When I was a kid, after seeing Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon, one of many things that interested me was when he used nunchaku (nunchucks/nunchuk).
I decided to make my own pair of nunchaku using pvc pipe and good nylon rope for practice.
I used the standard of hand to elbow for staff length and the nylon rope at hand width so that became what I’m used to.
Note: nunchuk were possibly developed by the Japanese, there are variances of historical use and folklore says it may have been used as a tool by the Chinese for cutting rice or soybeans.
The plastic nunchuk are light and very fast for speed practice but I wanted a wooden pair for real weight, use, and training. My uncle is a wood worker and I asked him to make me two staffs to my specifics. I drilled these and built my best pair, octagon oak which I still have today.
I also built a pair out of heavy metal pipe for weighted practice and building upper body strength. So with all these I worked out near daily for many months and off and on over the years.
Here are a few things I practiced to become accurate, fast, and powerful with nunchuks…
One thing I was taught by a person that was very good at this was no fancy useless moves or twirls! This was a waste of economy and you could drop them in a real situation (some may be very good at this, show wasn’t for me is all).
Note: like in the massive reps blog the plan is that they will never be used for any purpose other than an upper body workout and coordination, but I have some significant skills if needed.
So it is just strikes and standard moves from hand to hand only, useful, economical. Another aspect is being able to handle footwork while in practice as subjects will be moving in a given situation. This takes time to learn by practicing moving while swinging.
For accuracy I practiced outside and we had a few birch trees, their leaves are an elongated half dollar sized, so I would try to hit these leaves which would cut off when hit, using my oak pair since these are the primary nunchuks. Soon I was hitting them every time, later I was able to take half the leaf, next strike the rest every time.
To simulate striking an object we used the heavy bag, the problem is the nunchuks will react unpredictably after they hit an object. In a short time you could feel how to respond to striking an object, it was about recovering control smoothly as quickly as possible.
There are over the top blows, uppercuts, side strikes to arms, legs, and the head. Example, an arm strike could render that limb useless for the moment.
Note: care must be taken in close tight spaces as walls, ceilings, unintended objects may come into contact when split seconds count.
The nunchuks can also be used for in-fighting as the handles are strong weapons and the handles and rope can wrap around limbs or the neck in life or death situations.
The striking power of standard hardwood chucks is huge… if you’ve accidentally hit yourself, and you will, it has an immediate numbing effect and is as painful as anything you can imagine. This is a deadly weapon! Use with caution. This is why they are now illegal to carry in most situations; the chance of blunt force trauma is obvious.
Basically, at the range of more than double your arm length, and the correct practice you’ll know (feel) the right distances, it’s almost like having a gun within range.
In summary nunchuks are a great upper body strength and training tool, also eye-hand coordination. They are an amazing self defense weapon. Having a pair around the house and knowing how to use them gives an added comfort. Till next time, God Bless,