These twenty suburi ("striking techniques") are individual jō exercises, designed to familiarize the student with the basic blocks and attacks utilized by the Japanese short staff. Repetition in these exercises leads to dexterity in the linear motions and continuous flow required to move the jō efficiently.
13 & 31 JŌ KATA
Building upon the foundation set by the twenty suburi, these kata (pre-arranged forms) incorporate the individual movements previously learned into set patterns that add complexity and dynamism to the techniques. Each kata has two representations, one for form and one for function, and includes paired training, giving the student the opportunity to work on their distance, timing, and precision.
13 & 31 KUMI JŌ
Kumi jō, or paired training exercises, are the highest level of practice granted for the jō within the Ishi Yama curriculum. Students participate in two and three person paired techniques, engaging with multiple opponents from diverse directions.
Within Ishi Yama, the study of the jō (or Japanese short staff) follows the practice set out by Morihiro Saito Sensei, who is generally accepted as the keeper of the flame for the techniques of Morihei Ueshiba's style of jō. It begins with gaining proficiency in basic striking techniques and their variations. Repetition in accomplishing these core movements and articulations leads to paired training exercises and, eventually, to two and three person techniques.
Through this practice, the student begins to develop into an individual with extraordinary abilities of actionable timing and perception in harmony with a common readily accessible wooden polearm. Qualities of jō blend fluid sweeping movements with complex directional diversity. This practice provides a strong sense of flow, contrary direction and multiple changing directions and positions, broadening the student's spatial understanding.