Speaking on the Jo of Nishioka Tsuneo-shihanü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@ü@Japanese
Nishioka Tsuneo Yasunori shihan passed away on 8th February 2014. He was 90 years old.
I express my deepest gratitude for the great favour bestowed upon me during his lifetime and I sincerely pray for his soul to rest in peace.
(Entered on 25th February 2014)
1) "Foreword" "Regarding the Uchi no Suji"and"Looking to future", Translation by Arun Roberts and edited by Greg Clarke, representative, Sumera Budo-juku, Australia Branch.
2) "Regarding Te no Uchi" -Translation by Hiroshi Matsuoka, Aichi, Japan.
ü@1.First of all:
On the 9th May 1985 Hamaji Kouichi-shihan passed away. During his lifetime he said to me many times, ügShould anything happen to me, go to Nishiokaüh, in answer to which I would reply, ügSensei you are still only 70. Tenshou, your father, lived until the age of 90 so you have a good 20 years left!üh However, this was a terrible mistake as he died early. I deeply regret that there were so many more things I could have learned from him and questions I wish I had asked him, if only had I known that he would pass away so soon.
After his death, I considering Hamaji senshiüfs words. I decided to seek out the advice of his son Hamaji Mitsuo-shihan, a the person to whom my teacher would see fit to entrust his affairs and therefore by definition be a worthy and a person of fine character. After talking with him and seeking his advice and approval, I set out to make Nishioka Tsuneo-shihan my teacher from that point on. This was in keeping with Hamaji Kouichi-senshi's last wishes and it is my firm belief that there was no other way.
it was not take long before I began hearing many things about Nishioka
Tsuneo-shihan in the Jodo community. One very large problem was the
misunderstanding surrounding Nishioka-shihanüfs training, certification and a
great amount of unwarranted slander directed at him, such as: ügNishioka does
not hold a Menkyoüh; ügShimizu-sensei did not give out a Menkyo to Nishiokaüh;
ügNishioka has not learnt the Gomuso, therefore he is not a Menkyo Kaidenüh;
ügThere is a blank in Nishioka's Jo historyüh,;ügYou wouldn't pass for an 8th
dan if you're learning from Nishioka!üh are just some examples.
Despite this, I have remained silent and have simply gone day by day doing nothing other than to continue to learn and master the Jo and philosophy. I refuse to believe that the one spoken of so highly of and chosen by Hamaji-shihan could be such a person.
Fortunately in 1994, I received a Menkyo from Hamaji Mitsuo-shihan and received another Menkyo and initiation into the Gomuso from Nishioka-shihan, taking on the responsibilities as the most junior Menkyo Kaiden.
Recently I spoke frankly to Nishioka-shihan regarding the above-mentioned problems and received clear answers to many questions on a wide variety of topics. First of all, I would like to dispel the misunderstanding and slander that have spread throughout the jo community about Nishioka-shihan and reveal them as absurd and then confirm the truth.
ügNishioka Tsuneo-shihan has not received a Menkyo from
Regarding this statement, I have actually seen and held Nishioka-shihan's Menkyo certificate given to him by Shimizu-shihan. There is no mistake, it is authentic, and was issued to Nishioka Tsuneo-shihan by
Nishioka-shihan's Menkyo certificateü@
ügNishioka Tsuneo-shihan is not a Menkyo Kaiden. He has not learned the Gomuso.üh
Nishioka-shihan is an official Menkyo Kaiden, his history reading, ügIn May of 1975 Nishioka-shihan was initiated in the Hiden, the five techniques of the Gomuso, and was acknowledged as Menkyo Kaiden by Shimizu Takaji Katsuyasu-sensei and Otofuji Ichizo Katsunori-sensei.üh Apparently there are those who make claims like ügNishioka was just there. He didn't receive any initiation.üh Generally though, in the martial arts world and especially in respect to a school's ultimate techniques, it is commonly held that ügTo show is to teach.üh Thus I think that ügjust being thereüh becomes ügbeing taughtüh.
Furthremore, it goes without saying that if Shihans allow those who received a Menkyo to be present while performing the Hiden, those shihans have initiated them. I have been allowed to see the complete correspondence between Otofuji Ichizou-shihan and Nishioka Tsuneo-shihan and Otofuji-sensei does indeed acknowledges Nishioka-shihan's achievement and initiation.
Photograph taken to commemorate Nishioka-shihan's initiation in the Gomuso
In the back row from the left are Hiroi Tsunetsugu-shihan, Yoneno Koutarou-shihan, and Nishioka Tsuneo-shihan.
Although it is presumptuous of me to say so, I was initiated in the Gomuso by Nishioka-shihan and feel that it is the genuine article. I think that one must understand this particular handling of the jo and tachi in this Gomuso to became capable of illustrating the correct Uchidachi and Shijo of Shinto Muso-ryu Jo.
ügThere is a blank of a little over a decade in Nishioka's training record.üh
was made a pupil by
In other words, those claiming there is a blank of more than a decade are referring to his involvement with the Zen Nippon Kendo Renmei Jodo. As far as I'm concerned the ZKR Jodo claims are not applicable to the Koryu Bujutsu
Conversely, this ügblanküh from the ZKR Jodo actually becomes proof that Nishioka-shihan was not influenced by the ZKR, but instead purely Shinto Muso-ryu Denshousha.
Moreover, while he has been conferred the rank of Hanshi Hachidan in ZKR Jodo, he made the choice to leave the ZKR Jodo due tohis concerns about the changes that the ZKR Jodo has made to the school as they see fit and his strong desire to pass on the teachings Shimizu-shihan's Jo.
Furthermore, more important than alleged ügblanksüh and so forth in regards to Nishioka senseiüfs training history, there is the problem regarding unfounded opinions and conjectures about the proficiency of Nishioka-shihan's skill with the Jo and Ken. These problems are, I think, cases of ügconfused prejudiceüh. Surely before one criticises what they think they are seeing, it is necessary to humbly study Nishioka shihan's tehcniques. I strongly believe that in doing that, one ügremoves the veil from over one's eyesüh and meets with the true essence of Jodo.
Next, I will convey some of my thoughts on Nishioka-shihan's Shinto Muso-ryu Jodo.
Next, I will convey some of my thoughts on Nishioka-shihan's Shinto Muso-ryu Jodo.
2. Regarding Nishioka Tsuneo-shihan's Jo
Nishioka-shihan often says, ügI am constantly asking myself, how was Shimizu-sensei's Jo? I desire only to communicate and teach how he used the jo.üh And yet, in today's Jodo community, the jo as Nishioka-shihan demonstrates and employs it is seen as being unique and even unorthodox. However, I believe its existence can be said to be an extremely important treasure not only for the Jodo community but also for the whole Budo community.
I believe this because I see that the uchisuji of his Jo and the tachisuji of his Tachi communicate superbly the tachisuji Shinto-ryu Kenjutsu. It is possible to think that perhaps tachisuji has been completely forgotten by the present-day Budo community, yet in Nishioka-shihanüfs waza it is embodied and enlivened in the form of Shinto-ryu Kenjutsu and through Shinto Muso-ryu Jo.
A prime example is Hikiotoshi-uchi.
Shinto Muso-ryu Jo, there are numerous kata ending with swordsman levelling his
sword in front of the jo-wielder, who then hits the sword. After doing this or
seeing this, one then comtemplates the true meaning behind this technique and
In my early days of training I thought that it was simply hitting the sword with all your might to make it fly out of the way; or to bend the sword, making it useless. While it may be possible to hit the sword like this if the swordsman is inexperienced, it only takes a short amount of time for the swordsman to realize that the jo is easily avoided through simply moving the sword a little.
In my 20's I too experienced missing the sword with the jo, and I was evaded countless times by one Kendo teacher, all the while he told me that ügany strike directed at the sword should be evaded, like this!üh After this, I asked Hamaji-senshi about the problem I was having, and I received the following reply, ügIt is because you hit the tachi that your strike is evaded.üh At that time, I was still extremely young and my jo practice had not matured, so I could not comprehend the true meaning of his answer. I continued with my training, although still holding some doubts in my mind as to being able to strike the sword, all the while thinking ügIt'll be alright if I can just hit the tachi at the moment it stops dead center in front of me.üh
Nishioka-shihan's solution was superb.
ügIt is not a case of hitting the sword when it is in the center position.
Hikiotoshi uchi illustrates winning by cutting down on Uchidachi's tachi
as it is cutting down,üh he answered. ügThis is called Kiriotoshi in Itto-ryu
and Gasshi-uchi in Shinkage-ryu.üh
This was consistent with something I had heard of the old Shinto Muso-ryu Jo kata. At the end Uchidachi and Shijo would finish in mid-cut at the upper level. When practicing kata using a shinken or a habiki, instead of a bokuto specially designed for use in keiko, coming together like this makes sense.
In present times, we strike the bokuto directed in seigan as a form of kiriotoshi practice, much akin to practicing tameshigiri with a shinken. Thus, in the kata we practice using a bokuto we are training to cut down on the tachi that has come to cut us. I cannot resist in saying that Nishioka-shihan's ügsolutionüh was very simple and convincing and the question that I had held onto for many years and the perplexing answer Hamaji-senshi had given me had finally been solved.
Certainly this strike is the ultimate technique. For Itto-ryu, for Shinkage-ryu, for Shinto-ryu, and indeed for every ryugi, I expect that training in this principle has been made the most important of all. Accordingly, I suggest that this strike is something which all present day Jodo practitioners ought to learn thoroughly as, without it, I believe the ügliving Joüh will never be, nor will it be possible to attain the Jo of Shimizu Takaji-shihan.
However, a terrible amount of practice is required before one masters this strike. I myself received the benefit of countless corrections from Nishioka-shihan and after 20 years of revision, reassessment, and reconfirmation I am at last at a level where I get the feeling that I have finally acquired it.
this strike is not just in Hikiotoshi uchi. Itüfs also in both Honte uchi and
Gyakute uchi as the same strike is employed.
The Kuden of Kashima Jingu, ügIkkon Juu Man Enüh, which is passed on at the same time as the ügRyuuko Nikanüh, the Hiden contained within the records of the military family, also teaches this. Moreover, this can also be said to be the ügBujutsu extensionüh of the ügsecret keyüh to Japanese Shinto, the ügFutomani-no-mitamaüh.
It is said that a founder of Shinto-ryu, Iizasa Chouisai Ienao, would challenge the martial artists of Kurama-han travelling on their pilgrimage between Katori and Kashima shrines, waiting for the appearance amongst them of the return home of a master whom he could look up to as teacher, one in which he could acquire more knowlwdge. At the end of this most arduous training, he was enlightened and created a new ryu. It is believed that the origin of his technique was in fact the strategy of the Kurama Shinden as handed down by the master martial artists of the Kurama region.
It is said that Kiichi Hogan transmitted the military strategy of Kurama Shinden onto Minamoto Kuro Yoshitsune, who was at that time called Ushiwakamaru and that this strategy is the embodiment of the ügHidenüh of Japanese Shinto teachings, which is called ügTenshinsho-denüh, ügTenshin-denüh and ügTenshin Hyohoüh.
This is mentioned in the book
I have written, ügHoncho Budo Ronüh and I will explain the above in further
detail later on.
the case, Nishioka-shihan's technique faithfully transmits and aims to
communicate the intentions of
Next, let us consider the Uchi no Suji (cutting angle) of Nishioka-shihan.
2. Regarding the uchi no suji.
ügWhat kind of angle should the sword take (tachisuji) when cutting in Shinto-ryu?üh
I think that one can answer this question by looking carefully at the tachisuji of the Shinto-ryu being taught today. Additonally, I have also made personal studies of Shinkage-ryu (Yagyu Gensho-den), Kukishin-ryu, and Houten-ryu and have been exposed to the sword techniques of other Koryu such as Tenshinsho-den Katori Shinto-ryu, Maniwa nen-ryu, and Jikishinkage-ryu.
I have come to understand that the answer exists in the concept of ügAlways shield yourself behind the sword and perform the technique.üh In coming to this understanding this concept, I have keenly felt the techniques within ryugi whose line has been interrupted and then later revived, have losing this basic technique, and felt it within many ryugi which are thought to no longer teach this method.
This ügAlways shield yourself behind the sword and perform the technique.üh is, I think, absolutely vital to a real battle, one in which life is at stake. It would be too dangerous to perform techniques without it.
Shinto-ryu kenjutsu, even though it is a subordinate to Shinto Muso-ryu Jo, it
goes without saying that this principle directly applies. Yet for most practitioners,
at least within the realm of my own
limited experience, I have yet to see anyone outside of Nishioka shihans wield
a sword in such a proper way.
Shinto-ryu kenjutsu, the source of Shinto Muso Ryu Jo, is moving further and further from its original form; and it follows that Shinto Muso-ryu is also in a similar state.
After considering the original tachisuji angle of the sword, it then follows to explore the angle that the jo takes.
In Shinto Muso-ryu Jo there are three strikes, Honte-uchi, Gyakute-uchi, and Hikiotoshi-uchi, which all follow the same angle of attack , although there are some differences in ügTenouchiüh (Iüfll get to that later).
As an example, I will explain Nishioka-shihan's movements in Hikiotoshi-uchi.
|Hikiotoshi no kamaeR>|
raising the Jo from Hikiotoshi no kamae. The body is squared and the left hand
is direct center of the chest (along the natural horizontal line from armpit to
From here, leave everything as it is and strike through, cutting down at
It is important to make sure that the tip of the Jo passes by the tip of
the opponent's nose.
Without changing anything cut down in a continuation of the above movement.
Afterwards, step out with the right foot, return the Jo back along the line it has just travelled in order to assume Migihonte no kamae.
do you think?
Both Honte-uchi and gyakute-uchi pass along the same line.
At first glance it appears to be a simple strike, but outside of Nishioka-shihan and those who have received training from him, there is no one to be found doing this.
Nishioka-shihan has always said that this is the strike Shimizu-senshi wanted to pass on.
The influence of modern day Kendo (a competitive sport using Shinai) upon the catholically practiced ZKR Jodo is by no means small (in comparison, it is quite large), the hasuji or ügblade angleüh of Jojutsu of practitioners who have studied ZKR Jodo is quite different, even though they perform the same patterns of Shinto Muso-ryu kata.
In fact, I was once told by a Koryu kenjutsu practitioner that he had tried to learn Shinto muso-ryu Jo but there was nothing of interest in it. When I asked why, they told me that üg...only a sequence of the movements were taught. The reasoning and strategy (such as Aishiuchi or Ichimoji no uchi), the most important aspect of Koryu kenjutsu, is completely lostüh.
is always saying that Honte-uchi, Gyakute-uchi, and Hikiotoshi-uchi are the
most important techniques, this meeting with the sword strike and then
overcoming it the Gokui of the jo, that and ügAlways shield yourself behind the sword
and perform the technique.üh I agree with this wholeheartedly.
Nishioka-shihan embodies the execution of this strike superbly. With all unnecessary strength left out, and no strain anywhere, this masterful movement, performed simply and effortlessly, is without a doubt such that it caused one American practitioner to proclaim Nishioka-shihan a ügjo-saintüh.
If one looks hard at Nishioka-shihanüfs technique and demonstrations, one sees him using a movement that involves the opening and closing of the scapulae and pectoral muscles in a very natural, inconspicuous manner.
This is embodied in the 64th kata of Shinto Muso-ryu, which is called ügAunüh.
It is said the name ügAunüh comes from ügAüh as in ügopeningüh and ügUnüh as in ügclosingüh. This is represented in all of Nishioka-shihan's movement. It is not restricted only to simple strikes but applies to all the actions of his Jo. Even in the other kihon waza, Kaeshi-tsuki, Gyakute-tsuki, Makiotoshi, Kuritsuke, Kurihanashi, Taiatari, Tsukihazushi-uchi,Taihazushi-uchi, Nishioka-shihan performs this opening and closing of the scapulae and pectoral muscles naturally within in all of the kihon waza. This ability to perform the waza without any force or strain is the result of nearly 70 uninterrupted years of constant training and is admirable.
Regardless of what others say, Nishioka-Shihan he is the oldest living Shihan in the Jodo world today. To anyone wih a sensibility extending to Jodo, I recommend seeing the movement of Nishioka-shihan personally at least once and accepting his teaching with proper modesty.
 The implication is that they have only acquired the
technical side of Jodo and are lacking the spiritual side; or have not acquired
the "Bu no Seishin" inherent in Jodo.
Tenouchi (how to hold Jo) July 1, 2009
Nishioka Shihan asserts that students of Shinto Muso Ryu Jo should understand the difference between honte (ügtrue handüh or forward grip) and gyakute (ügreverse handüh or grip). Perceiving the difference between these two grips is essential to all martial arts which use weaponry but regrettably only a few people can distinguish between the two and demonstrate them correctly.
Shinto-muso-ryuüfs jojutsu (stick method) originated in
Shinto-ryu Kenjutsu and therefore, the jo (stick) is viewed to have a blade. Furthermore,
I believe that students should use jo as if it had a blade although it is merely
round stick and many practitioners today ignore this. I am afraid most practitioners
are unaware of the theory of the ügbladeüh that the jo has. For example, many
students mistakenly believe that the difference between honte and gyakute is
merely the distinction of the right handüfs grip when in reality the difference
is in the grip of both hands. Furthermore, if you grip the jo incorrectly
you are unable to use the jo to its full potential.
Look at the picture below.
This is honte grip.
The jo follows the üglife lineüh of the palm while being gripped (see the palm picture chart below), just as a cook grips hocho or a chefüfs knife.
With the honte grip, you can use the jo softly, freely, and flexibly.
This is gyakute grip. Both hands grip Jo along the brain line and emotion line of your palm just as a gymnast grips a horizontal bar. With this grip one can utilize the weight of the jo freely with force and power.
In technique of kuritsuke, your front hand is in honte and braced on the forehead while
the back hand free and in gyakute. This
transmits strength to the front of the jo. While being held in this way, the whole
body is in control of the jo. Nishioka Shihan once said Shimizu Takaji Shihan
had taught proper kuritsuke over and over
again yet today, the correct grip form of kuritsuke
is not observed.
 According to a Japanese Shinto myth, the gods Izanagi and Izanami thrust Amano-nuhoko spear into the chaos of the universe and stirred it. When they pulled it out, the drips from the spear formed the Japanese archipelago.
One distinguishing characteristic of Nishioka Shihanüfs Shinto Muso Ryu is his particular way of gripping the jo. He learned this grip directly from Takaji Shimizu Shihan. I do not know anyone else who grips Jo in this way.
When I first learned this grip from him
more than 25 years ago, it felt awkward because it was different from what I
had learned before.
It is regrettable that this method of holding the jo had not spread among other of Shimizu senseiüfs students and I came to my own interpretation as to why this is. When I thought about the cause of the jo being held affixed to the head (as Nishioka shihan does) and the gap between the head and hand (as most others do) I came to the conclusion that when Shimizu Shihan was practicing with someone taller, it was difficult for him to fix his hand on his forehead. Therefore he probably changed his technique, because he was shorter than most of his students, to accommodate the height difference. Ultimately, he held the jo above his head to demonstrate and perform the technique.
Of course you can use your foreword hand as a fulcrum point without fixing it to your forehead to perform the technique. However if you fix your hand on your forehead and use it as a fulcrum, it is a powerful way to perform Kuritsuke.
This technique is difficult to master and there are only a few among Nishioka Shihanüfs students who can do it. This is perhaps another reason that most Shinto Muso Ryu practitioners perform Kuritsuke with their hands above their heads.
This method is the essential for all the three of the yawara techniques: Kuritsuke, Kurihanashi, and Taiatari and throughout the entire school of Shinto Muso Ryu jo. Kuritsuke is found in the Omote set (Tachiotoshi, Tsubawari, Hissage, Kasumi), the Chudan set (Ichiriki, Oshizume, Taisha, Shinshin, Yokogiri-dome), the two kata of Ran-ai, Kage set (Tsukizue, Hissake, Kasanoshita) and the Samidare set (Ichimonji, Jyumonji); Kurihanashi is used in Ran-ai and Gohon-no-ran; Taiatari is used in Omote, Chudan, and Oku.Now, let me explain about the basic form of Kuritsuke.
(1) Kuritsuke (basic movement)
|Figure 1 "Font View"||Figure 2 "Side View"|
|Figure 3||Figure 4|
After striking the back of your opponentüfs hand, immediately aim the end of Jo at their eyes.
|Figure 7||Figure 8|
Years ago, I asked Ichizo Otofuji Shihan about the difference between Zenkenren Jodo and Shinto Muso Ryu, he said, ügThere are no big differences, but (1) Shidachi does not strike the back of the opponentüfs hand but instead the Nakatsuka (middle of the sword handle). (2) Shidachi does not aim the jo at Uchidachiüfs eyes. These were the two items that Shimizu Shihan proposed and were agreed when Zenkenren Jodo rules were made. At the time, the rest of the techniques were the same.üh
|Figure 9||Figure 10|
Next, move your left elbow to the left side of your chest and press down tightly to the side. Then, trying to hide your body behind the jo, move the jo as if to draw a conical shape with the left end of the jo at the fulcrum point. In this way your opponent fails to gain any opportunity to cut you.
Immediately after kuritsuke, Shidachi strikes to Uchidachiüfs face by moving the end of the jo upward. This technique is not performed to avoid the injury to the Uchidachi.
|Figure 11||Figure 12|
|Release your right hand from the Jo and hold Jo in honte grip.|
Bring your feet together, stepping with your left foot so that it rests beside your right foot. Stand in the normal tsuneno kamae.
previously mentioned, when one performs Kuritsuke, one must follow the basic
principle of Shinto-muso-ryu Jo: always hide the body behind the jo. Nishioka
Shihan performs Kuritsuke without using any power in the hands or arms, but moves
the jo as if drawing üga cone shapeüh in the air with his shoulder and elbow. He
does not give the Shidachi a chance to cut him because as he performs
Kuritsuke, he destroys Shidachiüfs spirit, sword, and body.
This is a Yawara (origin of Jujutsu) technique. If one uses too much force while handling the jo, Shidachi will certainly resist your force and your technique wonüft be effective.
It is said that flexible movement is more efficient than rigid movement. Always keep your body flexible, soft, and ready to response flexibly to the way Shidachi attacks you. One does not try to resist or react rigidly or one will lose the battle because of a rigid response.
Kuritsuke, Kurihanashi, and Taiatari are all based on this Yawara technique. Since one holds the jo, it is difficult to exercise flexible movement.
The basic Kuritsuke techniques I mentioned above are performed not only in Omote, but also in Chudan, Kage, and Samidare. The skill of Kuritsuke is within: (1) always hiding the body behind the jo, and (2) drawing a cone shape in the air with the end of the jo so that the opponent has no chance to attack you.
Nishioka Shihan explains the differences of Kuritsuke in Ichiriki and Oshizume and in Shinshin in Chudan.
After you are in kuritsuke
position, the movement of the kuritsuke
in Ichiriki and oshizume is
When one is in Kuritsuke position and is touching the sword handle from underneath, one slides the jo to the left side by moving the body until the end 10 centimeters of the jo meets the handle.
Then, while turning the body to face Uchidachi, the jo is pressed down to the Uchidachiüfs abdomen, passing through the center of Uchidachiüfs body. I have never seen this kuritsuke other than Nishioka Shihanüfs. When I asked Nishioka Shihan about it, he said that other students failed to learn the correct kuritsuke.
The kuritsuke found in shinshin and ran-ai does
not twist the body to the left, but instead the body stays in place, and
Kuritsuke is performed by softly gaining control over Tachiüfs arms until the jo
touches Uchidachiüfs lower abdomen.
Nishioka Shihan always says that Uchidachi must step back by moving the farthest leg from Shidachi first in order to avoid Shidachiüfs attack to the face with the end of the jo.
Next I would like to talk about Kurihanashi.
Kurihanashi is in Chudan and Ran-ai kata and is one of the ügyawaraüh (grappling) techniques. First you strike the back of Uchidachiüfs hands with the jo from underneath, then immediately aim the end of Jo at his eyes; then you unbalance them and at a 45 degree angle to their rear.
Many students simply throw Uchidachi backward, however more than 40 years ago Koichi Hamaji Shihan taught me to throw Uchidachi back at a 45 degree angle.
These pictures show Shidachiüfs stance just after Kuritsuke position and before performing Kurihanashi
Press lower arm down tightly into the ribs while lowering the elbow. Move the top hand up and to the front to throw Uchidachi away from you. Shorten the distance between the hands as you throw them. Do not lower the end of Jo below Uchidachiüfs head level.
Over the course of time Shidachi began to throw Uchidachi and this technique has become popular.
I myself was not an exception. Nishioka
Shihan said to me that throwing Uchidachi at a 45 degree angle is the orthodox
way of doing Kurihanashi. I used to throw Uchidachi backward, but when Nishioka
Shihan taught me the orthodox method of doing Kurihanashi again I remembered
how Hamaji Shihan had taught me Kurihanashi for the first time all those years
If you think about Kurihanashi rationally, to throw Uchidachi backward is against the natural movement. To throw them at a 45 degree angle to the rear agrees to the principles of yawara and is reasonable.
I donüft know why throwing to the rear in Kurihanashi has become popular
but my guess is that when many students were practicing Kurihanashi in
a narrow Dojo space, Shidachi would throw Uchidachi backwards to avoid
colliding with other students practicing nearby.
Of course, in the case of Kurihanashi in Gohon-no-ran, Shidachi throws Uchidachi backward, but this is different from Kurihanashi in Chudan and Ran-ai. It is rather similar to Tai-atari.
The initial posture is identical to Kuritsuke and Kurihanashi.
Unbalance the Uchidachi by driving the tachi upward. Shidachiüfs lower
hand is placed at Uchidachiüfs solar plexus while the upper hand is in
front of the face. Neither of the hands are touching the body at this time.
Stepping forward with the right foot, strike Uchidachiüfs solar plexus with the lower hand.
Next, push the upper hand into Uchidachiüfs face and drive them away and back.
Both hands are now gripping the jo in gyakute.
Step forward and stand in tsuneno-kamae posture.
5. Regarding Kaeshizuki February, 2010
Another characteristic of Nishioka Shihanüfs Jo lies in the footwork of Kaeshizuki. He asserts that itüfs one of the crucial techniques of Shinto-muso-ryu Jo.
This movement originates Taijutsu (body technique- Jujutsu). Furthermore, I have never seen anyone practicing this technique within jo except for Nishioka Shihan.
Itüfs a pity that many Jo practitioners tend to overlook these tiny but important traditional techniques. I fear for the future of these techniques and believe they may disappear, but it is still possible to preserve and hand down to the next generation.
With this spirit Nishioka Shihan expects the Seiryu-kai to cherish and hand down the techniques he has learned from Takaji Shimizu Shihan to as many Jo students as possible.
6. Regarding Gonosen February, 2010
This is the spirit of Japanese martial arts called ügYosei Shinbu,üh which stresses on the importance of persuasion and not force. Before resorting to arms, you should first talk to your opponent sincerely. If that fails you have no choice but to use divine force to punish an evil opponent. However, when you resort to force, you should pay honor before fighting. This is why Japanese warriors (samurai) introduced their names and places of origin to their opponents on the battleground.
When you are fighting an opponent, you are the architect of divine will, filled with love and affection. You should use force not in order to destroy your opponent but to correct his wrong behavior.
ügShinbu (Divine Force) does not mean resorting to violence to fulfill your desire. It means using force to elevate your morality, bringing peace to your family, and to contributing to society.
The spirit of Shinto-muso-ryu Jo lies in the words: There is nothing other than the Jo to teach a person without causing injury.
Therefore, when you practice Jo, you should not strike first, but wait until your opponent moves first.
Nishioka Shihan says, ügThe essence of Shinto-muso-ryu Jo lies in three points: watch your opponent carefully; be patient to the last moment when your opponent moves to kill you; and never strike first, only move after your opponent moves.üh
(Note: In the picture above, the distance between is wider than normal so that Gonosen can be understood.)
The spirit of Gonosen is to be patient and watch the opponent carefully. Move only after they move. Practice makes perfect.
Gonosen techniques can be applied to many types of Japanese martial arts as well. If one masters Gonosen, one can gain an unswerving mind. Such a mind is a benefit one gets from practicing Japanese martial arts. With this benefit you can contribute to society and your country.
Nishioka Shihan says, ügUchidachi is the parent and Shidachi is the child. Uchidachi should treat Shidachi with the tenderness of a parent. If you wield the sword only to boast skill, it becomes a murderous sword. If Uchidachi behaves like a parent who guides a child, the sword becomes a parental one. This is the core of Shito-muso-ryu Jo.
Of course, it is only natural that Uchidachi and Shidachi practice goes hand in hand, but if one knows the parental relationship between Uchidachi and Shidachi, you can acquire a samurai moral.
Thus, Nishioka Shihan shows the basic principle of Japanese martial arts. His spirit of Shito-muso-ryu Jo is, I believe, comparable to that of a national treasure.
3. In Conclusion
I have delineated my thoughts about Nishioka Shihanüfs Jo. His existence is precious to the world of Japanese martial arts and his Jo techniques are incomparable.
Therefore, I think it important for Jo students to learn as much as possible from Nishioka Shihan. I am determined to continue to practice Jo keeping in mind his Jo spirit as well as Koichi Hamaji Shihanüfs last words: never tarnish the traditions of Shinto-muso-ryu Jo.
I sincerely hope for your understanding of and assistance for Nishioka Shihanüfs Shinto-muso-ryu Jo. Thank you.
February 7, 2010
As mentioned above the art and the spirit of Shinto Muso-ryu Jo as passed
down to us by Nishioka Tsuneo-shihan is one of the greatest treasures of
Japanese budo. I think that to pass this on to future generations is to repay
the kindness Nishioka-sensei has shown spending so much time teaching and
In 1992 Nishioka Tsuneo-shihan founded Seiryukai to
honour the words the late Shimizu Takaji-sensei bestowed upon him before
passing: ügLeft as things are I will have produced mere stick-swingersüh, ügI want
you to do all you can to pass on the living Jo.üh
Moreover there are more than a few for whom these
seminars have proven opportunities to become direct students of mine.
He wrote the short piece ügMy wishüh to entrust us with
his wish that each of the 11 should bear the Seiryukai name and with it
Sensei's will embodied by that name.
As I have some thoughts at this current point in time, I will show here some of what I have received from Sensei, though it may be rather forward of me to do so, in order to clarify his intentions and also to make clear where I personally stand as one of the torch-bearers.
I have thus far announced what I have inherited from
Nishioka-sensei and made clear my own position. But more than any of these things I have listed above, what I consider my
most precious treasure is the Keiko I have shared with sensei, which is
remembered in my muscles, my joints, my bones, and my heart.
1st September, 2013
Copyright 2013 Hiroaki Ishida. No unauthorised reproduction and translation without express prior written consent.
18TH SHINTO-MUSO-RYU JO SEIRYUKAI SEMINAR IN NAGOYA