Starting with the Nunchaku

Nunchaku: the training version

The Nunchaku (in Chinese Er Jie Gun but also known as “Nunchuck” or “Numchucks”) is basically a 2 sections flexible weapon. There is an infinite number of variations of this tool but it is generally composed of:

  • 2 wood / metal bars more or less longer
  • A chain / rope that connects the two rigid parts

To begin to familiarize with this fantastic weapon we should buy a training version with plastic covers like the one in the photo (medium-low quality). For those who have not yet developed a soft touch basic skill and / or are not advanced practitioners of other martial arts, it is inadvisable to directly buy wood or metal versions:

  • The learning would be slower
  • The risk of getting hurt is not remote at all

A note by Master Kongling – I remember a particularly funny event: I bought my first Nunchaku at an early age, it had foam protectors but despite this, during a training session, one of the two ends accidentally struck me in the head and (having already reached a good speed of execution) that shot was (for an instant) enough to make me lose track of what was happening. If in that situation I had used a full steel Nunchaku I probably would have suffered a serious head injury. Do not buy a true Nunchaku if you have no experience, you risk making you very ill (read Measure ourselves with errors).

The characteristics

Let’s see the training version of the Nunchaku we should buy:

  • It is composed of 2 rigid pieces of plastic attached by a chain (let’s avoid the totally soft versions)
  • It is covered with soft protections (this will avoid to cause real pain)
  • It is hollow and it is not heavy like a real martial weapon (but this does not make it, however, completely harmless, let’s pay attention)
  • There are versions with a rope and others with chain, better to opt for the ones with the chain
  • Lert’s choose the bulkier versions, they are easier to grasp (ideal for learning)
  • It can not be used to hit targets, neither rigid nor semi-rigid (only extremely soft ones)
  • Its ideal use is linked to the learning of the basic flow (and in no way to do sparring or worse to fight)
  • If we do not beat them on the ground or against hard surfaces they are potentially indestructible
  • The weak point of this Nunchaku is the plastic core of the 2 rigid parts

Even if it is very cheap, let’s see a few maintenance tips:

  • In many cases, the guards come off very easily (to glue them can be a good idea)
  • If the outer protection were to be damaged we could wrap it with woven tape (not so effective on sponge surfaces)
  • Once we have reached a certain skill we can close and fill the hollow parts with material that starts to simulate the weight of a real Nunchaku
  • We should oil the chain sometimes (even if in the beginning it is not essential in terms of performances, it preserve the metal from rusting)
  • In any case, this tool is not to be kept in a damp place

To learn the basic moves of the Nunchaku it takes about 2-3 hours, however, to learn how to fight it takes several months of constant practice. In the next articles of this series, we will see the basic exercises and moves (if you want to ask for specific articles read Learn Kung Fu online: request a specific article).

In-depth articles


Reply in the comments and share your experience:

  • What version have you bought?

Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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