Jodo originally called Jojutsu, the name changed to Jodo the way of the staffin 1940. This way of using the staff was devised by one master swordsman, Gonnosuke Katsukichi, specifically to defeat another in the early 1600. There were wooden staff arts before Gonnosukes time, such as the Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu Bojutsu techniques using the rokushaku bo (six foot staff), as well as the Sekiguchi Ryu, Bokuden Ryu and the Takeuchi Ryu. Gonnosuke studied the Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu school of Iaido under Sakurai Ohsumi No Kami Yoshikatsu, then he studied the Kashima Jikishinkage Ryu, like other Samurai of his time he engaged in various duels throughout Japan to test his skills, until he faced Miyamoto Musashi (the author of the book of five rings). Musashi beat him with a technique using two swords called Jujidome. Unusually for those days, Musashi did not kill his opponent.
From that time, Gonnosuke went on to travel to many places to study martial arts and he became completely absorbed in how to break Musashi’s Juji-dome. After several years he reached Chikuzen no Kuni (modern day Dazaifushi, Fukuoka-ken), and went onto the Daizufu Tenmangu Shrine close to a sacred mountain and settled at the Kamado Shrine on Mount Homan where he indulged in a 37-day session of meditation. On the final night in a dream or vision, a child appeared who conferred onto Gonnosuke the teaching of “maruki o motte, suigetsu o shire” (“holding a round stick know the suigetsu”). Keeping this oracle in mind, he reconsidered the design of some original weapons; To lengthen the 3 shaku 2 sun sword by one shaku; to make a staff of 4 shaku 2 sun and 1 bu in length and 8 bu in diameter; and to finally combine the three martial arts of the yari (spear), naginata (halberd) and tachi (sword) to synthesise one martial art, Jodo. With this accomplished, it is said that he went on to break Musashi’s Juji-dome technique.
After this Gonnosuke was summoned to the Kuroda clan (Fukuoka) where he became revered as a teacher. Out of his students, more than ten went on to become teachers of his art although the style was never taught outside of the clan. The founder of Shinto Muso Ryu Jodo became known as Muso Gonnosuke Katsuyoshi.