The Kusarigama is a combination of kusari (weighted chain) and Kama (sickle) developed originally in the Oei Period (1394 – 1427). It came to be part of the Shinto Muso Ryu under the third or fourth Headmaster. The Isshin Ryu weapon has several distinctive features including a straight, double-sided blade, a goken (protective iron guard) allowing for multiple handgrip positions and a particularly long chain of approximately 3.6 metres with a fundo (iron ball) at its end.
This weapon is normally studied only by advanced students of the Shinto Muso Ryu because of its complexity. For training normally a wooden version is used except for the handguard and a rope and leather ball simulate the chain and fundo. There are two sets of twelve kata and six Oku kata. Gradings are not available in this art and classes are available to adults only.