Big things do come in small packages. While I have been working on the AJNM, I have also been sorting what exactly needs to happen to make Aiki Jo a proper fighting method. I have so far concluded that mastery of the various Kamae is the first part, and understanding how and why the Kamae changes, offensively and defensively. Certain options and variations naturally lend themselves to a particular posture, yet the postures are all fluid and interchangeable. That’s when it hit me that Roku No Jo is just that, a way to practice the various changes from each Kamae. Here’s what Roku No Jo is:

  1. Starting in Hidari Tsuki No Kamae, thrust with Choku Tsuki
  2. Raise the jo with the Jodan Gaeshi movement
  3. Step forward and strike with Migi Uchikomi
  4. Draw the jo back to Migi Gedan Gaeshi No Kamam
  5. Step forward and strike with Hidari Gedan Gaeshi Uchi
  6. Turn the jo with the Chudan Gaeshi movement, which puts you back in Hidari Tsuki No Kamae, and starts the practice again

This is the first stage. Later, you combine the counts of the movements, eventually making this a two count exercise. I find that if you use this as an exercise to practice Kamae, instead of strikes, you will find a key ingredient to using the jo flexibly in a combat situation. Here is what I’m talking about:

  1. Start with Hidari Tsuki No Kamae, which is the basic Jo Kamae
  2. Prepare to change with Jodan Gaeshi
  3. Make Migi Chudan No Kamae, the basic striking posture, same as when holding the Ken
  4. Draw the jo back to the rear to make Migi Gedan Gaeshi No Kamae
  5. Bring the forward and make Chudan Gaeshi No Kamae
  6. Turn the jo with Chudan Gaeshi and return to the first posture

And there it is. Right there in front of me. A drill that teaches you the all of the basic postures: Tsuki No Kamae, Uchi No Kamae, Ushiro No Kamae, Chudan Gaeshi No Kamae. It also teaches the basic jo changes: Jodan Gaeshi, Gedan Gaeshi, and Chudan Gaeshi. Note that there is a definitive high, middle, and low in the Kamae and the jo switches. Think about that.



  1. Flintstone says:

    Amazing. Never thought of Roku no Jo under that light! Thanks for your thoughts!

  2. Richard says:

    Very interesting perspective on the Jo.
    Though I practiced Aikido for some 25 years I now spend more time with Tai Chi. However, my interest in making sense of my Aikido training through my new ‘body awareness’ has led me to start an Aiki Jo class. It is going quite well with a small number of students, mostly old enough not to want being thrown about and often coming from a different martial art background. We train slowly, looking for ‘perfection’ in body movement and the one thing we do every week is the 6 kata, without fail. It seems to be paying dividends and the students never tire from the search. If you type Aiki Jo Devon into Google it should enable you to find some of the information I have gathered on Jo. Not a lot, but the enjoyment of Jo study wins every time.
    I am pleased I came across your site. Thank you.

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