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Old 02-05-2020, 07:59 AM   #1
Dalaran1991
Location: Paris
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ken tai jo kata where ken wins?

Hi all,

Could anyone point me to some kata of ken vs jo or ken vs naginata where the kenshi wins? Every ken tai ko or ken tai naginata kata I see, the jo ends up winning.

Now of course, a naginata is straight up more dangerous than a katana like a rifle vs a handgun so no question there. But a jo is a different proposition. It is only slightly longer than a katana though with the ability to extend / retract thanks to hand movement, so it's better at controlling distance.

However, the jo can be grabbed, the katana can't. And there's a long time during Edo period where various koryu schools develop techniques to use against jo. I find it strange that there's no anti-jo kata to be found for a kenshi.

Thanks,
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Old 02-05-2020, 04:20 PM   #2
Ellis Amdur
 
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Re: ken tai jo kata where ken wins?

There are actually very few extant jo schools. It really wasn't a very significant weapon in the Edo period. Furthermore, there was a symbolic valence in the use of the sword in uchi-tachi, as that was the core symbolic weapon of the bushi.

That said, here is an example of sword vs bo - Tatsumi-ryu

Araki-ryu has sword against bo and against naginata kata, where the sword wins.

I'm sure there are a lot more, even among the appr 100 surviving ryuha in Japan. But there's a couple of examples.

Ellis Amdur

Quote:
Long Trinh wrote: View Post
Hi all,

Could anyone point me to some kata of ken vs jo or ken vs naginata where the kenshi wins? Every ken tai ko or ken tai naginata kata I see, the jo ends up winning.

Now of course, a naginata is straight up more dangerous than a katana like a rifle vs a handgun so no question there. But a jo is a different proposition. It is only slightly longer than a katana though with the ability to extend / retract thanks to hand movement, so it's better at controlling distance.

However, the jo can be grabbed, the katana can't. And there's a long time during Edo period where various koryu schools develop techniques to use against jo. I find it strange that there's no anti-jo kata to be found for a kenshi.

Thanks,

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Old 02-12-2020, 09:12 AM   #3
Dalaran1991
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Re: ken tai jo kata where ken wins?

Thanks for your reply, I'll look into this.
It just doesn't make sense that in all ken tai jo kata in aikido, the jo always win. Did O Sensei have a preference for the Jo? Or just to make an emphasis on keeping distance? If so it still doesn't make sense as a good irimi is fundamental in aikido, and you need good irimi to enter into the blind range of the Jo.
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Old 02-15-2020, 09:57 PM   #4
jamesf
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Re: ken tai jo kata where ken wins?

Quote:
Long Trinh wrote: View Post
Could anyone point me to some kata of ken vs jo or ken vs naginata where the kenshi wins?
The rarely exhibited Sanshō #3 set by the late T.K. Chiba-shihan features ken vs. jō. It's divided into two parts. In Part 1, ken wins, in Part 2, jō wins.

(Sanshō #1 and #2 are both jō vs. jō.)
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Old 02-15-2020, 11:23 PM   #5
jamesf
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Re: ken tai jo kata where ken wins?

Quote:
Long Trinh wrote: View Post
Did O Sensei have a preference for the Jo?
I've read some Aikido Journal interviews with Ō-Sensei's direct students that claim he always referred to his jō as a bō. I've seen some theories that jō-length staves were used in training because there wasn't enough overhead space at the dōjō in Iwama for a bō. I personally don't find that to be a strong argument, as the late Saito-shihan records that most of their weapons training was outside.

My own conjecture is just that Ō-Sensei simply adopted the size of bō that his teacher, Takeda-sensei, preferred to use, who at 4'-11" / 150cm was even shorter than Ueshiba Ō-Sensei (5'-3" / 160cm). For added evidence: if you can find the Katō Shigemitsu footage of the Daitō-ryū bō subset in the gokajō set, you'll see that the staff they are using is suspiciously jō-length.

Additionally, there is film footage (2 or 3 different films, the Hawaii Aikikai opening is most notable) of Ō-Sensei using what amounts to a sharpened jō, and stories of him getting it out when he really wanted to make a point (pun intended). It is also known that Takeda-sensei trained Ueshiba in the Hōzōin-ryū method of yari (spear), but this was separate from the Daitō-ryū curriculum-proper.

Lastly, Ō-Sensei trained a lot of his students in jūken/mokujū (bayonet/wooden mock-rifle for bayonet training), and a jō happens to be about the same length of the Japanese infantry rifle of World War II. Bayonet training seems to have been mostly focused in the pre-war and war periods, but more defense-centric training (takeaways, mostly) seems to have persisted much longer (there might still be a few aikido dojo around that sometimes train with mokujū).

Last edited by jamesf : 02-15-2020 at 11:25 PM. Reason: grammar fix
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Old 02-16-2020, 09:43 PM   #6
Ellis Amdur
 
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Re: ken tai jo kata where ken wins?

The mokuju is sixty-five inches. 166 centimeters. A jo is 48 inches - 122 centimeters.Ueshiba's teaching of jukenjutsu was all prewar - he did not do so post-war.
Furthermore, prewar, O-sensei used a bo, according to Ueshiba KIsshomaru and according to his pre-war student, Iwata Norikazu, who maintained his aikibo practice until his last days.
Ueshiba awarded Hikitzuchi Michio a menkyo in aikibo - a complete e-makimono.

The use of the jo was, by best evidence, post-war. One contradiction that might be made is the jo of Shirata Rinjiro. However, Shirata sensei adopted the external forms of Saito Morihiro, despite the latter being his junior by over a decade - and within those forms, he 'inputed' his own understanding - prewar Daito-ryu.

Hozoin-ryu, which apparently Takeda Sokaku DID teach Ueshiba back in 1921, is still in existence and radically different from what Ueshiba did with his 'makura-yari' (the short spear replica that he used, which was, in fact, an enactment of Kagura-mae (ritual Shinto dance), For more information on this last point, HERE.

Last edited by Ellis Amdur : 02-16-2020 at 09:46 PM.

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Old 03-02-2020, 05:01 AM   #7
JJF
 
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Re: ken tai jo kata where ken wins?

Quote:
Long Trinh wrote: View Post
Thanks for your reply, I'll look into this.
It just doesn't make sense that in all ken tai jo kata in aikido, the jo always win. Did O Sensei have a preference for the Jo? Or just to make an emphasis on keeping distance? If so it still doesn't make sense as a good irimi is fundamental in aikido, and you need good irimi to enter into the blind range of the Jo.
I practice the Jo/Ken interpretations of Aikido developed by Nishio sensei. The Jo is -as far as I have experienced - always the 'winner' in them. But I don't think they should be considered waza by themselves. They are rather ways of exploring aikido empty handed techniques with specific elements enhanced by the Jo or sword. And as such it doesn't make sense to think of them as combat relevant training and thusly little attention should be given to their level of realism.

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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