Jodo is the way of the Jo, or wooden staff. The most practiced form of Jodo today is the training set adopted by the Zen Nihon Kendo Renmei known as ZNKR Jo. While developed in the late 1960’s, ZNKR Jo is derived from the Jo techniques of Shindo Muso Ryu. This Koryū (traditional school) which includes a variety of weapons was founded around the end of the 16th century by Muso Gonnosuke Katsuyoshi
Very little concrete information is known about his life. Most accounts associate his invention of the Jo-sized staff techniques with an encounter and a subsequent vision. The encounter was with the famous swordsman Miyamoto Musashi, founder of Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu and author of the Gorinnosho (the book of five rings).
Like the famous battle with Musashi, jodo consists of prearranged kata of the Jo vs the Bokken (wooden Japanese sword). There are three distinct training areas of Jodo which are:
- Kihon (Basic forms)
- Sotai Dosa (Paired forms)
- Kata (Jo vs Bokken)
Students of Iaido should also study Jodo as it teaches Iaido students the importance of distance and timing. Even though the main practice of Jodo is done by Kata (forms) Jodo is very dynamic and students need to be careful not to cause injury.