Jo staffs are short staffs used in Japanese martial arts such as Jojutsu , Aikido, Ninjutsu, Kobudo and some Budo/Bujutsu Ryu. Jo staffs are made of wood (traditionally Oak) and are roughly 4 feet in length. In contrast, a Bo staff is approximately 6 feet in length. Jojutsu techniques differ quite a bit from Bo techniques due to the shorter length and faster speed of the weapon however some of the blocks, thrusts and strikes used in Bojutsu can be applied to the Jo. Kenjutsu (Katana or Bokken) techniques can also be adapted to the Jo making it a very versatile and effective weapon.
During the days of the samurai, experts with staffs were able to occasionally defeat Japanese swordsmen. According to legend, Miyamoto Musashi (who was Japan's most famous swordsman and author of the famed "The Book of Five Rings") was only defeated once… by Muso Gonnosuke Katsuyoshi, the creator of the Jo staff.
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