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.