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Nagae Kusarigama (Type 4) - An Ill-conceived Theory as the Basis for Jo in Shinto Muso Ryu

The above sequence is the end of the Jodo Kata 'Ranai'.  The Jo having missed and touched the ground, strikes away the sword on the way back up and then strikes the suigetsu from the side.

This is a nice combination but I always wonder how good the final hit can be, given the angle.

I can say one thing for sure - it would be far more convincing if there was a 20cm right angle blade at the end, as is the case with the Nagae Kusarigama.

On observing the use of the Type 4 Kusarigama, being the long handle variant, one cannot help but notice how this weapon encapsulates the features of several weapons in one.  Most obviously, there is the types of Kusarigama, however is also encapsulates the methods of the Jo.

On considering the use of the Jo in Jodo in general and Shinto Muso Ryu in particular, I must confess that in my limited experience I would still have selected the sword over the Jo if given the choice.

On observance of the companion method of Kenjutsu, Kasumi Shinto Ryu, we can see that the methods of the Shinto Muso Ryu Jo are somewhat transferable to the sword - to my mind the idea of the Jo against the sword would be a case of ‘had to’ rather than ‘want to’.

I do however ponder as to if we supplant a Jo with a long handle Kama or long handle Kusarigama we may have something very useful - there is now a great motivator at the end of the weapon.

On Hiki Otoshi the raking action of the weapon would be superb.

If I compare the Jo like use of the Kusarigama in Isshin Ryu, and supplant the longer handle version, the idea of blocking with the chain would become blocking with the shaft, and therefore much more palatable.

So, perhaps some food for thought - an unusual theory whereby the kata of Shinto Muso Ryu are re-examined with the Long handle Kama/Kusarigama in mind.

Obviously there is no historical evidence that this may be the case - it is probably that the Jo is very much a versatile and representative weapon that you could shoe-horn just about anything in there, but a bit of fun none the less.

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