What is it?

What is Jodo?

Jodo means the way of the stick. Training in jodo centres around kata performed against an opponent with a wooden sword.

As with iaido, there are many different schools of jodo in Japan. At Eimeikan Dojo, we study Shinto Muso-ryu jodo. Tradition has it that the school was founded in the 17th century by Muso Gonnosuke, who first used a jo in a duel with the legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. Originally practised only in the Fukuoka region of Japan and traditionally taught in one-on-one classes, Shinto Muso-ryu became popular across Japan in the 20th century. This was thanks in large part to the efforts of Shimizu Takaji sensei (bottom left), who created new methods to teach jodo to large classes. Jodo has since spread across the world.

All students start by learning the kihon, which are basic moves performed without an opponent. These twelve moves comprise the essentials for progression to more advanced techniques. Students move on to pair work between a jo and a bokken, or wooden sword. While kata are sets of fixed moves, the goal of training is to turn them into effective techniques with the timing of a real fight. This takes many years of effort.

The first twelve kata to be learned are the seitei forms as laid down by the All Japan Kendo Federation. These kata form the basis of all gradings and competitions, and students return to them throughout their careers. However, dozens more kata exist within the Shinto Muso-ryu syllabus, which includes sets using tanjo (short jo) and kenjutsu (sword against sword). The school also incorporates the use of jutte (a weapon for disarming a swordsman) and kusarigama (chain and sickle), although we do not teach these arts at Eimeikan. We have not had time to learn them yet! Shinto Muso-ryu truly is a lifetime’s worth of study.

What about the weapons themselves?

The jo is a wooden staff standardised at 128 centimetres long with a diameter of 2.5 centimetres. It is very simple and not decorated or embellished in any way. The most resilient jo are made from Japanese white oak.

Bokkens are made of the same material and represent the Japanese long sword called a katana. For obvious reasons real swords, possibly worth many thousands of pounds, are not used.


With Ueda sensei at the Okehampton seminar, after a wonderful demonstration of hikiotoshi using eleven jos at once!

Eimeikan and Jodo

At Eimeikan, we study Shinto Muso-ryu jodo.

This consists of the twelve seitei forms and dozens of  koryu forms specific to our style. Additionally, as students progress they will also learn tanjo and kenjutsu.

In the UK, we are extremely lucky to have many high-ranked sensei, which means that  jodo seminars deliver some of the very best teaching available. We also regularly take trips to seminars around Europe.


  • Ishido Shizufumi Sensei:
    8th Dan Hanshi

    8th Dan Hanshi iaido, 8th Dan Kyoshi jodo and 7th Dan Kyoshi kendo. Ishido Sensei also holds Menkyo in Shindo Muso-ryu Jodo

  • Jock Hopson Sensei:
    7th Dan Kyoshi

    7th Dan Kyoshi iaido, 7th Dan Kyoshi jodo and 7th Dan Kyoshi kendo. 

  • Rob Colson:
    5th Dan

    5th Dan iaido, 5th Dan jodo

  • Ally Mihaylova:
    3rd Dan

    3rd Dan iaido, 3rd Dan jodo

What is the training like?

Read more about Jodo training in the BKA Jodo Brochure


A guided introduction to Iaido & Jodo. Beginners will be loaned equipment for the first couple of months of training.

Adults only

Sorry, but at this time Eimeikan is only accepting adult students over 18 years. We may revise this rule in the future.


As students progress they may pass initial gradings in the club, for which there is no charge. Gradings for Ikkyu and any dan grades are overseen by the British Kendo Association and there is a charge for this.

Contact Us


Wyvil Primary School
South Lambeth Road

Tuesdays 7pm - 9pm

Contact Us