|When You Are Late|
The following Brief History of Shindo Muso Ryu Jodo is taken from Pascal Krieger Sensei.
The Shinto Muso Ryu was founded nearly 400 years ago in about 1605. The founder, Muso Gonnosuke Katsukichi was a warrior who first trained in the Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu founded by Iizasa Choisai Ienao. In this, Muso Gonnosuke received the rank of Menkyo, a teaching license.
According to legend, Muso Gonnosuke had gone to Edo early in the Keicho period (1596-1614). There he matched his sword against many famous swordsmen but was never defeated. One day, however, he fought Miyamoto Musashi, perhaps the best known warrior in Japanese History. Gonnosuke knew he had met his match when he found he could not escape from Musashi's Jujidome technique. This movement was the secret of Musashi's Niten Ichi Ryu and involves locking the opponent's weapon in an X-shaped block using the Samurai's long and short swords in combination.
Because of his defeat, Gonnosuke travelled around the country and studied many different styles of martial arts, determined to become strong enough to overcome Musashi's Jujidome. After several years, he arrived in the province of Chikuzen and stopped at a town which is now called Dazaifu City, in Fukuoka Prefecture, on the Island of Kyushu. There he confined himself for 37 days in the Kamado Shrine on Mount Homan. One night he had a dream in which a divine messenger appeared in the form of a child and told him to "know the solar plexus with a round stick". Keeping this heaven-sent message in mind, Gonnosuke devised a new weapon. It was a simple stick approximately 30 cm longer than the average Japanese sword. Muso's stick was 128 cm long (4 Shaku, 2 Sun, 1 Bu) and 26 mm in diameter (8 Bu). Today, we call it the Jo (or Tsue).
Gonnosuke went on to develop techniques for his stick based on his previous experience with a variety of older weapons. He incorporated the thrusting movements of the spear (Yari or Sojutsu), the sweeping movements of the halberd (Naginata or Naginatajutsu), and the striking movements of the staff (Bo or Bojutsu) and the sword (Tachi or Kenjutsu). With this new weapon and its techniques, the art of Jojutsu was born. The legend says that Gonnosuke went back to confront Musashi again and emerged victorious, overcoming Jujidome and inflicting the only defeat ever said to have been suffered by the legendary Musashi. Muso Gonnosuke's growing reputation brought him to the attention of the Kuroda Clan in Fukuoka, and he was retained to instruct Jojutsu to the warriors under its control.
Over the course of his life, Gonnosuke eventually awarded teaching licenses to more than ten of these warriors. They and their successors carried on the tradition within the land of the Kuroda family, who jealously guarded the art as a secret Clan tradition.
By the end of the Tokugawa period (1603-1868), it is said that there were two dojo in the Kuroda area. One was run by the Hirano family, under the 15th Headmaster; the other was operated by the Hamachi family, under a man usually regarded as the 18th Headmaster.
After the Meiji Restoration, permission was given to teach Jojutsu outside the domain of the Clan in 1872. By the early 1900s, Uchida Ryogoro was teaching this art in Tokyo. Among his students were Uchida Ryohei, (his second son), Nakayama Hakudo (famous kendo and iaido Master and an admiral of the Japanese Imperial Navy) and a Kabuki actor named Morita Kanya.
Back at the headquarters in Fukuoka, Shiraishi Hanjiro Shigeaki, called the 24th generation Headmaster of the art, continued to teach jojutsu until his death on March 1, 1927. After that, jojutsu was taught by his high-ranking students: Takayama Kiroku, Shimizu Takaji, and Otofuji Ichizo.
While each class at Renseikan Dojo is a unique experience, every class follows a basic pattern or format. Students should be familiar with the etiquette of the dojo (dojo rules) - these rules are always kept posted in the dojo.
When arriving at the dojo, all students and visitors remove their shoes and hats when entering the building. Students should let the sensei (teacher) know they have arrived by greeting him or her with a bow (rei). Students should also check the bulletin boards, which will carry notices about new events and other dojo-related information.
After changing into their uniform (Hakama and dogi), students bow onto the mats and warm up and practice their jodo until the start of class. The first student on the mats is responsible for sweeping the mats in preparation for class. Getting to the dojo early is encouraged - lateness is not a quality in keeping with the practice of jodo.
At the start of class, students are called to line up (seiretsu) and take their positions at the back of the dojo, seated in seiza (kneeling/meditation position) with their jo at their right side, with the jo half way point at their knees. The most senior student (sempai) instructs the others to begin their meditation (moku so). The sensei bows onto the mats and takes his or her place at the front of the dojo, facing the shinden (front) and joins the students in meditation. Meditation can last from 2 - 15 minutes. Sensei signals the end with two bows, two hand claps.
Immediately following the sensei and the class participate in ritual bowing, both to the shinden and to the sensei. The sensei begins the bowing by saying "shinden ni rei", which means show respect to the shinden with a bow. The sensei then turns to face the class, and the senior student calls out "sensei ni rei", which instructs the class to bow to the sensei to show their respect. The bow to the Sensei is done left hand down first, then right. Students stay down longer then the sensei. They come back up right hand then left hand.
All students take their places to the left, in preparation for the Kihon Tandoku.
The class begins with the standard Kihon Tandoku, followed by the Kihon Sotai and the Seitei Kata. There may be slight variations, depending on the level of the students in the class and the specific lesson for that class.
Each class will almost always emphasize the twelve Zen Nippon Kendo Renmei(ZNKR) Kata. Kata is the mainstay of traditional martial arts and the one true and safe way to practice maximum power in all techniques.
At the end of class the students are then instructed to line up (seiretsu) for a short period of meditation (mokuso) which ends when the sensei says, "mokuso yame". Ritual bowing also ends every class. As at the start of class, the sensei instructs everyone to show respect to the shinden ("shinden ni rei"), then turns to face the class. The senior student instructs everyone to show respect to the sensei ("sensei ni rei").
The sensei leaves the mats, bows and thanks the students ("arigato gozaimasu"). The senior student then says, "class dismissed", at which point the students take the time to bow to each other and say thank you for the training they did together. One of the sempai will let the students know if there are any important dojo-related matters which may require their attention. The students then usually do a quick 5 minute clean up of the dojo and other rooms (this often includes cleaning the mats). This after-class group effort keeps the dojo clean for everyone's mutual benefit. Students are free to continue training or put their weapons away.
Jodo kyu ranks below 1st kyu (Ikkyu) are tested for and awarded by Rensekan dojo. The ikkyu test and all dan testing is currently done through the Canadian Kendo Federation (CKF) (to which you must be a member in order to take the examinations) and the examinations are held before a panel of judges. Currently Dan examinations are only done in May and October. You must be recommended by your sensei to be eligible to take the CKF examination.
For rank requirements above Shodan please refer to the Jodo section and the CKF Requirements Page.
|Honte uchi||regular hand strike|
|Gyakute uchi||reverse hand strike|
|Hikiotoshi uchi||pull drop strike|
|Kae shi tsuki||return thrust|
|Gyakute tsuki||reverse hand thrust|
|Makiotoshi||roll and drop|
|Kuritsuke||turn over and stick|
|Kuri hanashi||turn over and send forth (release)|
|Tai atari||body hit|
|Tsuki hazushi uchi||pierce outside strike|
|Dobarai uchi||clear away, dispose of body armor strike|
|Tai hazushi uchi||body outside strike|
|1. TSUKI ZUE||To meet an attack to the centre of the head, an evasive move is made to the right rear from where a strike is made to uchidachi's left wrist. As he takes Jodan no kamae, advantage is taken of his lapse of attention to follow him and strike his left wrist using Honte uchi.|
|2. SUI GETSU||To meet a sword attack to the centre of the head, the body is moved forward to the diagonal right and a thrust is made to the enemy's solar plexus. This is followed by a Hikiotosch uchi.|
|3. HISSAGE||Hidden jo, an attack to the center of the head is evaded by moving the body to the rear, quickly followed by kuritsuke, a thrust to the enemy's suigetsu and finally a Hikiotoshi uchi to his face.|
|4. SHAMEN||Jo in Tsune no kamae, to meet an attack to the centre of the head, the body is moved to the right and with a reverse left hand grip on the jo, a strike is made to uchidachi's left temple (kasumi), followed by kaeshi tsuki.|
|5. SAKAN||To avoid a thrust to the suigetsu, the body is moved back and at the same time the thrust is parried with the jo. The bokuto is then struck down using Tsuki hazushi uchi followed by Hikiotoshi uchi.|
|6. MONOMI||Jo is hold in right hand and is put with the end on the left side from the body on the floor. To counter a cut to the centre of the head, the body is moved to the left rear and , using left honte uchi, a strike is made to Uchidachi's richt wrist. Then, as he takes Jodan no kamae, the chance provided by his break in concentration is taken to attack with Kaeshi tsuki.|
|7. KASUMI||An attack is made using Gyakute uchi on the bokuto which is held in Chudan no kamae. A counter attack to the centre of the head is met with taiatari following by kuritsuke. Then, on a break in Uchidachi's concentration following his backward move, a thrust is made to his suigetsu followed by hikiotoshi uchi to the face.|
|8. TACHI OTOSHI||The technique is to oppose an enemy who is in Seigan no kamae. Seeing a break in his concentration, move the body to one side and strike at his head. Immediately perform Kuritsuke, then as he retreats execute Kaeshi tsuki to his suigetsu following this with Hikiotoshi uchi to make a rapid series of attacks.|
|9. RAI UCHI||As a cut is made to the shoulder a thrust is immediately made to the enemy's suigetsu using Gyakute tsuki. Then moving the body to the left another thrust is made down into his pelvis.|
|10. SEIGAN||The opponent approaches and starts to draw his bokuto. In an attempt to control and forestall his threat and attempt is made to hit his suigetsu but having succeeded in drawing his bokuto he must then be countered with Gyakute tsuki. This technique proving unsuccessful is followed with a strike to his suigetsu.|
|11. MIDAREDOME||Gyakute uchi is used to strike at the bokuto held in seigan no kamae. This is followed by honte uchi. A cut to shomen is countered with Maki otoshi, and a second cut is met with Taiatari followed by hikiotoshi uchi.|
|12.RANAI||This Kata is formed by including many of the techniques used in the previous kata.|
The Seitei Kata above were performed by Sensei Gary Cole (Bushido Kai Dojo), Sensei Kim Taylor (Sei Do Kai Dojo) and Sensei Ward Jardine (Renseikan Dojo) at various clinics and seminars. There have been some small changes made to these kata by Namitome Sensei and Shiiya Sensei in May 2007 and are not reflected here in these examples. These kata were not taped to be used as instruction but rather were impromptu demonstrations. We will be taping all 12 Seitei Kata soon to reflect the 2007 changes. The above Kata should therefore be used to give you an idea or flavour of the Kata and only instruction in the dojo can really teach the nuances and correct techniques required in Jodo.
Click here for a complete list of Jodo Seitei and Koryu Kata.
(1) If you arrive after class has started: Change and warm up quickly in the changeroom,
then proceed to the entry point of the mats. Bow onto the mats and sit in seiza. Wait for
the sensei to invite you into the class. Once invited, take a position at the back of the
class (regardless of your rank) and join the class.
(2) If you arrive after everyone has lined up but before the class has started: Change quickly. If the sensei is not seated on the mats, bow onto the mats and take a vacant position in the line up of students, walking behind the other students, who will have already begun their meditation. If the sensei is already on the mats, bow onto the mats and sit in seiza at the end of the row. This way you will not disturb the formal meditation by trying to find a spot in the line.
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