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Old 10-12-2011, 07:05 AM   #1
Commander13CnC3
Dojo: Greensboro Kodokan Aikido Dojo
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Jo vs. Bo

Any reason why Aikido focuses on the Jo instead of the Bo staff? I enjoy both and I can see the reason for our dojo (very low roof ) but I never see any techniques with bo staff.
I'm sure many techniques would work both ways, but is there a reason behind Jo- only? Or am I not looking hard enough?

Though only one enemy calls you out
Be on your best guard.
To deal with one adversary in the spirit of facing ten thousand
Is the Way of the Warrior.
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:16 AM   #2
kewms
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Re: Jo vs. Bo

O Sensei himself did quite a bit of bo practice. But it's kind of an awkward weapon unless you have lots of space.

Katherine
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Old 10-12-2011, 12:17 PM   #3
azrielg
Dojo: Shobu of Boston
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Re: Jo vs. Bo

I'm also a big fan of bo and I think it has distinct benefits over jo for training. However, bo staves are harder to transport and practicing with them takes up more space on the mat.

On a side note, are you familiar with Tom Read sensei's staff work? There are a few videos of his stuff on youtube.

Last edited by azrielg : 10-12-2011 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 10-13-2011, 07:19 AM   #4
lbb
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Re: Jo vs. Bo

Quote:
Jesse Dollarhite wrote: View Post
Any reason why Aikido focuses on the Jo instead of the Bo staff?
They've got different roots. The bo's origins are Okinawan (ryukyu kobujutsu), the jo styles are Japanese and originated with Muso Gonnosuke. In other words, one is Japanese and one is not.
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Old 10-13-2011, 07:31 AM   #5
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Jo vs. Bo

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
They've got different roots. The bo's origins are Okinawan (ryukyu kobujutsu), the jo styles are Japanese and originated with Muso Gonnosuke. In other words, one is Japanese and one is not.
Not really.

There is bōjutsu in japanese schools not related to okinawan styles.

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Old 10-13-2011, 07:35 AM   #6
grondahl
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Re: Jo vs. Bo

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
They've got different roots. The bo's origins are Okinawan (ryukyu kobujutsu), the jo styles are Japanese and originated with Muso Gonnosuke. In other words, one is Japanese and one is not.
Bo is actually a weapon used in some of the oldest existing koryu, like TSKSR and Takenouchi-ryū.
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Old 10-13-2011, 07:35 AM   #7
John A Butz
Dojo: Itten Dojo, Enola PA
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Re: Jo vs. Bo

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
They've got different roots. The bo's origins are Okinawan (ryukyu kobujutsu), the jo styles are Japanese and originated with Muso Gonnosuke. In other words, one is Japanese and one is not.
Mary, the bo is a prominent part of a number of purely Japanese traditions. Several schools of naginata have bo in their curriculum, as do other koryu, including Yagyu Shingan Ryu and Hontai Yoshin Ryu.

Gonnsuke was a practicioner of Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu, and legend has it he fought Mushashi in a practice match using his bo, only to be defeated. After meditating on this in the mountains, he cut the bo down to the size of a jo and went back to have a rematch and to found Shinto Muso Ryu.

So, while the Okinawan systems definitly do have unique and distinctive bo work, the purely Japanese systems do as well.

Respectfully,
--John A Butz
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Old 10-13-2011, 10:27 AM   #8
Gerardo Torres
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Re: Jo vs. Bo

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
They've got different roots. The bo's origins are Okinawan (ryukyu kobujutsu), the jo styles are Japanese and originated with Muso Gonnosuke. In other words, one is Japanese and one is not.
I believe there have been jojutsu arts preceding Muso Gonnosuke's. Perhaps the use of the same kind of wooden stick we use for jo practice today started or was popularized with his art, but combative use of a "staff" (not limited to a wooden stick) or jojutsu didn't necessarily start with him.
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:35 PM   #9
Andrew S
 
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Re: Jo vs. Bo

Since Aikido's jo originates from a) spear techniques (most likely Hozoin-ryu as a core) and b) bayonet fighting (which contains a lot of spear-derived methodology), it is unrelated to Muso Shindo Ryu.
As others have posted, the jo is easily transportable, easier and cheaper to obtain than a bo, yari or juken, and takes up less practice space in the dojo.
A couple of weeks ago I did some kumijo with one of us using a bo. Certainly the jo vs. bo required an adjustment of maai, but the techniques could all be done.

Someday I hope to be able to afford a practice juken and yari, just to expand on my understanding of jo.

Warning: Do not bend, fold or otherwise abuse... until we get to the dojo..


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Old 10-13-2011, 02:22 PM   #10
phitruong
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Re: Jo vs. Bo

didn't know that Bo knows jo! *sorry couldn't help meself*

played with bo and jo. kinda like the jo meself for its maneuverability, since i am kinda short. the bo is a bit long for me, but i could use it, not a problem either way.

i kinda like this quote "one mind, any weapon".
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Old 10-13-2011, 04:58 PM   #11
Commander13CnC3
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Re: Jo vs. Bo

Good reasons! Good reasons!
Thanks guys

Though only one enemy calls you out
Be on your best guard.
To deal with one adversary in the spirit of facing ten thousand
Is the Way of the Warrior.
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Old 10-14-2011, 12:23 PM   #12
Larry Feldman
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Re: Jo vs. Bo

John's Musashi story is the historical reason. The Bo had to be shortened to counter the quicker strike of a bokken.

The shorrter length also lets the Jo be swung like a bokken.
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:06 AM   #13
lbb
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Re: Jo vs. Bo

Quote:
Larry Feldman wrote: View Post
John's Musashi story is the historical reason. The Bo had to be shortened to counter the quicker strike of a bokken..
And, duh, I even knew that story, too.
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:34 PM   #14
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Jo vs. Bo

Quote:
Jesse Dollarhite wrote: View Post
Any reason why Aikido focuses on the Jo instead of the Bo staff? I enjoy both and I can see the reason for our dojo (very low roof ) but I never see any techniques with bo staff.
I'm sure many techniques would work both ways, but is there a reason behind Jo- only? Or am I not looking hard enough?
This really has to do with the lack of a systematic transmission of technique in Aikido. What was taught by the Founder at any given point in time often depended on where he was and whom he was training with. If he had a student who was good with sword, he often worked on sword technique when he visited that student. If he had a student who was really interested in staff work, he would focus on that.

The Bo work of Aikido was really transmitted through the Shingu line via Hikitsuchi Sensei. The Shingu folks have several Bo kata in their repertoire, although I don't know how much emphasis they put on that work these days. But O-Sensei actually gave Hikitsuchi Sensei a certificate stating that he had understood the Founder's staff work.

Another aspect of the yari related work in Aikido that didn't get transmitted generally was use of the juken or bayonet. O-Sensei frequently practiced with that weapon and also taught defense against attack with juken. But juken seems to have virtually disappeared in post war Aikido practice... I am not familiar with any main style or teacher who has any formal study of juken in their curriculum.

Also, to the extent that Bo existed in the Koryu, it had a different context than it did in the Okinawan styles. In Okinawan styles there was an emphasis on making every day objects one could find on any farm into weapons. They weren't allowed to have anything which would be considered to be primarily a weapon so they developed the use of obects that would have other purposes as weapons.

But the samurai were walking weapons systems. It wasn't as if any of them would have gone in to battle with a bo... The bo work in the koryu is really about how the use a naginata or yari when the blade or point as broken off in battle and you are left standing there with a big stick... now you have a bo, even though it didn't start off that way.

George S. Ledyard
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