Points

Warriors sometimes attach the kusari to another weapon (see Combination Weapons, p. 214). The kusarigama - a kusari fastened to a kama (sickle) - is the most famous combination. The chain is affixed to either the kama's head or the butt of its handle. This style covers both cases, but each variation demands its own tactics.

If the chain is attached to the handle, the user wields the kusarigama in two hands: his master hand holds the kama while his off hand controls the kusari. He can then "throw" the chain. The usual target of a throw is the opponent's face or hands - hopefully distracting or injuring him, creating an opening to move in and strike with the kama. This kind of quick attack with both parts of the weapon is a (realistic) Dual-Weapon Attack.

A related tactic with this kind of kusarigama is to swing just the kusari in an attempt to entangle or injure the foe. If the intent is to injure, the attacker aims for the skull or neck. If using the Entangle technique, he targets the arms, legs, or weapon. The turn after stunning or entangling his enemy, the wielder rushes in with the kama for a finishing blow. This is likely to be a Committed or All-Out Attack - especially if the kusari took the victim's weapon out of commission! The kusarigama user might pull his opponent offbalance prior to such an attack; treat this as a takedown or a Beat (pp. 100-101).

It's possible to hold onto the kusari and whirl the kama around on the end of the chain. This is potentially deadly, as it imparts greater speed to the kama. However, attacking commits the whole weapon - the kama isn't in the master hand, ready to strike and parry. On a hit, or on an enemy block or parry, the entire weapon becomes unready!

If the chain is attached at the head, the user can wield the weapon with one hand. The kusari swings freely and the wielder attacks with it (pulling his kama swings short of the target) or the kama. Often he'll use Entangle to snare the foe's weapon or pull him in (again, a takedown or a Beat), and then assault him with unarmed strikes or a secondary weapon.

Kusarigamajutsu is typically part of a larger ryu - frequently a secret or hidden element. Some Naginatajutsu (p. 186) schools teach the kusarigama as a backup weapon. For stylists using other kusari combinations, use this style but replace Axe/Mace with the appropriate skill: Jitte/Sai for the kusarijutte, Staff for the staff-chain, and so on. Tactics remain the same.

Skills: Axe/Mace; Kusari.

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

Cinematic Skills: Power Blow.

Cinematic Techniques: Dual-Weapon Attack (Axe/Mace or Kusari).

Perks: Grip Mastery (Kusarigama); Off-Hand Weapon Training (Kusari); Unusual Training (Dual-Weapon Attack, Both attacks must target the same foe).

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