When I did Aikido, several years ago, my teacher knew a lot of bokken and jo katas and other three or four combinations moves (small kata) for bokken and jo that I don't know how to call. The number of smaller moves katas was more than 40.

For some years now I am searching for a book or a reference that includes all those techniques and katas but with no luck. I have found the kata 1 or 2, but nothing more, let alone a complete guide about them. There are many books about Aikido itself, but they don't talk about Jo and Bokken or have only one or two references.

Is there any complete book with Bokken and Jo movements?

  • All the kata will depend on which style you do. Feb 19, 2012 at 14:49
  • @Sardathrion I was doing only aikido. The small moves I think was just good practice.
    – Aristos
    Feb 19, 2012 at 14:57
  • 1
    Ah, sorry. I meant that the kata will vary between styles of aikido: yoshinkan, shodokan, aikikai, iwama, ki, etc... all will have different versions of the 31 and may others. Shodokan has a 6, 18, 21 and 31 for example. Feb 20, 2012 at 8:26
  • @Sardathrion I am on aikikai.
    – Aristos
    Feb 20, 2012 at 8:29
  • 2
    There may be little books on this topic, but there are lots of videos of those kata on Youtube. Isn't it enough for you?
    – user91
    Feb 27, 2012 at 16:38

4 Answers 4


There are a number of video resources available. As was pointed out in the comments depending on your style (and even instructor) there may be small changes. I included most of the ones I've been taught over the years. My instructors were generally influenced by Saito Sensei.

For Jo:

For Bokken:


I'm very pleased with Autrelle Holland's Aiki-jo manual, which contains the Suburi and Kihon (I believe those are what you refer to as "small kata". I've also been impressed with Stanford Aikido's discussion of the Jo Suburi, which contains some very precise, practical advice and a wonderful sense of humor.

Of course for video the Saito Aiki-Ken and Aiki-Jo disks are excellent - although one of these days I need to get around to asking why Saito-sensei breaks his wrists at the end of the stroke and why he drops the sword behind his back at the beginning of the stroke.


Dave Lowry wrote a book each on bokken and jo work:

Bokken, Art of the Sword and Jo: Art of the Japanese Short Staff

These go through basics as well as single and partner kata.

Lowry has also written many books on Japanese martial arts that explore philosophy, culture, and experience, all of which you can easily find on Amazon. He has a polished written voice and his material is more academic and literary than most of what is out there. He began studying sword work in the Midwest by serendipitously stumbling upon a local master. Highly recommended reading.


Morihiro Saito's Traditional Aikido Volume One (ISBN: 0870402668) includes jo and bokken kata and suburi. It seems to be out of print, but you can find used copies for (as of June 2018) around $70.

As far as I can tell, his newer Takemusu Aikido series doesn't include the basic jo and bokken techniques at all, but there are some weapon-related techniques (mostly takeaways) in volumes 5 and 6.

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