31 Jo Kata
Let me share with you the 31 jo kata from Iwama Aikido as part of my Aikido Journal.
The 31 Jo kata is part of the Buki Waza (Warrior or Weapons Techniques).
The original 31 Jo Kata was taught by Osensei to Saito Sensei. Saito Sensei broke them down into 31 movements that can be easily learned yet challenging to master.
San Ju Ichi (31) No Jo is the longest version of the Jo Suburi (Staff Drills).
The 31 Jo kata starts with the resting and non-threatening jo stance.
The factors that I consider when I am training the San Ju Ichi No Jo are:
- Breathing: When raising the Jo, I breathe in. I comfortably inhale through my nose. When I hit or thrust I exhale with a Kiai (war cry).
- Kiai: The sound ‘Soo’ on Tsuki (thrust) and ‘Heii’ on the Uchi (cut/hit).
- Balance is important.
- The footwork is efficient. When walking forward, I use the ball of my foot NOT the heel. I also make sure I don’t sweep the mat, I pick up my feet and step. After training in the ‘Bamboo Forest’ in Iwama where there are rocks, uneven soil, or slippery surfaces, I learned very quickly not to drag or sweep my feet, because I slip or trip.
- My pace and timing can achieve ‘awase’ or the ‘blend’.
- Zanshin ‘Heightened Awareness’ is on.
- Fudoshin ‘Immovable or unperturbed Mind’ is on.
31 Jo Kata Iwama Aikido
By Crom Salvatera
The Jo Suburi came from Iwama Aikido, a traditional form of Aikido.
Iwama Aikido was the traditional Aikido created by Morihei Ueshiba Osensei when he retired in Iwama after WWII.
Osensei taught Saito Sensei in Iwama. Saito Sensei broke down the Aikido he learned from Osensei so he can teach it and student can learn it step by step.
Iwama Aikido is a style of Aikido that has Bukiwaza (Weapons Techniques) along with Taijutsu as its two pillars.
My Aikido Journal
I started uploading my videos and sharing my journal because I want to see my progression. Also, I am aware that there will be critics. Yes as part of the training, I want a thicker skin to handle what my listeners, readers and audience have to say.
Also because I travel and visit different dojos around the world, I would like to share my experiences. Hopefully, an Aikidoka somewhere would also like to visit the places and train the with the people in my stories.
I suggest if you are learning Aikido, document your training and will help you progress quicker and your form is better.
Remember what Saito Sensei said, ‘The mirror is the best Sensei’. I guess the 2016 version of that quote is ‘The Camera is the best Sensei’.
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