The nunchaku (ヌンチャクin Japanese and 雙節棍in Chinese) is a traditional weapon of the Kobudo and consists of two sticks connected with a short chain or rope. I do not believe further introduction of Nunchaku is necessary as it became very popular among us by the Kung Fu movies in 70’s stared by Bruce Lee.
Out of a dozen or so different kinds of Okinawan Kobudo weapons such as Nunchaku, Sai and Tonfa, Nunchaku is most popular or known by the public. Less known factor is that Nunchaku can produce the most dynamic and versatile techniques among the Kobudo weapons due to its construction of having two sticks joined by a chain or a rope. The quick swings and striking motions are very sexy and many people remember the fight scenes of Bruce Lee. One can spin Tonfa pretty fast but it cannot beat the speed of Nunchaku. Sai can be a deadly weapon with its sharp end as it can spear through just about any protectors, but the destructive power of Nunchaku at a full impact of said to be over 500kg is far greater than Sai or Tonfa could produce. Not only it is fast and destructive but also it has another very exciting characteristic; flexibility of two sections. I am not saying Nunchaku is a better weapon than Sai, Tonfa or other Kobudo weapons. Just as one cannot say a certain style of karate is better than another, different weapons have their own particular uses and advantages thus cannot be compared by a simple set of observations. It is very unfortunate that modern day Shotokan (at least from what I know of) has dropped Kobudo from its regular training. I do not know the situation regarding this subject in other karate styles such as Shito-ryu, Goju-ryu and Wado-ryu, so I will discuss this subject only referring to Shotokan style organizations. There was a justifiable reason (at least then) why Kobudo was dropped but I will not go into this historic aspect of karate even though it is a very interesting subject. What I want to mention here today is that karate definitely lost a very effective and useful training tools when the masters decided to drop Kobudo from its regular syllabus. I do not think they were aware at that time of the seriousness and the amount of handicap and disadvantage this omission would bring. Shotokan style now is said to be very linear and lacks circular movements.
However, this claim is not true as one can observe the kata like (read more...)
Shihan Yokota has published numerous articles and books: