Jo 31 Kata

Jo 31 kata in four directions. Many more aikido videos on my YouTube Channel.

The Aikido Jo Kata in Four Directions
with Video Clips

The 31 jo kata often practiced by aikidoka, is normally done in two directions — most movements to the front, and a few to the back. In my dojo, we got the idea of making it shiho, four directions, like most kata with that many movements are in other budo.

       It's fun for a change. Try it out, if you like — and if the photos and video clips are clear enough to figure out the movements. If not, then why don't you find out your own way of doing it?

       The photos were taken by Patrik Orth in Zlin. The video clips were filmed by Johnny Petersen at Enighet dojo in Malmö.

Stefan Stenudd

Video clips


Start — jo in front of left foot.
Starting position. Jo in front of left foot, held by left hand. Body in hanmi gamae. Notice the marks in the floor, for directions of the following movements. The kata should stop at the same spot as it started from.

Kaeshi tsuki chudan. Kaeshi tsuki chudan.
Chudan kaeshi tsuki, with a reversed right hand grip on the back end of the jo, sliding with the feet forward to the left.

Parry. Kaeshi tsuki chudan.
Parry, warding off a jodan attack, feet sliding backward to the right. Follow by a second chudan tsuki, feet sliding forward to the left.

Turn 180°, parry — uke nagashi. Shift hands.
Turn 180° clockwise and raise jo to jodan in an uke nagashi parry. Shift hands.

Yokomen uchi. Kirikaeshi.
Yokomen uchi, from right side, feet sliding forward to the right. Spin jo around in kirikaeshi.

Yokomen uchi, other side.
Step forward to the left with the left foot. Yokomen uchi from the left.

Turn 90°, yokomen uchi. Yokomen uchi, other side, continued.
Turn 90° clockwise, slide forward to the right with the right foot, yokomen uchi from the right side. Step forward to the left with the left foot, swing the jo around with kirikaeshi, yokomen uchi from the left side.

Turn 180°, jo to side. High block.
Turn 180° clockwise, one step back with the right foot, continuing the yokomen in a sweep downward to the right side. One step forward with the right foot, up with the jo in a high block.

Yokomen uchi. Hand change.
Swing the jo around to yokomen uchi from the left side, shifting position of the feet (left forward, right slightly backward). Shift hands.

Draw to do tsuki. Jodan tsuki.
Draw jo with the right hand, then jodan tsuki.

Turn 90°, uke nagashi. Yokomen uchi.
Turn 90° counterclockwise, parry and swing the jo around for yokomen uchi from the right side, right foot stepping forward.

Jo to left side. Turn 180°, for gedan uchi.
Slide back to the left with the left foot, draw the jo back to the left side. Turn 180° clockwise.

Gedan uchi. Spin jo for gedan tsuki.
Gedan uchi (toward the knee). Spin jo around.

Gedan tsuki. Uke nagashi.
Gedan tsuki (toward the knee). Swing the jo around in an uke nagashi parry, counterclockwise.

Gedan uchi. Turn 90° and sit.
Shift hands, and gedan uchi from the right side. Continue the uchi to the left side, and turn 90° counterclockwise, sliding back with the left foot, sitting down. Let the jo slide backward, so the hands grip at its front end.

Draw jo for tsuki, stand up. Chudan tsuki.
Make a circle with the right hand grip of the jo, letting the left hand slide to its other end, stand up, chudan tsuki, stepping forward with the left foot.

Spin jo for tsuki. Ushiro chudan tsuki
Spin jo around with left hand, grab anew with the right hand next to the left, slide with the left hand toward the forward end of the jo. Ushiro chudan tsuki.

Turn 90°, chudan tsuki.
Slide with the right hand to the backward end of the jo, turn 90° clockwise and slide forward to the left with the left foot. Chudan tsuki.

Step back, pull jo. Jo to the side.
Step back to the right with the right foot, slide with the jo to the right side.

Advance, gedan uchi. Continue to high position, jodan tsuki.
Step back to the left with the left foot. Gedan uchi, continuing with the jo in a sweep upward, and jodan tsuki with a high position of the arms.

Spin jo. Jodan tsuki.
Spin the jo around. Jodan tsuki.

Turn 180°, jo to jodan. Yokomen uchi (from left side).
Turn 180°, raise jo to jodan. Yokomen uchi from the left side.

Stop at starting position, jo by left foot.
Let the jo slide down, shifting hands. End at the same position as at the start, the jo in front of the left foot.

My Aikido Books

Click the images to see the books at Amazon (paid link).
Aikido Principles. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Aikido Principles
Basic Concepts of the Peaceful Martial Art. The basic principles, philosophy and traditional budo concepts in aikido.
More about the book here.

Attacks in Aikido, by Stefan Stenudd. Attacks in Aikido
How to do kogeki, the attack techniques. All the attack techniques in aikido explained, and how to do them correctly.
More about the book here.

Aikibatto, by Stefan Stenudd. Aikibatto
Aikiken Sword Exercises for Aikido. The aikibatto exercises, practical and spiritual aspects of the sword arts, advice on equipment for training.
More about the book here.

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Stefan Stenudd

Stefan Stenudd

About me
I'm a Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction books in both English and Swedish. I'm also an artist, a historian of ideas, and a 7 dan Aikikai Shihan aikido instructor. Click the header to read my full bio.