Kusarijutsu is the Japanese art of the kusari, or weighted chain. Its developers were likely medieval samurai who sought a flexible backup weapon. Chain weapons may date back as far as the beginning of the Kamakura period (1192).

Practitioners learn to use the kusari to strike blows, entangle the foe's legs, and apply Choke Holds and Arm Locks (which involve entangling the arm and then twisting it into a painful or crippling position). Due to their weapon's excellent reach but poor defensive capabilities, they alternate aggression with caution. Stylists prefer to use Wait, Evaluate, or Feint to set up an opponent before dealing a disabling attack - possibly with Entangle or Back Strike. Until such a decisive attack is possible, they move to take advantage of reach and keep the enemy at bay. Once the adversary is vulnerable, though, a crushing finishing move with Committed Attack (Strong) or All-Out Attack (Strong) is likely.

Cinematic Kusarijutsu stylists can swing their weapon with enormous force. They can also bind adversaries with loops of chain in combat. Some train to strike a single target with both ends of their kusari at the same time - or to attack two adjacent foes, one with either end. These last two moves count as Dual-Weapon Attacks, and are only possible with a kusari held in two hands and readied at less-than-maximum reach.

Kusarijutsu is an excellent starting point for non-Japanese martial arts that use chain weapons, or for cinematic or fictional styles that use (often bizarre or impractical) chain- and rope-based weapons: rope darts, bladed chains, chains with saw-edged spiked balls, etc. For more on the kusari and its many variants, see Chapter 6. For the kusarigama and its variations, see Kusarigamajutsu (p. 180).

Skills: Kusari.

Techniques: Arm Lock (Kusari); Back Strike (Kusari); Choke Hold (Kusari); Entangle (Kusari); Return Strike (Kusari); Targeted Attack (Kusari Swing/Arm); Targeted Attack (Kusari Swing/Skull); Targeted Attack (Kusari Thrust/Face).

Cinematic Skills: Power Blow.

Cinematic Techniques: Binding; Dual-Weapon Attack (Kusari).

Perks: Special Setup (Kusari Parry > Arm Lock).

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