Jodo is an art in which a practitioner wields the jo, a wooden stick 128 cm long and 2.4 cm in diameter. In addition to the possibility of using it to attack, the jo is used as a means of controlling the opponent in response to his movements. The Jodo’s origins are in the Shinto Muso-ryu style, founded by Muso Gonnosuke in the early 17th century.
The Shinto Muso Ryo Jo has a total of 64 techniques divided into sets, each with different characteristics. Systematic training develops practitioners’ technical and psychological skills. From the movement of the body and the handling of weapons to the proper use of time, target and distance. Beginners begin the jo practice by learning a set of twelve kihon waza (basic techniques), then proceed to different sets of baton-to-sword techniques. Finally, they learn about gokui hiden, a set of techniques that are taught only to students who have received menkyo kaiden, the most advanced level.
Shikanai Sensei had his first Jodo lessons at the Okumura Sensei academy in 1973. Okumura Sensei had invited Shigehiro Matsumura Sensei to teach Jodo at his academy. Matsumura Sensei was a student of Takaji Shimuzu and, after his death, of Ichizo Otofuji Sensei. Classes took place on Saturdays and during this period Shikanai Sensei learned the basic forms and the seitei gata.
When he arrived in Brazil, in order to continue his training, Shikanai Sensei, sought out the São Paulo Federation of Kendo, presided at the time by Tadashi Tamaki. However, he was informed that there were no known practitioners of Jodo in Brazil. So he continued to practice the teachings he received in Japan alone. The training attracted the attention of some Aikido students who were approaching curious to ask what he was doing and if they could join him. Over time the first classes were formed.
In 1981, when Shikanai Sensei returned to Japan for the first time, he visited Okumura Sensei’s academy in search of his first teacher. To his surprise, Nishioka Tsuneo Sensei was there. His style and way of moving profoundly marked Shikanai Sensei, who came looking for him again in 1991, when he returned for the second time to Japan. Years later, in December 1996, he decided to send a letter to Nishioka Sensei asking to be his student and inviting him to come to Brazil.
In 1997, Nishioka Sensei comes to Brazil for the first time and spends a month and a half at Shikanai Sensei’s home teaching daily. After this first period, Shikanai Sensei asks the master to return to teach his Aikido students. Invitation accepted, in 1998, happened the first Jodo Gashuku at the Bento Sensei Dojo in Petrópolis. Nishioka Sensei would come to the country on three other occasions, sharing his knowledge and lessons with Shikanai Sensei and his new Brazilian students (1999, 2001 and 2006). In addition to classes with Nishioka Sensei in Brazil, Shikanai Sensei participated in the Seminars of the International Jodo Federation – IJF – in the years 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2015.
From February 2016, Shikanai Sensei started to practice Jodo under the guidance of Kees Bruggink Sensei1, who annually teaches seminars in Brazil.