Kobudo Jo - 4ft staff


Structure of syllabus


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The jo (4ft staff) is the second weapon taught at the Academy.  It is taught alongside unarmed techniques during the green, brown and shodan phases. 

At the core of our jo method are a series of 20 basic techniques called “suburi”. We have retained these from aikijo (the jo method of the art of aikido) as we find them to be a comprehensive catalogue of the different deflections, strikes and sweeps that one can make using the jo.

Added to this are 9 “kumijo” (literally “an encounter with jos”) – 2 person combat drills that apply the suburi in a dynamic, effective environment. These drills are modeled on traditional kumijo from various schools but are, in the end, the Academy's own creation. They are the result of almost 30 years of martial training, combining the features of aikijo, tenshin shoden katori shinto ryu, the arts of Chen Pan Ling, and many other armed and unarmed disciplines.

Importantly, unlike many other 2 person drills taught in relation to the jo and other weapons, the drills “loop”: that is to say, they can be practised continuously without end. The practical result of this is that in each drill both sides use the same sequence. The sequences are also short (between 6 to 10 movements), making them easy to learn.

Structure of the syllabus

There are 11 jo units corresponding to the grades from green 1 to nidan 2.




Unit 1 (Green 1)

Jo suburi (basics) 1-5 (thrusts)
Kumijo 1 (2 person drill using suburi 1, 2 and 4)



Unit 2 (Green 2)

Jo suburi (basics) 6-10 (strikes)
Kumijo 2 (2 person drill using suburi 2, 5, 6 and 7)



Unit 3 (Green 3)

Kumijo 3 (2 person drill using suburi 9 and 10)



Unit 4 (Green 4)

Kumijo 4 (2 person drill using suburi 3, 5 and 8)



Unit 5 (Brown 1)

Jo suburi (basics) 11-15 (wrist/shoulder movements)
5 (2 person drill using suburi 11 and 15)



Unit 6 (Brown 2)

Kumijo 6 (2 person drill using suburi 1 and 12)




Unit 7 (Brown 3)

Jo suburi (basics) 16-18 (movements from the shoulder)
Kumijo 7 (2 person drill using suburi 1, 5, 13, 14 and 15)




Unit 8 (Brown 4)

Kumijo 8 (2 person drill using suburi 5, 14 and 16)



Unit 9 (Shodan 1)

Jo suburi (basics) 19-20 (flowing movements)
Kumijo 9 (2 person drill using suburi 19 and 20)



Unit 10 (Shodan 2)

Jusan jo kata




Unit 11 (Nidan 1)

Sanjuichi jo kata



Sensei Peter Banks demonstrates Sanjuichi Jo kata in 1989