13 Jo Kata


The juu-san-no-jo-kata (13-movement kata) is one of only two individual routines in the entire Aikido system. Saito Sensei created this kata in the spirit of the 31-movement kata as a method of preserving some extra flowing combinations that O-Sensei performed, but did not include in the suburi or 31-movement form. At first, the routines are performed on the count, slowly while being relaxed, with concentration on footwork and form. When the routines become familiar, they are speeded up and performed in a more free and flowing manner. These exercises are designed to demonstrate the importance of being relaxed and able to flow, as well as the potential for unlimited combinations of movements.


Juu-san (Juu: ten; san: three) is the number 13.
No (no: of) means “of”
Jo (jo: staff) means “staff”.
Kata (kata: style, shape, pattern) means “standard form of a movement or posture”.


When executing the kata, you should make large, correct movements, counting with a loud kiai voice. You should wait 2 seconds (ni-byo) between each movement of the kata. You should imagine you are looking at yourself from above performing the kata over an imaginary cross and attempt to end the kata in exactly the same position that you started in.

Reference is made to striking at body parts. These are of an imaginary attacker and therefore should be made to those parts on this imaginary attacker of the same size as Tori.

Starting in shizen-tai, perform a standing bow and say the name of the kata outloud: “juu-san-no-jo-kata”. Then, step forward with the left foot bringing the jo into hidari-no-jo-kamae (hidari-hanmi, the jo is held with the left hand in a vertical position in front of the left foot; the tip of the jo is resting on the ground).

No. Movement
1 Choku-tsuki, moving slightly off the line of attack to the left.
2 Jodan-gaeshi moving across the line of attack to the right; then yokomen-uchi stepping haya-gaeshi into migi-hanmi.
3 Jodan-gaeshi moving across the line of attack to the left and sliding back, still in migi-hanmi.
4 Choku-tsuki in migi-hanmi, without moving your feet.
5 Hasso-gaeshi turning 180° to the right, ending in hidari-hanmi.
6 Shomen-uchi-komi stepping forward with the right foot into ken-no-kamae-migi.
7 Chudan-gaeshi turning 180° to left, ending in migi-hanmi.
8 Choku-tsuki from migi-hanmi.
9 Gedan-gaeshi sliding back in migi-hanmi.
10 Chudan-gaeshi stepping forward with the left foot into hidari-hanmi.
11 Jodan-tsuki from hidari-hanmi moving slightly forwards.
12 Hidari-tsuki-no-kamae sliding back in hidari-hanmi.
13 Choku-tsuki from hidari-hanmi.

After completing the final movement of the kata, wait two seconds, then return to hidari-no-jo-kamae. Stepping back with the left foot, return to shizen-tai and perform a standing bow.

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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.