Nunchucks are an ancient Martial Arts weapon, whose complete origin is actually unknown, though many theories exist between different cultures. The Nunchuck, or more correctly known by the Martial Artist as Nunchaku, is an excellent training weapon that helps improve one’s posture and develops quicker hand movements. Nunchaku's still one of the most common and used weapons of a Martial Artist.
There 4 types of strikes used with the Nunchaku:
- Horizontal Strike: You would simply grab one end of the nunchaku and strike sideways across the body.
- Vertical Down Strike: Your weapon is held higher over your shoulder and thrust down toward you target.
- Vertical Up Strike: This starts with your arm extended down and strikes in an upward motion. It’s common with a vertical up strike to automatically proceed into an arm switch.
- Diagonal Strike: Whether up or down your nunchaku should cross the body.
When practicing, or even advancing in the art of nunchaku, it’s a good idea to practice blocking with your hands in order to protect your head from the strikes. Some Instructors even joke that the Nunchaku received the nickname of “numb-chucks” because some people hit themselves too many times.
There are several types of blocks preformed with Nunchaku. All of them require two hands and can be twisted into a defensive move.
- The High Block: This is done by stretching out your Nunchaku above your head in order to stop and attack on your head or upper body.
- The Low Block: Almost the same way as the high block except lower, in order to prevent attacks on you lower body. With the side block, the hand on top should be the one on the side that you are blocking. The exception is when preforming a double side block.
- Double Side Block: Movement from one side to the other with hast.
Blocking with Nunchaku is usually used when being attacked by other weapons. Very rarely would you use a Nunchaku block against someone using just their hands or feet.
THE FIGURE EIGHT
One of the simplest Nunchaku moves to learn, but still requires practice. Simply hold your Nunchaku out in front of your body, holding both sides, far enough so you don’t hit yourself when you start swinging. Practice tracing an eight in the air, once you have the momentum of the eight down let go of one side. The faster you go the more spin and thrust your weapon will accumulate.
Once you've mastered the figure eight with one Nunchaku, you can start practicing a more advanced figure eight using two.
THE ARM SWITCH
This technique’s easy to accomplish but needs to be practiced slowly. You thrust the Nunchaku up over your shoulder in order to reach around your waist and catch it with your other hand. When you first start off with the arm switch you need to use precaution, on a count of it being very easy to hit your head. It’s usually recommend by Martial Arts Instructors to use foam Nunchaku when beginning the arm switch, until you get the concept down.
THE HAND ROLL
An extremely advanced technique that usually requires hours of practice. It’s used in order to switch the position of the Nunchaku in your hand. To begin, grab one side with your palm facing down, swing the hanging end over the top of your hand, letting go and grabbing with your palm facing up. When done correctly, your hand and Nunchaku should have completely switched positions.
Nunchucks are an excellent source of hand and eye coordination training for a Martial Artist. However, it’s probably a good idea to have some training before attempting any use of weaponry.