Around 17th century Japan, a legendary duel took place between Japan’s most extraordinary swordsman, the undefeated Miyamoto Musashi, and a Shinto Priest, Muso Gonosuke Katsuyoshi who was trained in the art of the bo staff (bojutsu).
Musashi emerged from the confrontation victorious, but felt no other opponent had possessed so great a skill as Gonosuke. Out of a spirit of profound respect, he spared his life.
The wounded but determined priest retired to the mountains, and there fell into a deep, meditative trance. In the midst of his contemplations, a mountain spirit revealed to him in a vision a shorter version of the common bo staff, called a jo.
Afterwards, Gonosuke cut a bo to the precise dimensions given him in the dream, and from his bojutsu training modified and improved techniques, allowing him a far greater range of control over the stick, and consequently, over the weapons of any adversary, especially the swordsman.
Muso Gonosuke challanges Miyamoto Musashi
He named his new ryu, or style, Shindo Muso Ryu, the Divine Way of Dream-Thought, and with this new weapon, he re-challenged the great Musashi. It would prove to be Musashi’s only defeat.
Muso Gonnosuke`s inspiration has become the motto of Shinto Muso Ryu:
Maruki o motte suigetsu o shire
"Using a round stick, know the solar plexus"
The classical form of the art, as taught for several centuries, consists of 64 kata, divided into sets, each with a different character. In 1968, the 25th headmaster of the school, Shimizu Takaji, developed a more compact form of the art, called Zen Ken Renmei Seitei Jodo, or Seitei Jodo for short, aimed at teaching kendo students.
Seitei Jodo focuses primarily on the study of 12 kata (ten which were chosen from the three first series of SMR kata seen to best represent the art, plus two other kata created specifically for the new system), and 12 basic techniques or kihon.
25th Headmaster, Shindo Muso Ryu Jodo
The great teacher Ms. Tsunako Miyake helped bring Seitei jodo into the Kaze Uta system in the late 70s, 80s and 90s and is the focus of jodo training at Windsong Dojo, and has under gone even further refinement towards efficiency as taught by Mr. Nick Lowry.