Meteor Sticks

I've been pondering a fun weapon or musical instrument inspired by the kusarigama and kama.

Nito Shinkage-ryu Kusarigama-jutsu - 43rd Japanese Kobudo Demonstration (2020)


The kusarigama and kama are sickles; one sickle is attached to a ball-and-chain like a flail. Kusarigama requires a lot of skill and practice to use effectively.

My "meteor sticks" are mainly for fun. They can be used like a less-lethal version of kusarigama+kama, but the basic technique is more like casting a fishing pole. You whip the sticks as if drumming a wall or odaiko. This slings the weights forward to strike targets.

So, the idea is to have fun "shooting" targets with a BAP-BAP-BAP barrage of strikes. For music, the targets can be drums or chimes.

The sticks are PVC pipes, with a line running through them; the line is tipped with weights. The basic casting technique is to whip a stick forward like casting a fishing pole. This slings its weight forward, while tugging the other weight rearward. When the other weight arrives you whip the other stick forward. When you get a good rhythm going, the retracted weight will do a tight 180 just as you're whipping its stick. This efficiently retains kinetic energy going into the next strike.

You can either aim both weights at the same target, or you can get fancy with aiming at two different targets. Either way, you get a satisfyingly rapid sequence of strikes. In contrast, stabbing with a spear involves fighting inertia as you alternate between pulling back and thrusting forward. Meteor sticks let you just BAP-BAP-BAP in a continuous onslaught.

A more advanced technique is to use one side as a flail - like a kusarigama and kama, but with an extra option to tighten up the radius by moving your hands further apart. The sweeping motion can hit harder and can be hard to defend against. It can also be used to wrap around a leg to trip the enemy onto the floor, or tangle a weapon. Then the other stick can be used to attack. This technique is more advanced due to the skill and practice required for anticipating and controlling the motion of the weight, the need to get in close for followup direct strikes, and the complex combination of attack and defense possible with the two sticks. In contrast, the basic casting technique allows you to keep a distance and just try to overwhelm the enemy with endless attacks.

For a practical weapon, each stick could have a kama blade and some sort of hand guard. In a fantasy setting, a curved spike might be the best option for spiking through mail between armor plates. Or for less lethal use, the sticks could be shaped like jitte or sai to parry swords/spears/etc.

But for modern use, I think it's just a fun way to whale on stuff at a distance. So - no need for blades or spikes or crossguards. Just a couple PVC pipes, a rope, and a couple weights.

Anyway the name "meteor sticks" is obviously inspired by "meteor hammer". Also, drumsticks are meatier sticks.