History: Noted swordsman Gonnosuke Muso developed the Jo for competition against Musashi Miyamoto, Japan’s greatest swordsman, in the late 16th century. Garnering victory only after cutting his bo to the length of a jo (three to four feet), Muso founded the shindo muso-ryu to train others in the weapon.
Traditional use: Less awkward than the bo, the jo focused on basic blocking and striking maneuvers.
Current use: Jodo (the way of the jo) is currently practiced in Japan and the United States. Competitions, including free sparring and kata demonstrations with the jo, exist within the study.