University of Wollongong Kendo Club Jodo

What is Jodo

Jodo - the way of the stick, is primarily concerned with teaching how to use the jo against a sword-wielding attacker. It was developed in the late 16th century in Japan, and a modified form is still taught to the Japanese police. We have weekly practice sessions in Jodo, a kata (forms) based art carried out by two practitioners training together, one armed with a jo and the other with a bokken (wooden practice sword). The Jo is a staff or stick about 128 centimetres long, and 2.5 centimetres thick.

Training consists of kihon (basics) including twelve Tandoku (one person practice, doing air cuts), Soutai (two person practice, one advancing doing the cuts from the Tandoku against the bokken held by the other person who is stepping back), Uchiotoshi (more cutting practice with the jo :) against bokken, but here both participants stay in the same place, not moving as in the Soutai), and Kata (two person exercises which normally involve the sword side attacking the jo and being controlled or defeated.)

Wollongong Jodo

The University of Wollongong Kendo Club encourages the study of Jodo by members as the art gives an additional perspective on the way of the sword, being based on opposing the sword. The club originally only practiced Seitei (or ZNKR) Jodo, a form of Jodo defined by the Japan Kendo Renmei as an introduction to Jodo, with a limited set of 12 kata derived from the classical Shindo Muso Ryu and from Japanese Police Jo.

In 2003 we moved forward to supplement Seitei Jodo with Shinto Muso Ryu Jodo, the classical system from which the Seitei curriculum was drawn, which offers a complete curriculum of 64 Jodo kata as well as a similar number of kata involving auxilliary weapons. From 2003 to 2006 the dojo offered a 3 hour seminar every 4th Sunday of the month given by licensed Shinto Muso Ryu instructors from Sydney to supplement our weekly practice on other Sundays, thanks to the help of Paul Maloney, head of the Jodo Seiryukai Sydney.

Paul Maloney

Jodo was introduced to the University of Wollongong Kendo Club in 1996, when dojo members Robert Brown and Aden Steinke were attending the Australian Kendo Championships seminar in Perth and had daily Seitei Jodo classes from Russel Lawrence of the Perth Budokan. When Wollongong hosted the 1998 Kendo championships we arranged for instructors from the Sydney Shinto Muso Ryu group under Paul Maloney to come down and offer Jodo as part of our seminar. While few took advantage of this, it lead to Aden Steinke becoming an occasional visitor to the Sydney dojo.

In January 2000 the inaugural Australian Jodo seminar and grading was held in Melbourne in conjunction with the Australian Iaido championships and seminar, both Aden and Robert attended. Fortunately there were two touring parties from Japan present, one from the Ei Shin Kan dojo in Hakata (Kyushu) lead by Eto Sensei and the other by Haga Sensei, ensuring lots of Sensei time for all. After recieving concentrated Seitei Jodo instruction from Kai Sensei (from the Hakata group) both passed their Seitei Jodo 1st Kyu grading examination.

Following this, weekly Jodo training in conjunction with the weekly Iaido training began in Wollongong and has continued from that time. Since then Aden has reached Yondan in Seitei Jodo (2012 Akita, Japan), and spent 5 months training in Japan at the dojo of Nishioka Sensei (Menkyo Kaiden SMR, Hachidan Hanshi Seitei Jo) where he was introduced to the Omote or first set of Shinto Muso Ryu - an introduction not completed untill he attended the 2007 Seiryukai jodo gasshuku in Saitama, Japan.

Aden Steinke and Nishioka Sensei October 2007

Robert has currently reached Godan in Seitei Jodo (2012 Sendai, Japan). As a pair they have represented NSW in the open Jodo Kata national championships on several occasions (including 2002 Hobart, 2006 Wollongong, 2008 Gold Coast, 2009 Canberra) being semi finalists on 3 occasions.

The 2004 state gradings marked a new point for the dojo as Ian Cracknell (currently Shodan) became its first student who began their jodo with the club to pass a Seitei Jodo grading.

The club encourages members to train with the Jodo Seiryukai Sydney dojo (main training Willoughby community hall, Saturday morning 8.00am to 10.00am, plus various other locations in Gladesville and Naraweena) when possible, and has taken advantage of the link to attend several seminars including training sessions by Nishioka Sensei - Menkyo Kaiden SMR - in Sydney in 2002, and sessions with Relnik Sensei - Menkyo Kaiden SMR -(the first English speaking Menkyo Kaiden and one of only a handful of non Japanese Menkyo Kaiden) in 2002, 2003 and 2004.

Andrew Whitehead (bokken) and Aden Steinke (jo) engage in light sparring, August 04.

� 2003, 2004, 2007,2009, 2013