Each of the following twenty suburi should be practised carefully and
with feeling. Breathing is very important and you should inhale before
you start the movements, allowing your breath to pass out of your
lungs as you perform the suburi, and exhaling sharply as you finish
the final thrust or strike of the suburi. Always check your posture at
the beginning and end of each suburi to ensure that you have started
and finished correctly. Good posture before and after performance goes
a long way towards correct posture during the suburi.
(Direct (front) thrust)
|This is the basic thrusting movement which is featured in
many of the jo waza (jo techniques). Commence in basic posture, hidari
hanmi, with the jo resting on one end vertically on the mat immediately in
front of your left foot. Hold the jo with your left hand. Reach down with
your right hand to grasp the jo near its base. Your left hand should lift
the jo as you do this. Slide your right hand down to the end as you bring
the jo to a horizontal position, tsuki no kame. Slide the jo through your
left hand back and then forwards, swinging your right hand up to the front
of your centre. Both feet slide forwards as you lower your posture during
this forward thrust.
|This is actually a counter to a thrust from your opponent.
Commence in left posture as for the first jo suburi. Grasp the top of the jo
with your right hand, thumb downwards. Bring the jo up in a circular motion
as you move to your left with your left foot, bringing your right foot
around to remain in hidari hanmi. As you move, thrust the jo forwards to
your opponents centre, your left hand on top of the jo. Expel your breath
explosively as the thrust is performed.
||Ushiro tsuki (Thrust to the rear)
||This is a thrust against an opponent who is behind you.
Commence in basic posture as for the previous suburi, bringing your right
hand to the top of the jo, thumb upwards. Lift the jo placing it along the
underside of your left forearm while sliding your left foot back beside your
right. Step back with your left foot, thrusting the jo straight to your rear
and turning your body to your left as you do this.
||Tsuki gedan gaeshi (Thrust with low return strike/sweep)
||This is the first of two combinations of movements
which incorporate the first jo suburi. Commence in hidari tsuki no kamae,
holding the jo horizontally in your left hand with your right hand at its
base, your feet in left posture. Swing back with your right hand to make
choku tsuki (first jo suburi), sliding your feet forwards. Slide your left
hand towards the front of the jo, and step backwards and to the right,
remaining in left posture as you push the jo back past your right side
through the right hand. Turn your hips to the left, stepping forwards with
your right foot, and bring the jo around at knee level to strike at your
opponents lower legs. Your right hand should be behind the jo pushing it
round to make contact.
||Tsuki jodan gaeshi (Thrust with high return strike/sweep)
||This combination introduces the striking techniques
which are to follow in the next five suburi. You commence in hidari tsuki no
kamae. Swing back with your right hand to perform choku tsuki, sliding your
feet forwards. Move backwards and to the right, still in hidari hanmi,
bringing the jo up to protect your head (sliding your right hand up to your
left). Turn it over your head to the striking position in preparation for
shomen uchi strike (right wrist twists, left hand moves to end of Jo). The
strike is performed by swinging the jo in an arc over your head and down
onto your opponent as you step forwards with your right foot.
||Shomen uchikomi (Front strike, with stepping back)
||Commence in right posture holding the jo in front of
you with your left hand at the end of the jo and your right hand a quarter
of the way up. Step back with your right foot, raising the jo above your
head, pointing it towards the ceiling and angled slightly back. As you step
forwards with your right foot, bring your hands down and forwards, striking
with the jo to your opponents centre.
||Renzoku uchikomi (Continuous front strikes)
||Commence in right posture and perform shomen uchi
komi (sixth jo suburi). Having performed the strike in right posture, move
your weight forwards on to your right foot and bring your hands up to the
front of, and just above, your head with the jo pointing to your right. Step
forwards with your left foot, turning your hips into left posture. Bring the
jo round to extend behind you and make hidari shomen uchi to complete the
||Menuchi gedan gaeshi (Front strike, low return strike)
||Commence in right posture and perform shomen uchi
komi. When the strike is completed, extend your right hand to the end of the
jo, sweep it back to your left side and move back and to your left. Step
forwards with your left foot. Bring the jo round in a strike to your
opponent's knee, keeping your left hand behind the jo to give power to the
||Menuchi ushiro tsuki (Front strike, thrust to the rear)
||Commence in right posture and perform shomen uchi
komi. As the strike is completed, slide your right hand to the forward end
of the jo, turn your hips into left posture and perform a thrust to the rear
as in ushiro tsuki.
||Gyaku yokomen ushiro tsuki
||Commence in right posture as if you had
just completed shomen uchi komi, bringing your hands up to the front of, and
just above, your head with the jo pointing to your right. Step forwards with
your left foot and perform hidari shomen uchi. Slide your left hand to the
front end of the jo, turning your hips further into left posture and perform
ushiro tsuki to your right side at chest level.
||Katate gedan gaeshi (One handed, low to high strike/sweep)
||This is the first of the suburi which features
one-hand grip and uses wrist movement for successful completion. Commence in
hidari tsuki no kamae, sliding your left hand to the forward end of the jo.
Push the jo back through your right hand, bringing your body back and to the
right as in the fourth suburi. Both hands should now be at the forward end
of the jo. Take a long step forward with your right foot, sweeping the jo
forwards across an imaginary opponent's face, holding it with your right
hand only and catching it with your left hand over your head on the left
side after the sweep is complete, finishing in a defensive
||Katate toma uchi (One handed far-reaching strike)
||This movement is used to extend the jo forwards to
reach a considerable distance past your normal fighting range. Commence in
hidari tsuki no kamae and draw the jo back over your head to your left with
your right hand, resting the forward end of the jo on your left
forefinger/thumb cleft. Draw your weight back onto your right foot. As you
start to swing the jo around with your right wrist, commence stepping
forwards with your right foot, swinging the jo at your opponent's head and
around to be caught by your left hand down by your left hip.
||Katate hachi no ji gaeshi (One handed figure "eight" strike)
||This incorporates a double wrist action to
loosen your wrist and serves as the precursor to the hasso techniques that
will follow. Commence in left posture. Hold the jo in your right hand on
your right side, the end resting on the mat. Turn your wrist forwards,
raising the jo and, while stepping forwards with the right foot, sweep the
jo across your imaginary opponent's face. catch the jo high on your left
side in your open left hand. Swing your hips back to the right, changing
posture into hidari hanmi while stepping back with your right foot as you
push the jo across to your right with your left hand. Spin it around your
right wrist, catching the short end in your left hand, beside your head on
your right side.
||Hasso gaeshi uchi (Eight direction return, front strike)
||The next five suburi all incorporate the hasso
technique which consists of rapidly twirling the jo from a forward position
under your wrist and up to above your right shoulder beside your head, as
you do to complete the thirteenth suburi. Commence in ken no kamae, sliding
your right foot back as you extend your left hand forwards and upwards,
letting your right hand slide a little further towards the centre of the jo.
As you step back with your right foot, push sharply down with your left hand
on the jo to swing it down and up to your rear. Grasp the bottom end with
your left hand as it comes to a vertical position at the right side of your
head in hasso no kamae. Start to step forwards with your right foot as you
bring the jo up to your head changing the grip with your right hand, and
complete your step forwards as you strike with shomen uchi in right
||Hasso gaeshi tsuki (Eight direction return, front thrust)
||Commence as in the previous suburi twirling the jo
to assume hasso no kamae. From this point, extend your left foot forwards,
bringing the jo down to perform a straight thrust to your front. Slide your
right hand forwards and perform hasso gaeshi once more, bringing your left
foot back a little to finish in hasso no kamae.
||Hasso gaeshi ushiro tsuki (Eight direction return, thrust to the rear
||Commence as in the previous suburi by
twirling your jo to assume hasso no kamae. From the vertical, drop the top
of the jo forwards, extending your left hand to its front end and thrusting
the jo to your right rear (migi ushiro tsuki). Finish with your hips facing
to the right.
||Hasso gaeshi ushiro uchi (Eight direction return, strike to the rear)
||Commence as in the sixteenth suburi assuming
hasso no kamae. Turn your hips further to your right and strike down and
around to your rear with a round sweeping blow, keeping your feet in the
same position as they were in hasso no kamae.
||Hasso gaeshi ushiro harai (Eight directio return, sweep to the rear)
||Commence as in the previous suburi assuming
hasso no kamae. Turn your whole body to the rear, sweeping your right foot
back and round whilst swinging the jo in a sweeping strike to an imaginary
opponent who is standing behind you.
||Hidari nagare gaeshi uchi (Flowing to the left, front strike)
||These final two suburi are designed to help
improve your body movement as they incorporate a flowing combination of
strikes. Commence in ken no kamae (right posture), stepping back with your
right foot to perform shomen uchi komi (sixth suburi). As the strike is made
turn to your left, bringing the jo around as you extend your left hand
forwards to catch it. From here, take the jo back over your head. You should
now be facing your rear as you perform right shomen uchi strike to the
imaginary opponent who is now standing in front of you.
||Migi nagare gaeshi tsuki (Flowing to the right, front thrust)
||Commence in ken no kamae, stepping forwards
to perform hidari shomen uchi. As you complete the strike, step back and
round with your right foot, turning to your rear to block across your head
Lower your hands into hidari tsuki no kamae and perform hidari choku tsuki
to deal with the imaginary adversary behind you.