The kama was a tool used to cut weeds and bring in the crop. It was a very simple but very sharp and potentially deadly weapon. Its structure however made it very weak when attacked with heavy blows directly to the blade. Therefore, there has been a redesign of the weapon, which is called natagama.
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The Kama: In 1470, when traditional weapons were confiscated by the Japanese military, Okinawan commoners utilized the Kama as a fighting blade, often attaching a chain to the base for greater reach. This longer weapon was known as a kusarigama. Kama are one of the more brutal weapons used in Kobudo, as the techniques nearly always result in a rather painful and often fatal wound. When taught to use kama most students are given a pair with wooden blades to avoid any "learning mistakes." Kama are a top heavy weapon, requiring a great deal of strength in the arms, particularly the wrists.
The Kama was originally used for cutting grass or sugar cane. In close range fighting, the sickle could be used to trap an opponent's weapon, or for striking. The handle itself is typically the same length as its user's forearm. It is a slashing and stabbing weapon that is effective for melee combat. Because its curved blade, it is effective deflecting an opponent's weapon. Additionally, because of its relatively short length, it can be quickly manuevered in many ways that longer weapons, such as katana and bo cannot.
The Kama is most commonly used in Kata competition and demonstrations although it is also still used in Okinawa today as a farming tool. The forms include circular movements which improve blocking and countering techniques. This weapon will strengthen the wrist and forearm.