Thread: 31 jo kata
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Old 02-25-2002, 02:09 PM   #2
Greg Jennings
Dojo: S&G BJJ
Location: Springboro, OH
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 1,125
Re: 31 jo kata

Originally posted by kowey
First Issue
Follow along here (

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

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Greg Jennings
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