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Old 05-20-2005, 02:11 PM   #9
kironin's Avatar
Dojo: Houston Ki Aikido
Location: Houston,TX
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,035
Re: Ni-Ju-Ni Jo Kata

The 31- Jo Kata and 22-jo kata are basically the same kata with some variations in hand grips and movements. Both are supposed to come from O-Sensei. The difference in number being mostly due to the 31 count labeling every move with a count. The 22-count is a rhythm count rather than step count where every complete movement should blend seamlessly into the next (like shodo). The video link given unfortunately gives you no sense of that. Without understanding the proper rhythm, you might as well be doing a step count like the 31 variation.

You can find a step by step pictoral layout of the 22-count form in Westbrook and Ratti's 1969 book "Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere" but I don't remember if they give any instruction in the correct rhythm.

We also do a second 22 count form that was formulated by Tohei Sensei.

There is also paired practice variations of these. Partner practice in tandem like synchronized swimming - matching you rhythm with your partner teaching good awareness and extension, a paired of practice of matching, a partner practice where you are dealing with either one or two swordsmen with bokken. The latter practice is often one where the teacher takes the roll of swordsmen to help sharpen up the student's kata and give them a good visualization of what they are doing. Every move does have a specific target.

Kashiwaya Sensei doing this kata at his full speed is a powerful blur.

teaching tapes demonstrating them do exist.

and by the way I have been taught the 31 jo kata form by Bill Witt Sensei and Saito Sensei, so I have felt first hand the differences and similarities between the two forms. Neither one done correctly is just waving a stick around.

Last edited by kironin : 05-20-2005 at 02:20 PM.

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