15 PM

Re: Re: Re: 31 jo kata
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Erik


Greg, I've seen the 31 kata done at least 31 different ways. Often it's something someone just changed around because they like it a certain way but I've also seen it done different ways amongst the Iwama folks and from conversations with some of them have come to the conclusion that there have been changes made. The version you mentioned on the link for instance is not exactly the version I learned.

I'm curious if you have a sense of what Saito has changed over the years?

I think it's just the normal deal of different students seeing different things.

For example, people have remarked that we do the suburi and kata "very aggressively" despite the fact that we intentionally use the 1987 videos as a baseline.

Also, my instructor learned the kumitachi and kumijo prior to the dissemination of the "start/stop" pedagogical method. We're just now adopting it.

Best,

Greg Jennings 03-02-2002 08:20 PM

Re: Re: Re: Re: 31 jo kata
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Mares
I was under the impression that O'Sensei left us with a jo kata. And inorder to help teach his students it was Saito Sensei who added the count in. I believe it was originally a 22 count jo kata, but overtime Saito Sensei found that his students learned it best as a 31 jo kata. I thought that was how it came about. Subsequently, I'd be interested to know if other styles of aikido adopt the 31 jo kata, or is it just an Iwama thing and perhaps Aikikai?

However, I could have my facts wong.

As Tony points out, I believe Saito Sensei says he's teaching the 31 kata as the Founder taught him. I've heard him say "...because we can't modify the 31 kata..." or similar.

I do remember him saying that the 13 jo kata was a part of a much longer kata but that he couldn't remember the rest of it.

I also remember him saying that he created the 10 kumijo. At first there were 7, then later he added three more.

My instructor never learned Saito Sensei's ken-tai-jo that is now being taught. I don't know if it was just never taught to him, hadn't been created yet, or just hadn't made it out "into the field" yet.

At any rate, we're debating whether to adopt them or to start on the ZNKR Jodo Seiteigata.

Best,

Greg Jennings 03-02-2002 08:42 PM

Re: Re: Re: 31 jo kata
 
Quote:

Originally posted by kowey


Noted... i was trying to do the other way round.



Oh... really? Number 9 in the posted jo kata page says "you begin with L foot forward, L hand on top". Would that be a mistake, or a stylistic difference? I'll try seeing if that feels natural enough. Or maybe i'll just adopt the Fudebakudo-ryu techniques, probably way more compatible with my current state of Aikido anyway.

Thanks for the help.

Hi Eric,

o The 31 kata that we do is the standard across all Iwama dojo and many others. There are variations, but by-and-large, they aren't major.

o In the kata as we do it, step 9 is an ushiro barai. The hands are as in ken kamae. The hands transition from gaeshi tsuki kamae to ken kamae at step 5 and stay that way through the gyaku uchi at step 11. Step 12 is nothing but a swap of the hands from ken kamae to choku tsuki kamae.

o I'm as certain of this as I am that my name is "Greg".

o I've never seen a technique in any of the aiki-jo or aiki-ken that involves holding either as in ken kamae but with the right hand on the rear of the jo; i.e., with the hands swapped. That would be _weird_.

o The 31 kata that you're referring to might be different. If so, well, as the church lady said on SNL, "Never Mind".

Best,

kowey 03-03-2002 08:37 AM

Wow... the thread actually had discussion. I feel so special now :-)

Greg and all, thanks very much. Having originally come from a Ki Aikido background, i am to happy hear that i was NOT deaf, i was NOT losing my mind, and there WAS such a thing as a 22 jo kata.

They seem to be the same in the beginning parts, though i do vaguely remember some bouncy bit on the step 6 pivot. I suspect a lot of extra steps are just clarification, like 1-2, we call 1, 3-4, we call 2 (1 and, 2 and). But i've only seem Ki Aikido jo kata all of one time, so don't count me as anything close to an authority.

Having practiced with keep my right hand in front on the #9 works tons more naturally, no need in insert random hand switches, so i'm pretty convinced it was just a typo. I suppose any further refinement, i'll ask sensei.

Cheers,

--eric

Tim Griffiths 03-03-2002 09:27 AM

Yes, there's a typo in #9, that's R hand forward.

Yes, Koichi Tohei's 22 kata is basically the 31 with a different count, and (usually) a greater emphasis on flow. There are lots of different versions of the 22 around, with different counting and techniques. There aren't so many variations in the 31, I guess because a) it's built from Saito's 20 suburi which most ki styles don't practice and b) there are plenty of 'definitive' tapes of Saito-sensei doing it.

Some dojo's practice both the 22 and the 31 as separate kata, as the version of the 22 they know is now far removed, and as I said the emphasis is different.

The version Greg gives a link to is quite an early one of Saito's. The description by Jon Diesch is a later one, similar to the version Saito does in the 1987 Aikido Journal tape. The main differences are in #9 (the later version is much more horizontal) and the last two-three movements.

Also note that Jon was describing the awase version, which is different to the kata itself (gasp). In the awase you end up one step further forward from where you started, due to #27, which is a backward step in the kata (and needs to be a forward one in the awase version).

There's also the different timings: Like Greg's link shows (with a regular beat), as if with a partner (including the parrying motions and allowing time for partner's attack renewal), and as a string of suburi (so that, for example, #5 and #6 are done in rapid succession - renzuko shomenuchi).

BTW, Eric - I agree with Greg - learn the 20 suburi.

Maybe there's a niche for me as a jo kata historian?

Tim

Greg Jennings 03-03-2002 10:02 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Tim Griffiths


...snip...

There aren't so many variations in the 31, I guess because a) it's built from Saito's 20 suburi which most ki styles don't practice and b) there are plenty of 'definitive' tapes of Saito-sensei doing it.


Hi All,

Yes, this has become a very fruitfull thread! Tim, I really appreciate you chiming in. Your input into the evolution of the 31 kata gives me much to think about.

Some thoughts...

Not wanting to seem pedantic, but I thought I remember Saito Sensei saying that the Founder created the 31 kata and that he, Saito Sensei, created the 20 suburi as a pedagogical tool to aid in learning the kata.

Same effect, though. I can't say enough good things about doing lots of suburi. Doing them in a mirror and/or video taping are a big help.

Quote:



The version Greg gives a link to is quite an early one of Saito's. The description by Jon Diesch is a later one, similar to the version Saito does in the 1987 Aikido Journal tape. The main differences are in #9 (the later version is much more horizontal) and the last two-three movements.


I've noticed the difference in around #9. I don't have access to the video right now (I'm on my server), but I seem to remember that the difference is an intermediary transition to hasso no kamae. That would be consistent with what's in the suburi. I.e., #18, hasso gaeshi ushiro barai.

Quote:



Also note that Jon was describing the awase version, which is different to the kata itself (gasp). In the awase you end up one step further forward from where you started, due to #27, which is a backward step in the kata (and needs to be a forward one in the awase version).

There's also the different timings: Like Greg's link shows (with a regular beat), as if with a partner (including the parrying motions and allowing time for partner's attack renewal), and as a string of suburi (so that, for example, #5 and #6 are done in rapid succession - renzuko shomenuchi).


The 31 kata and the 31 awase (aka 31 kumijo) are just plain different.

I had to mentally distance the two before I could learn the awase well (my instructor and I really wail on each other).

OTOH, doing the awase (which we put great emphasis on) greatly aided my execution and enjoyment of the kata.

Best Regards,

Johan Tibell 03-03-2002 04:39 PM

Re: Re: Re: Re: 31 jo kata
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Greg Jennings

o I've never seen a technique in any of the aiki-jo or aiki-ken that involves holding either as in ken kamae but with the right hand on the rear of the jo; i.e., with the hands swapped. That would be _weird_.

I have and I also train in an Iwama dojo, although it's a bit rare and feel strange. Actually we should practice doing both tsuki and shomen/yokomen on both sides, good training. Never seen the sword held in that way though.

- Johan

Dean H. 03-03-2002 05:02 PM

Now, I am just a beginner, but as far as the sword goes, don't Musashi and Saotome Shihan teach the two sword style, so that there is plenty of encouragement for the left-handed style (I know this is different than using left-handed grips during traditional right-handed practice)? Couldn't this concept be justly applied to the jo? Maybe this is moving away from pure Aikido.

Thank you,
Dean
:triangle: :circle: :square:

"In single combat, we can confuse the enemy by attacking with varied techniques when the chance arises." - Miyamoto Musashi in Go Rin No sho

Greg Jennings 03-03-2002 05:18 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Dean H.
Now, I am just a beginner, but as far as the sword goes, don't Musashi and Saotome Shihan teach the two sword style, so that there is plenty of encouragement for the left-handed style (I know this is different than using left-handed grips during traditional right-handed practice)? Couldn't this concept be justly applied to the jo? Maybe this is moving away from pure Aikido.

As you say, the two-sword deal doesn't have anything to do with reversing the hands on in ken kamae. Neither does "pure aikido". (I personally don't believe such a critter exists, nor should).

For various reasons, there simply is no left-handed sword work. I don't want to get into all the reasons now, but do a web search and look into it.

When I hold the jo in ken kamae, I use it like a sword. That's why holding it left-handed would seem weird to me.

It doesn't feel weird to me to tsuki left-handed. I guess I got used to it from the choku tsuki at the end of the 31 awase/kumijo (the uchi side, not side opposite the kata).

Best,

Dean H. 03-03-2002 05:19 PM

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Greg Jennings and his instructor Myers Sensei for helping me tremendously with the jo. My dojo has a 22 count kata, but Greg and Myers Sensei are teaching me the 31 count kata, among other things. I consider both of them very well-informed and very generous teachers.

I am enjoying what Greg and others are saying in this thread.

Dean

Greg Jennings 03-03-2002 09:54 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Dean H.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Greg Jennings and his instructor Myers Sensei for helping me tremendously with the jo. My dojo has a 22 count kata, but Greg and Myers Sensei are teaching me the 31 count kata, among other things. I consider both of them very well-informed and very generous teachers.

I am enjoying what Greg and others are saying in this thread.

Thank you Dean. I'm just trying to get you in my debt so you'll share some Yoshinkan and Sambo with me. ;)

Best,

Dean H. 03-06-2002 09:44 PM

Greg,

Sorry for the delay in responding.
I am new to everything, so I can't
really teach anything!

Next month, on the 19th and 20th,
Blok Shihan will be in our dojo for
a Yoshinkan seminar. Please join
us if you can. We have some exciting
tests that weekend, too, I believe:
one Nidan, two Shodan, and many others.

As for Sombo, that is a blast, a really
good work out. I know a few guys who
really mix up Sombo, Judo, and Ju-jitsu
with a sprinkling of wrestling thrown
in. Two of them are very good. I am a beginner, but have lots of fun.

Take care,
Dean
:triangle: :circle: :square:

andrew 03-07-2002 05:17 AM

Re: 31 jo kata
 
Quote:

Originally posted by kowey

How in the world do you wind up with left hand on top? I've sort of inserted a hand-switch between 7 and 8, but i'm betting there's something way more natural i could be doing.

I haven't read most of the posts, so pardon me please, but the order of doing things and the precise steps involved aren't really what's important (in my opinion and based on what I've read, etc etc.)
What's important is that each individual step is done correctly in it's own right, independently of the steps before and after it. You should search for a state where you're unconcious of the next step of the kata, that is not anticipating it.
Actually, if anybody succeeds in finding that state could they help me out and tell me where the hell it's hiding? I've been searching for over a year and nothing....


andrew

Greg Jennings 03-07-2002 08:08 AM

Re: Re: 31 jo kata
 
Quote:

Originally posted by andrew


I haven't read most of the posts, so pardon me please, but the order of doing things and the precise steps involved aren't really what's important (in my opinion and based on what I've read, etc etc.)
What's important is that each individual step is done correctly in it's own right, independently of the steps before and after it. You should search for a state where you're unconcious of the next step of the kata, that is not anticipating it.

You should, of course, do what your instructor tells you to do.

The mindset you're talking about is antithetical to the role of kata in the curriculum of our dojo.

Doing each step correctly: yes. But what is correct often depends on what has happenend and what your role is trying to do.

Not anticipating: sometimes; depends on which partner is currently controlling combative tempo.

Independent of the adjacent steps: again it depends on whether you're reacting or pro-acting. If you're pro-acting, you're always in control of the transition from the last movement and setting up something further on.

I suggest (not to you specifically, Andrew) the article on Aikido Journal by Diane Skoss on the role of kata. I also suggest the article here on Aikiweb about the Shu Ha Ri cycle.

I also suggest people reflecting on Shu Ha Ri in light of their societal atmosphere, their dojo atmosphere and their own expectations of what they want from aikido.

But then again, I'm just a country aikido-ist struggling to do his best here in a very martial-arts sparse region and shouldn't really be suggesting anything to anyone.

Best,

Greg Jennings 03-07-2002 08:24 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Dean H.
Greg,

Sorry for the delay in responding.
I am new to everything, so I can't
really teach anything!


OK, Share. I really enjoy the structure of the Yoshinkan way of doing things. A lot of work has gone into it as a teaching method and I'd be stupid to not capitalize on it.

Quote:


Next month, on the 19th and 20th,
Blok Shihan will be in our dojo for
a Yoshinkan seminar. Please join
us if you can. We have some exciting
tests that weekend, too, I believe:
one Nidan, two Shodan, and many others.

I'll certainly consider it. I'd be a fish out of water.


Quote:


As for Sombo, that is a blast, a really
good work out. I know a few guys who
really mix up Sombo, Judo, and Ju-jitsu
with a sprinkling of wrestling thrown
in. Two of them are very good. I am a beginner, but have lots of fun.

I'm very interested in how certain positions in aikido can transpose into more "down and dirty" grappling techniques (usually when I screw something up).

I think that it's worked out such that you haven't met Paul Cox. He has a shodan in a jujutsu style and trains every so often with a competitive grappler. Somehow last night (a night with a lot of honest resistance...I'm very sore today!), we ended up in a position where I unthinkingly transposed into one of those side chokes with an arm inside and choked him out.

For me, personally, I think it's a fruitful area of exploration. I just have to be careful as to what I label "Aikido" and what I label "fun stuff on the side".

Best,

andrew 03-07-2002 10:13 AM

Re: Re: Re: 31 jo kata
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Greg Jennings
But then again, I'm just a country aikido-ist struggling to do his best here in a very martial-arts sparse region and shouldn't really be suggesting anything to anyone.

Oh, same here. I was condensing what I remember of a chapter from a book on Jodo by a guy with a menkyo kaiden in it called Pascal Krieger, and the chapter was twenty or thirty pages of detailed writing. If I remembered the name of the book, I'd recommend it, but I don't.
My point is, perhaps, that the actual (quality of the individual) steps you do during a kata are more important than which steps are included in the kata... em, on paper, as it were.
andrew

lt-rentaroo 03-07-2002 12:40 PM

Hello,

Greg -

- You'll fit in just fine at Shihan Kevin Blok's seminar in Birmingham. I've had the pleasure of attending several of Shihan Blok's seminars over the years (Harmony in the Hills in Jackson's Mill, West Virginia). Shihan Blok is a great teacher, with very powerful technique.

The warm-ups may seem a bit weird at first (along with the different hanmi stance), but you'll catch on quick. Have fun!


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