Showing posts from May, 2013

Controlling the spirit

When Muso Gonnosuke retreated to the mountain shrine to meditate on his defeat to Miyamoto Musashi, his subsequent revelation led to the development of a new art based on a short staff called a jo.  The heart of that inspiration has become the motto of Shinto Muso Ryu:

丸木を以って水月を知れ maruki o motte suigetsu o shire Using a round stick, know the solar plexus
And if you practice the art today—whether the full, traditional Shindo Muso Ryu jodo or Seitei Jodo—you will no doubt notice that many of jodo's techniques and movements within the kata are based on that very idea: control the solar plexus.

For me, fully grasping this one single precept was one the first important step in learning the art. As a new white belt, it all looked to like a bunch of individual techniques, where you swing the stick about in all kinds of ways, you do this if the sword guy does that, and so on.
Jodo took on a whole new clarity when I realized that so many of those movements were not to random or arbitrary, bu…

Kyusho—Vital Points

I'm a graphic designer by trade, so occasionally I get the uncontrollable urge to redesign various bits of info pertinent to budo when I get a spare moment. Here's a reference chart of "kyusho" or vital points taken from Pascel Krieger's seminal book on Shindo Muso Ryu Jodo, "The Way of the Stick." 
Feel free to use this JPEG however you like. If you prefer a scaleable PDF, you can download it here.