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Brief history of the Nunchaku
More than 350 years ago, warlords of Japan prohibited the use of knives,
swords or any type of ordinary weapon in Okinawa. So, the Okinawans where
left to use their tools for protection and turned them into Kobudo weapons,
such as the sai, tonfa and kama. Kobudo is a Japanese term meaning old
martial way. From these tools became the Nunchaku, an agricultural flail
for threshing rice. It's design was made from two harden sticks connected
by braided horse tails.
Another theory suggests it was part of a horse
harness used by Okinawan farmers, it's
design was with curved handles and later
changed to a straight-handled weapon.
However there is some doubt to this theory,
as with most agricultural tools, history
has shown that farming flails were often
used as weapons, this can be traced back
to the ancient Egyptian
Pharaohs. It just doesn't make sense
to go from a curved harness to a straight-handled
weapon, plus the fact that farming flails
would be in more abundance.
Okinawa today is part of Japan, but the
Okinawa's are not Japanese and have their
own culture and language, although the
latter is gradually being replaced by
Japanese. The Japanese language does not
even contain a word for the Nunchaku.
When one needs to write "Nunchaku"
in Japanese he may do it in one of two
ways: He may use katakana, the syllabic/phonetic
alphabet used in the Japanese language
to write foreign and loan words, writing
the syllables "nu-n-cha-ku".
Or, instead, he may use the Chinese characters
for "two member stick" (or "double
part baton"), which is pronounced
"shuang jie gun" in Chinese,
"nun cha kun" in Okinawa and
"so setsu kon" in Japanese.
Another popular theory is that the Nunchaku originated from China, Song
Dynasty. It was named "da pan long gun, meaning great coiled dragon
stick. The weapon is comprised of one long stick and a short stick connected
by horse hair. It was commonly used in wars against cavalry to trap horses
legs. The weapon eventually evolved into a short range weapon as seen
in our present day Nunchaku.
Some sources say that the first Song Emperor was in battle when an enemy
general cut the end off his staff. Instead of using a different staff,
he connected the two pieces with a short section of iron chain, creating
a weapon known as a "sweeper."
In China the Nunchaku could be also know as Shuang
jiÃ© gÃ¹n, Shuang-Chin-Kun,
Shao-Tse-Kun, Er Jie Gun, Liang jiÃ©
Nunchaku In the 1970's became famous by
way of Bruce Lee movies.
After the Green Hornet series, Bruce opened
a kung fu school called "Lee Jun
Fan Gung Fu Institute" in Seattle.
This is where he learned to use the Nunchaku
from fellow student Danny Inosanto. Black
Belt Oct 1967 features Bruce Lee on
the front cover holding what was called
a two-sectional staff.
Bruce Lee also trained with renowned Nunchaku
expert Fumio Demura. Through out the years
Nunchaku immediately became one of the
most popular martial art weapons, it has
appeared in many movies such as the popular
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Nunchaku Time Line in Black Belt
In 1973 Newsweek magazine called them
"killer sticks" it stated that
police officers in Baltimore had been
attacked "several times" by
a weapon called the nunchaku, and warned
of it use by street gangs. Immediately
following the Newsweek article, Philadelphia
Police where ordered to arrest anyone
wielding the Nunchaku. This article set
in motion legislation that prohibits possession
or use of the Nunchaku in several states.
Newsweek was unable to verify its facts
or provide the name, address or telephone
number of it's author. Many of the laws
passed against martial arts weapons in
the early 70's where perfect examples
of fear, ignorance and propaganda.
Newsweek Issue Date: October 15, 1973;
Vol. LXXXII, No. 16
KILLER STICKS: The latest offspring of the martial-arts craze are
called nunchaku. Two pieces of wood linked by a thong, they can choke
or bash a victim. Police are concerned about their growing use, but some
of them are buying the sticks --for self-defense.
Today Nunchaku is still practiced in traditional Okinawan dojo's and in
modern martial-arts styles around the globe. Anyone can build this ancient
tool from broom stick handles too metal pipe, the simple design is what
keeps it alive today, its effectiveness is what keeps it in the martial
The modern Nunchaku has many nicknames, nunchucks, nunchux, chucks, chux,
speed sticks, flail, nutcracker ect.
Nunchaku has developed into many forms enjoyed worldwide as a hobby,
exercise, or as a performance art alongside with juggling and other forms
of object manipulation. As a sport it has grown in Kumite, Kata, Self-Defense
Freestyleforum.net has the
largest online community devoted to discussing, teaching, and sharing
the love for Nunchaku. We may see one day Freestyle Nunchaku in the Olympics.
Benefits of Nunchaku Training
*Enhanced physical fitness
*Increased hand and eye cordination
*Increased muscular strength
*More efficient cardiovascular system
*Increase flexibility in natural range
*Reduced body fat and lean body mass
*Increased development of body awareness
*Positive changes in blood cholesterol
*Improve confidence and self esteem
*Improve concentration, and willpower.
*Enhanced ability in skilled movements