Today’s topic: San no Jo.

In the Kumijo, ukejo always starts in jo no kamae.  This is a left hanmi, with the jo held vertically in the left hand, in front of the left foot.  Uchijo always starts in hidari tsuki no kamae, ready to attack.  In Ichi no jo, uchi attacks with chudan, middle level thrust.  In Ni no Jo, uchi attacks with jodan, high level thrust.  In San no Jo, uchi attacks with hidari gedan choku tsuki, a low level thrust aimed at uke’s left knee.  When the thrust is warded off, uchi immediately attacks again with another thrust, at the chudan level.  I think that the keynote feature of the Kumijo is learning how to ward two or more rapid thrusts, and learning to use a series of rapid thrusts as a defense.


Uchi attacks with hidari gedan choku tsuki.  Uke grips the jo from the top, thumb upwards, and turns a bit to his rear with the right foot, parries the thrust with gedan dome barai.  The move is identical in appearance to gedan gaeshi, but since there is no “gaeshi” movement, I refer to it as a dome barai movement.  Two things here are noteworthy: First, that uke “gives way” with his taisabaki, rather than use irimi as in the first two Kumijo.  Second, as a variation, uke could move forward with irimi, and use the dome barai as a barai uchi strike to uchi’s forward hand.

  • Uchijo: Hidari Gedan Choku Tsuki
  • Ukejo: Hidari Gedan Dome Barai


Uchi then attack again to uke’s left floating ribs with chudan choku tsuki.  Uke evades the thrust with a taisabaki identical to the third movement in Ni no Jo, and knocks down uchi’s jo with the chudan gaeshi movement.  The chudan gaeshi can also be used to smash down on uchi’s hand or forearm.

  • Uchijo: Hidari Choku Choku Tsuki
  • Ukejo: Hidari Chudan Gaeshi


Now, uke begins the counter attack.  First, hidari gedan choku tsuki, aimed at uke’s floating ribs.  Uchi steps back a bit and parries with soto choku barai.  Uke promptly allows his jo to flow down and thrusts again to uchi’s sternum with another chudan choku tsuki, ending San no Jo.

  • Ukejo: Hidari Chudan Choku Tsuki
  • Uchijo: Soto Choku Barai
  • Ukejo: Hidari Nagare Chudan Choku Tsuki


From San no Jo to Yon no Jo: Given the uke is really, really close when the second thrust comes, it would be a bit late to try to move back further and parry with uchi choku barai.  What I have found to be useful is a katate no bu, or single hand movement.  Uke steps forward with the right foot with an irimi movement, and releasing the jo with his left hand, brings the jo up in a diagonal manner over his head to parry the thrust.  I call this katate uke nagashi.  If I wanted to more poetic, I might call it katate kasa barai, single hand umbrella parry.  From here, uchi can do a single hand reverse thrust to uke’s face, which I call katate gyate tsuki, or use katate toma uchi.  Either way, uke steps back and parries with migi kaeshi barai.  After that, both uchi and uke come back to hidari tsuki no kamae to go right into Yon no Jo.

Coming up next: Yon no Jo.



  1. Just found out that I missed to link your blog from mine. Ok, that’s solved now.

    Keep on the great job! There are too few Aikido blogs this quality!

  2. autrelle says:

    Alejandro sir, you flatter me! Thank you for your kind words.

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