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Kamas

A Kama Grip Tip

I'd like to analyze a few common gripping methods for the kama and provide my personal favorite way to grasp and manipulate this weapon.

First and foremost, I suggest never gripping near the blade (at the top of the handle). It might seem like a decent way to strike with the bottom of the handle, but really you are just endangering your hands. A lot of practice kama are blunt and therefore fairly safe, but bad habits die hard and placing your hands anywhere near a sharpened kama blade is a very bad idea. Stay away from it.

One of the more common gripping placements is right in the middle of the handle. A lot of tournament goers prefer this method because it allows you to do spins, twirls, and finger manipulations. If the kama has good balance you can probably get a decent amount of spin out of it.

The problem with this method becomes apparent when you first try to use the kama as an actual weapon. The kama is a short range implement, which means to start with you don't have a whole lot of blocking and striking surface. When you take that limited surface and cut it in half by holding the shaft half way up you are causing yourself a lot of undesired trouble. In theory it seems like holding the kama in the middle opens up both the top and bottom of the weapon for striking, but it actually just weakens both.

My preferred method is holding the weapon all the way down at the bottom. Primarily you maximize the amount of blocking surface you have and the range of the weapon when trying to hook or attack your opponent.

In addition, you maximize the sheer physics of being able to swing the kama with force by having the bulk of the weapon moving with momentum. the bottom of the handle can still be used for hammer-fist-style techniques.

That all being said, I invite you to explore the weapon and feel the difference for yourself. Some techniques work great for show while others are suitable for application. Do whatever is best to meet your goals!