We started our training with the Jo last Saturday (November 17). We will continue each Saturday at or near the end of the children’s class. Eventually we will probably have entire classes dedicated to Jo practice. The younger children are using 7/8″ dowel rods cut to 45″ length. See the previous post “A short explanation of the Japanese Jo” for my rationale for deciding to start Jo instruction.

Here are the safety rules we go over each time until they have it memorized:

  1. Only use the Jo in the dojo training room
  2. Only practice alone, never “against” another person.
  3. Never brandish the Jo against someone else.
  4. Make sure no one is close to you when you are practicing with the Jo.
  5. When you walk with the Jo, hold it vertically (up and down) as you walk.
  6. Do not use the Jo as a “toy” or for any purpose other than what you have been taught.
  7. Put your Jo away when you are finished using it.

Obviously a couple of these will be modified after we move into pairs practice.

We are beginning with many weeks of basic handling and striking/blocking techniques before we ever get to pairs practice. I want everyone to be completely familiar and comfortable with handling their staff before pointing it towards someone else.

I am using Matt Pasquinilli’s excellent videos as a guide to developing our Jo lesson series.