View Full Version : Kama <hand sickle>

Doug Daulton
24th October 2000, 17:20
An open thread dedicated to general questions regarding the kama or hand sickle as used in Okinawan weapons traditions

25th October 2000, 09:57
Farmer's implement, used for cutting grain on Okinawa to this day.

No mysteries about this one.

27th October 2000, 00:44
What about the Kusari-Gama found in Japan??

It is clained to be a weapon nothing more.

27th October 2000, 06:44
Joe- Kusari Gama in Japan is a weapon, nothing more, made famous by the legendary Baiken.

When you put the kusari on the kama, it ain't for cutting rice no more.:-)

27th October 2000, 06:50

Could you talk a bit more about Baiken?


28th October 2000, 03:25
Baiken or Biken was a founder f a school of bugei by his name, if I am not mistakken. He was supposed to have been killed in a duel by Miyamoto Musashi, who was almost killed by him.

Musashi's Niten Ryu, two sword style, possibly influenced by Portuguese sailors doing espada y daga,sword and dagger,enabled him to snag Baiken's kama with his left and sword, maintianing tension and maneuvering such that he was able to reach Baiken with his other sword.

How much of this actually happened and how much is influenced by the novelization and movies about Mudsashi, is anyone's guess, except that Baiken really existed, because his style exists tody, as I believe he was credited with inventing the kusarigama.

Other than that, kusarifundo, manrikigusari and oher weapons in Japan predate that, the appeding of the kama to the chain, was supposed to be is creation.

Now, in Okinawan Kamajutsu, the ni cho kama can also have lengths of twine affixed to them and be let out during practice, and swung in a manner not dissimilar to the kusarigama, begging re question, did they get the idea from the kusarigama, or vice versa.

Did aiken know any Okinawans, or had he ever used kama to chop rice, or was this just a coincidence.

The swinging of the exptended kama, however, does not have the same wrapping usage of the kusarigama, because of the difference between twine and chain.

That's all I know on this, and I am not a Japanese historian , so maybe someone has better nfo on Baiken.

As far as Okinawa history, I think there is a desired view that all martial practices came from the aristocracy, and the comparison someone made to European serfs was funny, because the serfs were also soldiers, as were Japanese commners in time of war, and trained in certain martial arts, including halberd and pike, and European serfs were experts at quarterstaff fighting, and single stick r backstaff, as well as wrestling and grips, or European Jiujitsu.

People developed techniques to protect themselves.No one would suggest that a serf would face an armed and armored knight and win, unless they had a pitchfork, a halberd, or a crossbow or longbow( a weapon serfs were trained to use), certainly not in a sword duel, but a knight might not want to take on a serf, both unarmored and armed with quarterstaff, he might die.

Since in the West peasants had and excelled at their own arts, why did they not in the East?

Some Western peasant arts still survive, such as Cumberland and cornu breton wrestling, quarterstaff nd single stick.

What was that about farmers having no time to learn to fight?

Farmers were soldiers in time of war.While they may not have known aikijujitsu daito ryu and kenjutsu/iaijutsu, they most certtainly could wrestle, lock and throw, and strike with various weapons.

In Japan, historically it is recordeed that different castes were taught different martial art , such as the footsoldiers, were taught kito ryu type jujitu, with hip throws(called koshi no mawari) and halberd and spear arts, while the aristocrats were on horses and knew kenjutsu and yabusame and other arts.Middles classes were taught intermediate arts, maybe kyujutsu and so on.

In the East as well as in the West, without the serf/farmers, you had no soldiers. We should believe these had no training?

In Okinawa, the village arts of Sumo, tegumi and whatever those folk dances really were, were and are widespread to this day.People carried water with bo(one bo kata has a double slip to drop the water buckets before brnging to kamae, the bo), bridled horses and flaied rice with nunchakun:-), and ground it with tonfa trurning the mills.They used oars to row their boats and kill pirates, and fish gigs and tortoise shells to fight, whom?

Sai, well, some one said katan awre hard to defend against;in Japan a one pronged sai called a jitte or jutte was sed by the torite(Japanese Police) tosubdue and disarm unruly samurai, one jitte with one prong.

Anyone familiar with saijutsu waza and kata, will know abot the upad crossing and hooking blocks for swords, and the twists used to disarm and even break the katana.

In Europe, similar devices were used by common footsoldiers in battle, called swordbreakers. Hook, trap and twist,that was the way.

Swords were great weapons but they had their weaknsses.

By the way, a nuntibo or yari sai(sai on a spear) can pretty often, in trained hands , disarm a atana and kill the wielder, as long as proper ma ai is maintained.:D

You don't suppose the were designed for that, do you? By the way, a Chinese weapon resembling a yari no sai and called a Tiger fork, was taught in White Crane Kung Fu, and used in this manner.Looks a lot like a Pitchfork.

Lets give the farmers , fishermen and hunters(hmmmmm-hunters) a little more credit here, folks.

26th January 2001, 16:24
Hello all,

I am search of Kama Katas.

The only thing I have been able to find so far is a list of names for them but no videos or step-by-steps....

D. KAMA NO TE (Double-kama only)

1. Gushikawa tairaguwa no kama - Ichi (Matayoshi or Kobu nichogama)
2. Gushikawa tairaguwa no kama - Ni
3. Hamahiga no kama
4. Kanegawa no kama - Dai
5. Kanegawa no kama - Sho
6. Kina no kama
7. Kishaba no kama
8. Kuzushisho no kama
9. Ryuei no kama (Kama no ho)
10. Sanabe no kama - Ichi
11. Sanabe no kama - Ni
12. Soken no kama
13. Toyama no kama (Tozan no kama)

Any help??