Kama Design – The Blade

The Kama blade design was based on a variety of sources, but primarily I looked at martial arts kama and the traditional farming tools.  I was also concerned with a solid attachment, and I looked to traditional tool manufactures for this.


Seaholme kama blade design, from my sketchbook

There are a multitude of kama out there, some of which are inappropriate for dojo use:  sharp edges or points are not suitable for a training environment.  There are the modern ‘fantasy’ / XMA styles, which I can’t take seriously… and then the low-price low-quality mass produced items.

There are also some great kama makers such as Shureido in Okinawa, and Reimondo in the UK, who make beautiful high quality kama and I wanted to meet this standard in my work.

I aimed to keep the kama traditional, though who can honestly say what this means? The shape will have varied between different smiths and evolved over the years; then as ‘farming kama’ were re-purposed as ‘weapon kama’, the design and material considerations would have changed again.

 

The below shows the design process that resulted in the blade that is incorporated into Seaholme Kama; from sketchbook & CAD, to the final product and subsequent finishing.

Kama Gif 2
Seaholme kama design, from sketchbook to physical item

The top and bottom of the blade is a circular section, and the tang projects deep into the handle for a secure attachment.  I use ferrules produced by Ashley Iles and the rivets are cut from 4mm brass and hand peened into the handle.

Seaholme kama are made for neither farming nor war, but as an aid to developing physical strength and proper technique in Okinawan Kobudo.  The design brief was simple: use quality materials to make a great product, with no sharp points or cutting edges, and a high quality finish that will last a lifetime and be a pleasure to use.

(right) ash & untreated steel, (centre) oak & heat-treated steel, (left) walnut & aluminium.
walnut & aluminium (left), oak & heat-treated steel (centre), ash & untreated steel (right).
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