Baltimore Aikido also offers training in Shinto Muso-ryu jo, commonly called “jodo.” Shinto Muso-ryu jo is a traditional Japanese martial art that uses a four foot long staff (jo) in combat.

About Shinto Muso-ryu Jo

Shinto Muso-ryu (may also be called Shindo Muso-ryu) is said to be the oldest Japanese combat style using a jo. It was founded in the early seventeenth century by Muso Gonnosuke Katsuyoshi. According to the legend, after losing combat to the famous Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi, Gonnosuke developed Shinto Muso-ryu and successfully won a later rematch.

Jo training has the goal of developing individuals technically, physically, and mentally. Technical training concentrates on combative weapons handling. Physical training involves learning proper martial body movements. Emphasis is also placed on traditional Japanese martial concepts involved in the practice of combative kata.

About Koryu

Shinto Muso-ryu is a member of a family of martial arts called koryu, or koryu bujutsu. Once numbering in the thousands, these arts were originally practical training methods used by the samurai, or fighting class, in Japan.

Other Arts

Although the jo is at the core of Shinto Muso-ryu, throughout its history the style has collected around it a number of other combat systems. Some of the systems associated with Shinto Muso-ryu are:

  • Shinto-ryu kenjutsu (Japanese sword)
  • Uchida-ryu tanjojutsu (short staff)
  • Isshin-ryu kusari-gamajutsu (chain and sickle)
  • Ikkaku-ryu juttejutsu (truncheon)

Why Study Jodo?

Jodo was originally developed as a method of combat, specifically for policing activities, at a time when people‘s lives depended on their skill. The training methods that were used and the martial skills embodied in the ryu are worthy of study for any serious martial artist, or for anyone interested in delving deeper into what they are capable of. Distilled within the techniques, jodo is the accumulated knowledge of one of the world‘s most advanced martial cultures. Our goal is to discover, develop, and internalize these skills in the present.

Students interested in studying jodo should contact David Pitard to set up a time to observe a class.

More information about Shinto Muso-ryu may be found at the following websites: