Recently, a friend saw some of my projects where I've repurposed broken long blades into shorter full tang ones, and he gave me a broken blade he's been holding on to. Its a curved, double edge knife with one side serrated; a knockoff Al Mar warrior knife in fact. Its got a short tang though. Anyway, I was contemplating what to do with it, and my inner ninja got an idea: make a kusarigama! I've already got a few wooden batons I could use for a handle.
However, to get some info on the specs for building one, I end up finding myself in the uncomfortable world of the self-taught teenage ninja do-it-yourself community. Who I really shouldn't be deriding too much, cause here I am, a grown man, building a kusarigama.
So, some questions I have:
-Where should I be looking? I know there's some real Japanese arts that use the weapon.
-How come some kusarigama have the chain attached to the business end of the kama, and some attach to the base of the handle?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
-How long should the chain be? I've heard they can be 10-15 feet long but some of the pics of old ones are clearly shorter.
-How heavy a weight?
-Am I gonna kill myself with this thing? I've never trained in its proper use, but I've got experience with the bullwhip and chain whip and 3SS.
Originally Posted by Permalost
1) What's your life insurance?
2) Did your designated beneficiary contribute to the weapon's design?
IIRC, the answers to many of these questions can be found in Ellis Amdur's book, "Old School."
Originally Posted by Permalost
I'll have to dig out my copy. I think he even includes some specs and diagrams. I know I've got some legitimate diagrams for koryu kusarigama designs somewhere in my library, I just have to look.
And, yes, I suspect there's a very high chance that if you train with this it will kill you. You should make a training version with a rope instead of a chain, and a tennis ball for a "weight." And be prepared for your Inner Ninjer to surface...
The position of the chain depends on the ryuha.
Also, you most likely will die a horrendous death. They are a bitch to use, even if they're training kusarigama. You're better off getting a training kusarigama like Styygens had suggested.
My stick/knife instructor uses one of these when we train. He built one for training purposes that has a wodden handle with a rope coming out of then of it attatched to a tennis ball. He usually beats the crap out of me with it. He has let me try to swing it at him a few times. It usually ends up with me hitting air. But it's fun to use.
I wouldn't attach the chain to the blade end like the one in the top picture because when you are swinging it, it's easier to wing it around over your head and then whip it towards the person. If you have that blade sticking out, you probably will catch the chain every once in a while. Plus when you get that chain wrapped around a limb or neck, it will pull tight. That will make it harder to manipulate the blade when you close.
I would definitely build one and practice with it before swinging the real one. Or you may end up hurting yourself or messing up the weapon.
Combatives training log.
Gezere: paraphrase from Bas Rutten, Never escalate the level of violence in fight you are losing. :D
kettlebell workouts give you “cardio
without the dishonour of aerobics”.
So everyone's of the "you'll shoot your eye out" persuasion. Huh. So is it particularly more dangerous than the chain whip, 3 sectional or bullwhip? Cause I've managed to not kill myself with those. I mean, I'm not gonna try to swing the kama around by the chain or anything goofy like that. There's a sheath I can attach over the blade too. I imagine the most unfortunate things that can happen are hitting yourself with the weight, or having the chain unexpectedly pull the kama blade towards you (if you were swinging it one handed for some reason I guess).
I tried using a tennis ball in a bandana sparring against Chickenbeakfist a few years ago. They can hit surprisingly hard with good technique!
Originally Posted by Diesel_tke
The chain on my shoge measures 120 inches.
There are two books that I have on chain weapons, Spike and Chain http://www.amazon.com/Spike-Chain-Ja.../dp/0804805407 and
Flexible Weapons http://www.amazon.com/Flexible-Weapo...exible+weapons. I was told that more often, the flexible part was from hair. The chain links get kinked and caught on clothing. The chain makes sense though, as far as it is harder to cut.
I think shinto muso ryu jo does have kusarigama in its system.
I second the recommendation of Old School, which among other things takes a fascinating inventory of the various Japanese antecedents to naginata and yari, but you'll probably need to wait until next year when the second edition becomes available.
Until then, I can recall the following kusarigama trivia:
Toda-ha Buko Ryu, like many naginata ryuha, incorporates sets of kusarigama kata; at least with the former, the idea is to offer a challenge to the naginata wielder - naginata ryu are technically sogo bujutsu, but naginata are their principle weapons. This particular ryuha also eschewed practice with a rope in the stead of a chain, owing to the differing characteristics of the material.
Many jujutsu and sword-centric sogo bujutsu also incorporate kusarigama; some of them, like the Shinto Muso Ryu's subsumed art Isshin Ryu have the blade on the bottom and the chain on top. Old School's author is a shihan in a line of Araki Ryu, where the kusarigama is the more typical top-bladed and with the chain attached to the blade; he explains this is because it allows for single handed use. He also claims that after much trial and error he and his teacher concluded the chain should be short, allowing for usage comparable to a flail. The longer chain is a liability; it's not easy to capture a weapon with it and even at that the weapon is hardly controllable.
Last edited by DARPAChief; 9/15/2013 1:37am at .
The Kusarigamma used to be part of the Kobudo kata for our system but was eventually dropped for another kata; might have been Jo v Bokken...but I'm not too sure.
I've seen it demonstrated very well by one of our very senior Dan Grades. The chain is affixed to the bottom of the shaft with the cutting blade at the top.
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