Have you ever watched the classic martial arts movies and seen them using weapons like the nunchaku and wondered how you can learn to use them yourself?
If you are not quite sure what the nunchaku is, if you have ever watched ‘Fist of Fury’ or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies, you probably would of seen Bruce Lee or Michelangelo (orange face mask) swinging them around.
Many traditional martial arts have weapons to train with and defend against like swords and knifes, however the Nunchaku, which may be better known as the nunchuck originates from a traditional martial art called Okinawan Kobudo. The nunchaku has two wooden handles joined together with a metal chain and can be effectively used in various ways.
The reason why the nunchaku is a great weapon is because they can be used to block attacks from other weapons and use to attack too. So, if you are already a martial artist or you just would love to learn the nunchaku like the movie stars, you will have endless hours of fun learning.
However, it is very important to remember the nunchaku is a weapon, so it is good to take the correct precautions for yours and others safety. The best way to start off is to buy a practice pair of nunchaku. The real nunchaku weapon usually come with a wood or metal handles, but a foam handle option would be more suitable for practising at the beginning, as to accidentally hit yourself, it shouldn’t hurt. The foam handle nunchaku are available from most traditional martial arts outlets.
How to use the nunchaku
Start by finding somewhere with plenty of space. Even though they are made of foam, you don’t want to break any valuables at home. When you are ready to start, remember to start off slow.
To learn the basic nunchaku moves watch the video below, or alternatively purchase a book on ‘How to learn to use the nunchaku’.
Twirl them around slowly until you get the feel of them, then practice passing from hand to hand and doing figure of eights. When you get confident, start increasing to speed up. Try the figure of eight, passing it underarm, striking left and right and to stop it by wrapping it around your waist. When you learn these simple moves, you can progress to the more advanced stuff.
In Okinawan Kobudo the traditional nunchaku are made from wood and have been used these for hundreds of years. When you have mastered and are very confident with the foam nunchaku, move on to the traditional wood nunchaku for that real authentic feel.
As they are made from wood rather than foam, they are quite a bit heavier. In same ways this will make it easier as they will be more sturdy and you should have more control, but remember to start off slow again just to get used to them. Then it won’t be long until you will be using them like Bruce Lee on the movies.