Nunchucks are weapons consisting of two wooden sticks with a length of cord between them. One stick has an inner surface lined with metal studs and the other a smooth surface covered in hardwood or similar material. The striking ends are connected by a cord of typically leather or nylon that is said to reduce vibration. Similar weapons include those made from rattan canes known as jujutsu, kung fu sticks, and taekwondo poles. 

Martial arts that incorporate nunchaku into their forms include Hapkido and Tae Koreng Do. They are most frequently used in Japanese martial arts for striking practice, although they are also commonly used for poomse (forms), trapping (grappling) practice, and hand-to-hand combat. In some martial arts, they are traditionally used as a "kinjutsu" to learn a technique that cannot be learned through other means such as aikido or joint locks.

What is a Nunchaku?

Nunchucks are oriental weapons that were originally used by the Chinese during the Qin Dynasty. They were soon adopted from this country into areas of southern Asia and became popular in Japan. The nunchaku was then combined with a metal chain, which increased its effectiveness in combat, and worn around the waist as an adornment by some warriors, who called themselves “nunbiki” or “dancing girls.” 

Eventually, it made its way to North America when a few Japanese immigrants brought it with them as they immigrated to Hawaii and California. These days nunchakus are used by martial artists, such as Shotokan Karate practitioners for their speed and power behind strikes. It is a small and easy-to-hold self defense weapon that places the user in the correct position to practice strikes and take advantage of their opponent’s weaknesses.

The nunchaku consists of two long pieces of wood almost a yard (90 cm) in length connected by a chain or leather thong. The peripheral area – from which the handle is attached – can be widened with another piece of wood held between them. The nunchaku typically weighs around 1 pound (500 g). Though there are some variations in size, they have been standardized at that weight.

The primary purpose of the nunchaku is to execute a high-speed "meeting strike" or a short defensive attack. This ranges from rapidly pulling the two sticks apart, without stopping at the center, in order to deliver a "punch" or "chop", as well as using them as an assortment of weapons. Both ends of each stick can be used for striking blows as well. The other use of the nunchaku is to move around and confuse an opponent by alternating between movement and striking attacks.

Benefits of Nunchucks: Health and Fitness

Nunchucks are a great option for everyone from a beginner to a black belt. They can be wielded by anyone, in any environment, and they provide an intense workout- which is one of the many reasons why these are becoming increasingly popular. With so many benefits, it's hard not to get caught up in the hype. Here are some of the most important pros about nunchaku so you can start practicing this ancient martial art yourself:

  • Improve Strength and Muscle Tone 

Nunchucking improves muscle tone in your upper and lower body with every movement. By increasing your core strength, you will find it easier to push, pull, and resist while also moving through space. Additionally, nunchaku workouts help to increase muscle definition with a deeper core contraction. It's not unusual to find yourself looking up at a tree branch. These are an efficient way to exercise; they are ideal for full-body workouts as they target stiffness in all muscles simultaneously. 

You'll quickly realize just how much this can improve your physical fitness. Since these are all muscles that are actually needed for manual labor and combat (due to their close connection), they give the user the ability to test their strength against real-world situations. They are also an amazing tool for improving your hand-eye coordination. Your ability to quickly and accurately respond to a changing environment will be improved with regular nunchuck practice.

  • Combat Stress and Depression 

Nunchucks are a fantastic form of exercise, but they also have the ability to help you combat stress and depression. They are a high-intensity form of exercise that can benefit anyone, regardless of fitness level. With every strike or block, you will release pent-up anger or frustration while simultaneously improving your health.

  • Help You Improve Your Focus and Concentration 

These weapons are a great way to improve your focus and concentration! Since the exercises are very quick and minimalistic, you'll be able to maintain your concentration throughout each repetition. There's nothing like the feeling of a multi-directional strike! 

  • Help You Improve Your Balance and Coordination 

Nunchaku also helps with balance and coordination. By training your body to move through space in this manner, you will develop great control over your body and the ability to swing rapidly through space. This is great for fighting, but it's also excellent for more stationary exercises like those in parkour.

  • Improve Your Strength and Build Muscle Mass 

Nunchaku is both a sport and a martial art. With every strike or block, you will be increasing your muscle strength. You'll be able to develop power in your strikes as nunchaku work a lot of the same muscles as weight lifting or chin-ups. Since you're also using the same joint movements as weight lifting, you'll be able to grip and support varying weights- an important practice for combat (especially black belt nunchucks!).

For those who are less familiar with strength training and don't have a lot of weight training experience, nunchaku can serve as a solid introduction to the concept of "strength training". They are a great way to build muscle mass quickly by using very little in terms of space. You don't need much space for this workout either! Even without weights or equipment, you'll still be able to increase your arm strength and develop your core from this no-frills exercise.

What's the best way to build muscle? Upper body tightness. By increasing the amount you can pull and push with your arms, you'll be able to develop a lot of upper arm muscles- which is essential for combat and combat training. Do nunchucks!

  • Improve Your Flexibility and Agility 

These weapons are an excellent postural exercise. By practicing these moves, you will be able to improve your flexibility and core strength while also improving your balance. You'll start feeling more comfortable in any environment as well as more agile in general whether it be at home, work, or school. You'll be able to leap overhead with ease and pull off strikes like a pro!

  • Increase Your Coordination and Reaction Skills 

These weapons help to build strength in your hands, but they are also an amazing workout for your wrists. With nunchaku, you are holding onto a device that can rotate in any direction. You'll have to use your wrists in order to strike accurately with nunchaku. By increasing the amount of wrist rotation you can do and the amount of conditioning you provide for your wrists through training, you will be able to increase your coordination and reaction skills.

Get Your Nunchucks and Improve Your Wellbeing!

Nunchucks have been used for centuries as a tool of martial arts. A common infantry weapon during the Vietnam War, they were not only effective in battle but also affordable, making them an attractive choice for use by soldiers who might otherwise have no access to firearms. Today, they are a popular first step into martial arts for many new students who would not have considered the discipline otherwise.

The popularity of nunchaku today can be attributed to their accessibility and affordability that has attracted so many students looking for a low-cost introduction to martial arts on the ground that other styles do not require them due to their ease of use and portability. The different positions that a student can learn from them may also be a reason. Nunchaku are currently enjoying a significant amount of renewed interest in the West; they are usually the first weapon taught in traditional hand-to-hand martial arts syllabi in Europe, Australia, and North America. 

This renewed interest is often attributed to their use in popular films by Bruce Lee such as Enter the Dragon. In the Western world, nunchaku is often used as a prop in martial arts training and demonstrations. Due to safety concerns, it is uncommon for schools to use authentic weaponry in demonstrations or actual training. Because of this, most schools that present demonstrations do not have an actual "sensei" (qualified teacher) on-site; instead they have an instructor who can demonstrate the moves themselves.