Weighted chain


The ryofundogusari (double weighted chain) is often referred to as "manrikigusari" (10,000 power chain).  This latter name is used by a particular school well known for its use.  Other terms used in a "fundogusari" (weighted chain) and "kusarifundo" (chain and weight).  Often, simply the abbreviation of "manriki" is used.

The length of the chain and the size and shape of the weights can vary considerably.  The length can vary from approximately 30 to 120 cm.  TJR uses a length of approximately 80 or 90 cm and is best adjusted for the size of the person.  When the weights are held in each hand and the chain is wrapped once around each hand, the chain will be a straight line between the hands as they hang in their usual position at the side of the body.  Maintaining this distance between the hands is common.  For instance, holding a tanbo (short stick or baton) in two hands produces the same result.  It is also the distance between the hands when using the Indonesian tongat.

The manriki is often referred to as a concealed weapon as the smaller versions of weights can be hidden in one hand.  It was never a subject of independent classification and existed as part of the curriculum of composite schools and probably more particularly jujutsu schools.

The founder of the Masaki Ryu is said to have invented the manrikigusari from his system of kusarigamatjutsu (sickle and chain art) when required to provide security at Edo Castle.  The spilling of blood at the palace gates was not an option and so he turned to the use of the chain without the sickle.

Whilst its initial primary purpose may have been to ensnare weapons (as was the chain's primary function in kusarigama jutsu), its modern day usage is best directed at the use of controlling techniques by ensnaring an opponent's limbs or neck to lock, strangle or immobilize.  As with other weapons, its striking capabilities need to be used judiciously.

The great advantage of the manriki is its flexibility -- a chain that can take on a limitless number of shapes.  It is being able to control those shapes and the tension in the chain that presents the great challenge in its successful manipulation.

The manriki has a number of reasonable substitutes, such as a rope or dog chain.