20 Jo Suburi

O-Sensei in Iwama with Aiki-jo

“The founder taught the 31 jo movements for beginners. In addition, he also left many other jo kata. However, since they were very difficult, I broke them down into parts in order to be able to learn them and created the 20 suburi movements. I organized them in such a manner so as to allow training in groups.” – Morihiro Saito Sensei

The jo-suburi-nijjupon (jo: staff; suburi: basic strike; nijjupon: twenty) are a set of twenty exercises including striking and blocking techniques that gives the student the required foundation in almost all the basic movements of the staff. Introduction to the variety of ways the staff can be held, and the variety of ways it can be swung provides the building blocks to all other more complex movements in staff training. Daily practice is beneficial to making the body both familiar and strong with the movements, so the student does not struggle with the more advanced movements, which involve combinations and variations of these basic suburi.

The 20 jo suburi form the foundation of all the Aikido staff techniques. They should be practiced carefully with large, correct movements; unrushed. Breathing is always important: inhale before you begin the suburi and kiai when you thurst or strike; only at the end do you exhale. Always control your position at the beginning and end of every movement to ensure you are always in good hanmi, thereby obtaining the certainty of training correctly.

The jo suburi are divided into:

No. Name Starting Position
Tsuki Gohon
1 Choku Tsuki Hidari Jo No Kamae
2 Kaeshi Tsuki Hidari Jo No Kamae
3 Ushiro Tsuki Hidari Jo No Kamae
4 Tsuki Gedan Gaeshi Hidari Tsuki No Kamae
5 Tsuki Jodan Gaeshi Uchi Hidari Tsuki No Kamae
Uchi Komi Gohon
6 Shomen Uchi Komi Migi Ken No Kamae
7 Renzoku Uchi Komi Migi Ken No Kamae
8 Menuchi Gedan Gaeshi Migi Ken No Kamae
9 Menuchi Ushiro Tsuki Migi Ken No Kamae
10 Gyaku Yokomen Ushiro Tsuki Migi Ken No Kamae
Katate Sanbon
11 Katate Gedan Gaeshi Hidari Tsuki No Kamae
12 Katate Toma Uchi Hidari Tsuki No Kamae
13 Katate Hachi No Jigaeshi Migi Jo No Kamae
Hasso Gaeshi Gohon
14 Hasso Gaeshi Uchi Migi Ken No Kamae
15 Hasso Gaeshi Tsuki Migi Ken No Kamae
16 Hasso Gaeshi Ushiro Tsuki Migi Ken No Kamae
17 Hasso Gaeshi Ushiro Uchi Migi Ken No Kamae
18 Hasso Gaeshi Ushiro Barai Migi Ken No Kamae
Nagare Gaeshi Nihon
19 Hidari Nagare Gaeshi Uchi Migi Ken No Kamae
20 Migi Nagare Gaeshi Tsuki Migi Ken No Kamae

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About Takemusu Aikido South Africa

The Takemusu Aikido Association South Africa (TAASA), formally Iwama Ryu™ South Africa, is a free group of black-belted practitioners of Aikido based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Our aim is to promote and spread the traditional teaching method of Morihiro Saito Sensei, direct student of the Founder of Aikido, to all communities in South Africa.