Jodo, the way of the stick, is a Japanese martial art which involves defending oneself from an opponent armed with a sword. The participant however uses just a stick, known as the jo, 128 cm in length and 2.4 cm in diameter.
In medieval Japan the sword was the weapon of choice for the samurai. Unlike the sword, both ends of the stick can be used, depending on how it is held. The fighters perform striking, thrusting and sweeping movements with the staff at varying distances from their opponent. A blow from the jo can bend or even break a good sword blade.
Jodo is mainly practiced by a pair of fighters, with one person acting as the wielder of the sword and the other fighting with the stick. As in all the ancient martial arts, the traditional training forms involve kata: movements which were combined as detailed sequences and handed down over time. The aim of practicing this sport is however not merely to perfect effective techniques. Another goal that is at least equally important is character and personality training.