Aikido 13 Jo Kata – Very detailed instructions for beginners

posted in: Budo, Kata instructions | 0

These detailed instructions are based on the classic video demonstration by Saito Sensei. However, please note that Saito Sensei himself did sometimes slightly change some of the movements at different times.

Please check with your sensei for any variations that may apply in your style / club.

 

The Aikido 13 Jo Kata – Very detailed instructions for beginners 

Jū-san no  jō kata

 

START in hidari-hanmi kamae (Left Stance) – also known as hidari jō no kamae (Left Jo Stance)

Hold the jo vertically with your left hand, with your hand in a natural position on the jo – about ¼ way down. The jo touches the ground just in front of your left foot.

  1. Choku tsuki (Direct Thrust)
  • Lift your left hand and bring it in front of your solar plexus. At the same time, take the centre of the jo with your right hand.
  • Drop your left hand to in front of your stomach and draw your right hand back and past your right hip, also at stomach height.
  • The jo will slide through your right hand until it comes to horizontal at stomach height, pointing straight to the front of the room.
  • Your right hand is now at the back of the jo.
  • Without stepping, use your right hand to thrust the jo forward, raising it to solar plexus height as you do so, without stepping. Let it slide through your left hand until your left hand is at the middle of the jo.
  • The jo is still horizontal and pointing straight forward at solar plexus height.
  • Your left arm is extended straight out in front of you. Your right hand is in front of your solar plexus, holding the back end of the jo.

2. Jōdan gaeshi (High Counter) and Shōmen Uchikomi (Stepping strike to the front of the head)

NB in some clips, Saito Sensei appears to be doing yokomen uchi (a stepping strike to the side of the head  in this case to the left side of uke’s head) not shōmen uchikomi.

  • Lift both hands up above your head, as if you are protecting your head.
  • Use your right hand to guide the long / free end of the jo around and back past your left side until it points down behind your back – 45° towards the floor behind you.
    At the same time, let go of the jo with your left hand and reposition it at the front / top end of the jo, in front of your right hand. Your left hand is just above / in front of your forehead.Step forward with your right foot as you cut straight down with the jo as if you are striking down on to uke’s head (or left temple – see note above).
  • Finish this move with your right hand at the centre of the jo and your right arm extended out in front of you. Your left hand is at the back of the jo, in front of your solar plexus.
  • The jo is horizontal and pointing straight out to the front at solar plexus height. Your body is facing 45° to the left; you are still looking straight ahead.
  1. Jōdan gaeshi (High Counter)
  • Rotate your body to fully face the left of the room, but keep looking to the front of the room, as you step back a little with your left foot, followed by also drawing the right foot back.
  • Raise both hands above your head, as if you are protecting your head. Your right hand is in front of your forehead and your left hand is a little higher than the right, behind and above your head.
  • The jo is pointing 30° down to the ground at the front of the room.
  1. Choku tsuki (Direct Thrust)
  • Lower the jo to hip height, horizontal in front of your body (which is facing the left of the room).
  • Your left hand is drawn back past your left hip, holding the back of the jo. Let your right hand slide to about 1/3 from the front of the jo.
  • Step forward with your right foot and use your left hand to drive the jo through your right hand, also slightly raising it to chest height, so that your right hand slides to the centre of the jo.
  • Your body is now facing 45° to the left. The jo ends up pointing straight to the front at solar plexus height.
  • Your right arm is extended out in front of you. Your left hand is behind it, close to your body.
  1. Hassō gaeshi (Figure of Eight Counter)

Hassō-no-kamae_Christophe_Chanoux

  • Start to rotate your body 270° clockwise, i.e. turn to face the back of the room. As you turn, pivot on your right foot and move your left foot around it in a clockwise circle.
  • As you turn your body, keep the jo out in front of you, and raise your left hand higher than your right hand. Give the jo a little downward push (in the direction of your right hip) with your left hand, and let go of it with your left hand.The end of the jo which you pushed will travel down and then back up again in a circle, up past your right hip.
  • As the end you pushed comes up again, take the OTHER end of the jo with your left hand, as it falls below the right hand and becomes the bottom end.
  • AT THE SAME TIME: As your body comes to face the back of the room, plant the left foot next to the right foot for a very brief moment (as if you are standing normally).Keep your face towards the back of the room, step back with your right foot, and rotate your body a further 45°, so that it now faces the left of the room [from your starting kamae].
  • As you plant your right foot behind you, draw your hands and the jo into hassō no kamae (as in the ilustration).

Hassō-no-kamae. By MakiZen (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

  1. Shōmen Uchikomi (Stepping strike to the front of the head)
  • Your body is now facing to the left of the room (having turned 270° from the front), and you are looking to the back of the room. Your left foot is forward.
  • Start to rotate your body back again anticlockwise 90° to face the back of the room, and start to step through with your right foot.
  • As you start to step, bring the jo directly above your head, letting it point back down towards the floor behind you (i.e. the front of the room).
  • As you plant the right foot down, cut down in front of you as if you are striking the top of uke’s head.
  • Finish the cut with your right hand extended straight out in front of you, and your left hand just behind it, holding the back end of the jo. The jo is pointing straight out ahead to the back of the room, horizontal at solar plexus height.
  1. Chūdan gaeshi (Mid Level Counter)
  • Rotate your body 180° anticlockwise so that you face the front of the room again. At the same time, tenkan (pivot on your right foot and bring the left foot around and behind in a circle).
  • So you have moved from right stance facing the back of the room, to right stance again facing the front of the room.
  • Your left hand is still at the back of the jo. Draw it back past your left hip.
  • Your right hand is at the centre of the jo. Bring it up and across your chest, towards your left shoulder – as if you are defending against a thrust coming to your chest.
  • The jo ends up beside your left hip, pointing 45° upwards, to the front of the room. Your body is facing the left of the room, and you are looking to the front of the room.
  1. Choku tsuki (Direct Thrust)
  • Use the left hand to drive the jo through your right hand, so that the right hand ends up about ¼ from the back end. As you do this, bring the jo to horizontal, pointing it straight out to the front of the room at chest height.
  • Also, as you thrust the jo, step just a little forward with your right foot.
  1. Gedan gaeshi (Low counter)
  • Pull the jo back with your left hand, letting it slide through your right hand until the right hand is at the front of the jo.
  • Now use your right hand to thrust the jo back down behind you, letting it slide through the left hand until both hands are close together. As you thrust, draw your right foot slightly back into a normal migi hanmi (right stance).
  • Your body is facing to the left of the room, but your head is still facing to the front. The jo is pointing 45° down to the ground behind your left hip. Your right hand is at the top of the jo (at stomach height) and your left hand is on the jo just behind / below your right hand.
  1. Chūdan gaeshi (Mid-level Counter)
  • Rotate your body to face the right side of the room, as you step forward (to the front of the room) with your left foot. But your head stays facing the front the whole time.
  • As you turn your body, bring the jo with you, always in front of your body. As you turn, drop your right hand (which is holding the bottom / back of the jo) to hip height, and bring it back past your hip. Bring your left hand (which is holding the centre of the jo) up and across in front of your chest.
  • It’s as if you are countering a thrust coming towards your chest.
  • The jo is now pointing up 45° towards the front of the room.
  1. Jōdan tsuki (High Thrust)
  • Raise the jo to horizontal at chest height in front of your body, still pointing to the front of the room. As you do so, slide your left hand to the front end of the jo (your right hand is holding the back end). You are still in left stance.
  • Use the right hand to drive the jo through your left hand, so that the jo slides through your left hand, and the left hand ends up at the centre of the jo.
  • Your body is still facing to the right of the room, and your are still looking forward. The jo is still horizontal at chest height, still pointing to the front of the room.
  1. Tsuki kamae
  • Step back a little with your right foot, then draw the left foot back a little to follow it, as you let go of the jo with your right hand and let the front of the jo fall, so that the jo becomes vertical in your left hand for a moment.
  • Keep the jo moving by taking the bottom end of the jo in your right hand and drawing it back past your right hip to horizontal.
  • Keep raising your right hand to chest or solar plexus height, and keep your left hand at hip height. You need to rotate the front end of the jo in a little clockwise circle in front of you – as if you are pushing away a thrust coming towards you.
  • The jo is now pointing downwards 30° towards the floor in front of you. Your body is still facing to the right of the room, and the jo is held in front of your body – you are looking straight ahead.
  1. Choku tsuki (Direct Thrust)
  • Step forward a little with your left foot.
  • At the same time, thrust the jo forward. Your body is now facing to the right of the room, and you are looking to the front.
  • Your left hand is at the centre of the jo, with your left arm extended out. Your right hand is holding the back of the jo. The jo is pointing straight forward at solar plexus height.
  • You are in hidari hanmi (left stance).

END in hidari-hanmi kamae (Left Stance)

  • Draw your left foot in (back) a little, and let go of the jo with your right hand, as you let the jo fall to vertical in your left hand, so that it touches the ground just in front of your left foot – just as you started.

 

Leave a Reply