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Thread: does it look like a good kama to you?

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    Default does it look like a good kama to you?

    I have purchased the sickle shown in the picture below at the gardening section of a hardware store the other day.

    I did not find it by accident, I was actually loking for it there since I have seen a few of my dojo mates using this exact brand (simply a standard industrially manufactured tool). Most instructors I have seen usually perform with more thick and apparently heavier Kama. Some of them use to carry tools exactly as the one in the picture for semminars or keep them in the dojo's closet to be used by those who do not have their own yet. Possibly because these are very low-priced so any damage they suffer would not mean a big loss.

    By the way, it costs less than US$3,00 each.

    So, is it common for you (your dojo, your association, etc.) to use these type of tool in practice or would you rather use the ones strictly designed to be used as weapons? Does the kama shown in the picture look decent? I just wanted to know how usual is that in other places.
    Sidarta de Lucca

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    Is there a reason why you need a sharp one? This style is very light, and maybe not the best choice for training. Though I do not train with such a weapon, I would not suggest using this style, but maybe our other members might have other views...
    John Lindsey

    Oderint, dum metuant-Let them hate, so long as they fear.

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    Not at all. The only reason I got the sharp one was because it was the only type available. Actually I do not think there are dull sickles being sold in hardware stores. If I could find a dull edged one with such a low price that would definatelly be my choice.

    People usually wrap the edges with some kind of Scotch tape. I think most people who use the kind of tools I put in the picture do it because of the low prices and availability.

    cheers.

    Originally posted by John Lindsey
    Is there a reason why you need a sharp one? This style is very light, and maybe not the best choice for training. Though I do not train with such a weapon, I would not suggest using this style, but maybe our other members might have other views...
    Sidarta de Lucca

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    Post kama

    How they are made and react to combat makes the difference. Starting with real kama at a beginner level is fine, just wrap the edges with electrical tape or duct tape. The thickness of the shaft makes a difference, and the way it is fashioned. The way the blade is inserted in to the shaft makes a big difference also. I have seen many come apart. I make mine with piined tangs. The tangs go 3" into the shaft. The photo you show looks pretty good. Maybe I can find one of mine. I have seen kama bought on Okinawa at a farm store that were very good, very sharp also. But at $3.00 a pair, I think I would buy a few too.
    Hank Irwin
    www.geocities.com/bushinoji
    A.O.A.
    Academy of Okinawan Arts

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    Post found one

    This one is called village kama, not quite as long of blades, 7" to be exact. Made of carbon steel, very sharp too. I made the shafts out of Brazilian hardwood. The top of shafts are wraped with yute. It serves as decoration persay over brass pins.
    Hank Irwin
    www.geocities.com/bushinoji
    A.O.A.
    Academy of Okinawan Arts

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    Thanks for the input Mr. Irwin!

    As you mentioned, I think the price is the main reason why people choose to buy the kama I showed. So, having them lost, worn out or broken means no big deal. And apparently these tools get the job done. And yes, beginners usually wrap it with some sort of thick scotch tape.

    I have in mind that these tools are pretty decent but not perfect for kama practice. I think that because instructors or senior students apparently prefer to perform with other types and/or models. One funny thing is that I thought these guys mostly used kama specifically designed for martial arts practice. So the other day I was going through my teacher's locker (with his permission, of course) and grabbed one of what I thought to be one of his specially designed kama, one I know he brought from Okinawa himself. I noticed there was this tiny sticker on it that said "*something I cannot remember* - hardware store". Apparently the use of actual tools as kama is pretty common in other places too.

    cheers,
    Sidarta de Lucca

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    Well, that's what the kama were, a farming tool. I think adjustments came about by way of using them for combat, like the thickness of shaft for contact, and shape of handle so you always know where blade is. I don't know if the bigger blade was by way of combat or not, but could see benefits in both areana for longer blades. As a farm tool I would imagine adjustments were made also, like carving/shaping fingergrips for ease of handling in the fields. Most farming kama have only bladed edge on one side which would not be efficient enough in a real weapons fight, but if that's all you had I guess the phrase"It's not the weapon but the wealder" would come into play.
    Either way, good tool, deadly weapon.
    Hank Irwin
    www.geocities.com/bushinoji
    A.O.A.
    Academy of Okinawan Arts

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    Well it all depends on what to do with them. As for use in Kata I think they will work just fine. And the price sounded very reasonable to, almost that I felt like bying a pair. But that would be a vaste since I havent my training with Kama. Still I own i pair of Shureido Kama, these pair I do use in my little garden.

    By the way I have looked for a pair that is suited for Kata practise but still would be suitable for use in Kumite, if anyone has a link to such a pair of weapons I would be keen to see them.

    Patrik Weitko

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    Gene Williams Guest

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    You need to train with sharp weapons. Toy weapons for toy martial artists

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    Do you mean the Kama mentioned in the first post or did you refer to my pair from Shureido? I know that my Shureido Kama are to fragile but I dont know anyone that use them to Kumite therefore. What brand do you suggest could meet the demands of both Kata and Kumite? I have sees some from a company in England called Reimondo, I dont know howewer if they are any better.

    Patrik Weitko

  11. #11
    Victor Guest

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    Hi,

    The first kama pictured were exactly like the kama being sold by Fuse Kise at a seminar about 15 years ago. They were the sort the average Okinawan's kept around their house to use in the garden.

    I've seen various sorts, and even have one set with blades that the backs are a quarter inch thick (and would do a good job carving through my car door).

    All of them require different technique in usage.

    I would suspect, except from whatever deveoped on Okinawan from tradition, they were not really used just trained with and whatever was at hand was used. Metal was at a premium on Okinawa as I understand it.

    The kama developed as a martial weapon in Japan is a different class of weapon though similar in essence.

    More telling are the styles of usage. From what I've observed the Okinawan systems tend to use kama with little hand shifting of the kama (which always seemed very reasonable if one was really going to use them). On the other hand the kama I studied (from an Indonesian Shotokan practitioner) involve very complex kama shifting. Frankly beyond my true potential but not my instructors. Of course if you can do it and make them sing, you're in a different dimension (but then all his small weapons (including tanto) involve inredible handling and shifting techniques.

    I remember a few years ago it was reported the Okinawan police were asking instrutors to stop teaching kama as the kids were getting into fights with them (yep kama and teenagers, what the blades are really for, sadly).

    All of the instructors I've seen only teach kata to senior dans' and only with live blades (beginning bery slowly for the beginner will find they will be bit as i did too). They don't accpet any other form of trainingi is rational. {Scary rational kama isn't it), but the logic is unassailable. Kama is very potentially dangerious to ones self. If you practice with fake or covered blades you won't develop enough respect and that coudl killl or maim you if the real usage allowed you to slip into a bad habit.

    Sure very few use answer today but you wonder if those cuke kids competing in kobudo with kama would live if the blades were very real anway.

    And if I remember one word of caution, didn't Hohen Soken lose his sight in one eye becasue his kama on a leader missed? That's as troubling as a competitor I saw sink one through is foot or a freind 25 years ago try spinning them in his hand and sink it through the flesh on his arm (but I guess we should say that's ok cause it's only a flesh wound.

    So we have the quandry of kama. An excpetionally dangerious potential, that nobody can really point to as being used in actual combat on any regular basis on Okinawa except as kata training.... and still I train with them and dive when my aging fingers can't move fast enough.

    O' the ecstacy of the arts.

    Victor Smith
    Bushi No Te Isshinryu

    ps I've only passed what I studied, the Chosen no Kama series (sho and dai) to one instructor I've developed too. Am I keeping my instructors traditions or am i just prudent regardling law suits?

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    I have a set of very sharp kama that I pratice kata with. I will also tell you that one day ended up cutting the back of my leg and ended up getting some stitches. The fun part of the thing was sitting for about an hour deciding on what to tell the doctor. Everyone at the hospitle got a kick out of it aswell as Shihan Williams and everyone at the Milledgeville dojo. I ahdv the name of kamasutra for quite a while. live and learn.
    Ron Davis
    Motobu ha Shito ryu Karate-do

    Karate is not a sport, it is a way of life!

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    Default Kama gonna cut you up!!

    I make wooden kama for practice, but as Victorsan said, will give you false sense of security. But some Namby Pambies need them, otherwise they would cut themselves apart. Kama is one of the last weapons you learn in our system. Victorsan, where did you hear this about Soken O'Sensei? Is first for me. Wouldn't surprise me, the video I have of Soken O'Sensei doing kamakusari is awe striking to say the least. First thing I thought was WOW!! then I wondered what would happen if he slipped just slightly. I remember watching Perry Sensei at a seminar doing kama on a rope. Very impressive, had to have dull blades though, otherwise those whips around his thigh might have been leathal. Kama is for the advanced practitioner. Takes a mature mind to handle what is coming. I remember he told us about one of his contempories doing kama on a rope for a tournement,...stuck it in the back of his neck. I have cut the knuckle ends midway of my fingers off quite a few times when I was a little younger. Scarey thing kama they are. I have seen many different types of kama, the longest blades coming from China. The one's that I make are for kumite, but should be practiced with on a regular basis. Children should not run with sharp things in their hands!! Think Mom said that. Hahahaha!!!
    Hank Irwin
    www.geocities.com/bushinoji
    A.O.A.
    Academy of Okinawan Arts

  14. #14
    Gene Williams Guest

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    Originally posted by shisochin#1
    I have a set of very sharp kama that I pratice kata with. I will also tell you that one day ended up cutting the back of my leg and ended up getting some stitches. The fun part of the thing was sitting for about an hour deciding on what to tell the doctor. Everyone at the hospitle got a kick out of it aswell as Shihan Williams and everyone at the Milledgeville dojo. I ahdv the name of kamasutra for quite a while. live and learn.
    That name we gave you was "kamasuture", Grasshopper

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    oh sorry rum shots make me type funny ....... and then trying to run a kama kata man dont try that at home.....
    Ron Davis
    Motobu ha Shito ryu Karate-do

    Karate is not a sport, it is a way of life!

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