The figure 8 to close is a flashy transition to switch from a forward kama grip to reverse grip. Be sure your spin carries your hands up before you drop the hands down as you close the kamas.
XMA | Extreme | Creative | Spin | Tricks | Kamas | Weapons
The half release itself won't be used often in performance, but it is a crucial first step in understanding the timing and hand-eye coordination required for more advanced releases.
XMA | Kamas | Weapons | Extreme | Release | Tricks