Kama are Okinawan and Japanese traditional farming implements similar to a sickle used for reaping crops and also employed as a weapon. Before being used in martial arts, the kama was widely used in China, Japan, and the Philippines to cut crops. (Mostly rice.) The kama has also been used in Chinese martial arts from which the original Okinawan martial art Te (hand) and later Karate (empty hand) styles were influenced by and arguably developed out of. During the annexation of Okinawa by the Satsuma, all traditional weapons were outlawed. This led to the development of the kama and other Kobudo weapons which were also used for farming. It is sometimes known as a ‘Hand Scythe’. The kama is also a popular modern forms competition weapon. Modern forms competitors often simply adapt their empty hand routine while holding kamas with little to no actual kama technique employed.

The Kama is a formidable weapon against weapons such as the sword or Bo because of the curved blades – users are able to trap or block such long weapons with one Kama and attack the opponent with the second. The fact that the Kama is such a small and versatile weapon led to it being developed and refined into a more popular weapon of stealth, much like the Shuriken. Often crafted with a serrated upper edge and a small piecing utensil on the handle for more uses, the kama is considered one of the deadliest stealth weapons in ancient Japan.

Kama are often included in weapon training segments of tae kwon do, karate, and more obscurely in some kung fu systems.

The kama is a sickle-like tool used in cutting rice and can be found all throughout Asia. However, the Okinawans are usually given credit for utilizing this agricultural tool as an organized method of combat due to their unique weapons history.


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