Jo = wooden staff, Do = way
“the way of the jo”
Jodo is a Japanese martial art using short staffs called jo. The art is similar to bojutsu, and is strongly focused upon defense against the Japanese sword. The jo is a short staff, usually about 3 to 5 feet (0.9 to 1.5 m) long. The martial art of jodo was the province of professional warriors, so it was usually not used by travelers to ward off aggressive bandits or swordsmen, as one might expect.
“Jo” literally means “Stick” in Japanese. It is made of Japanese oak, and its cylindrical shape makes it difficult to break. The typical length is 128cm and the diameter is 2.4cm – 2.6cm. It is about 30cm longer than the average sword, and weighs 550g.
Unlike other martial arts like Kendo, there is no protective gear or equipment worn in Jodo. Therefore, within the structure of kata, Jodo practice consists of real training exercises with the Jo as an actual weapon. Jodo has evolved but the method of training still uncompromisingly preserves Jodo`s roots as a combative weapon.