Re: Jo Training
Aiki ken, aiki jo ...even aiki rolled up newspaper.
All of these weapons are just an extension of tai jutsu work.
If there is a difference then at least 1 will not be aikido.
They provide opportunities to develop kamae, maai, shisei, kokyu, irimi, tenkan, tai sabaki, kokyu-ryoku and any other bases appropriate to any style of aikido.
They provide opportunities for Tori to apply yang to ukes ying or ying to ukes yang. In short...blending.
The differences in the properties of the tools require adjustments to these bases...eg maai..distance becomes more critical when you are only 4 feet from a sword weilding uke. Empty handed uke would make this a safer distance.
Bokken has a cutting, slicing action that gives it extra features to work with. Jo can be used from either end. Rolled up newspaper can be jammed up ukes snout from close range in James Bond fashion...
These differences enhance practice but it should still be aikido whether with or without weapons.
Iwama ryu is an excellent suggestion for weapons practice since this is their speciality as handed down by Saito Sensei.
However they do not have a monopoly on weapons and you can find that if your practice is more flowing embodying spiral movement then some adaptation to align the 2 may be required as you reach higher levels of understanding and ability.
A good starting place none the less.
Just my thoughts ....Cheers!