The Jo is made in 1 inch or 15/16 inch diameter and various lengths to fit personal needs. It is a straight staff of unassuming character, closely linked with the Japanese sword. When compared with a live blade, it has some distinct advantages that make up for its simple shape and lack of a cutting edge. Unlike a sword, a Jo may be unexpectedly wielded from either end or any point in between. It also has a few more inches of reach than a sword. Although many weapons arose as a defense against the sword, some very effectively, the Jo is most notably associated with schools arising from traditional kenjutsu and is now used in the disciplines of Aikido and Jodo. Staffs are inconspicuous and, owing to their elegance and simplicity, are preferred by some martial artists above all other weapons.