Why you should master the nunchuks
The nunchuks (or nunchuku if you prefer) are great for improving dexterity and coordination. I like including them in my martial arts training warm up and cool-down.
But for me, it’s all about emulating the coolness of Bruce Lee… who wouldn’t like to defeat whole schools of baddies by twirling them at lightening speed and hitting with laser accuracy? Just click below to see him in awesome action:
Or maybe you’re a childhood Ninja Turtle fan and you’re inspired by Michelangelo, that other well-known nunchuk exponent:
The Nunchuks are a simple weapon but mastering them takes time and practice… without this it’s very easy to do more damage to yourself than your opponent! We’ve all seen the guys on YouTube fails whacking themselves in the nuts…don’t be one of them, at least not in public!
And don’t think they’re dangerous for your kids. Here’s 6 years-old Ryusei Imai demonstrating that you’re never too young for nunchuks (skip to 53 seconds in the video)
Here are some great video tutorials for beginners with the essential moves to help you wield your nunchuks properly:
1 – How to use Nunchucks for beginners Part 1 – your first basic Nunchuck Drill with Sensei David
2 – How to Use Nunchucks for Beginners Part 2 – Sensei David (Figure 8 and wrist roll)
3 – What’s the front grip and what’s the back grip? Ken Hill explains
4 – Also learn the over the shoulder pass and some other nice moves from circus nunchaku specialist Ken Hill
5 – The shoulder switch
Here’s how to do the shoulder switch. In this one he’s using a wooden nunchuk and notice how he keeps the hand open until the nunchuk lands before grabbing it. If you close your grip too early, or simply have your fingers curled, and the nunchuk hits the top of your finger it really really hurts! If you’re practicing with a foam chuk, get into good practice now so you don’t suffer when you move to a wooden or metal one!
6 – Now we’re cruising, it’s time to tackle the wrist roll
This is a nice simple move to execute and impresses onlookers… once you’ve practiced it like a thousand times so you no longer drop the damn things or send them spinning off across the room. I learnt this one from a book back in the days… a video like these would have saved me so much time!
7 – Fed up of standing still and twirling it? Ken Hill shows how to build in fancy-looking movement
8 – More fundamental basic moves
Make sure you learn these basic nunchuk moves from Kung Fu expert Jake Mace… but I strongly advise not to do the overhead spins with a wooden nunchuk if you are a beginner… it will prove very painful! Use a practice foam nunchuk or wear your sparring headguard (I strongly suggest foam nunchuks first, and wearing a headguard when you try it with a wooden one!).
9 – Lots of spinning… don’t forget the strikes
The nunchuk can be such a showy weapon its easy to learn lots of spins, switches and all sorts… and never any strikes. Don’t forget you’re supposed to be hitting someone and all the fancy stuff is to create an opening or line up the next strike (or maybe overawe the opponent so much they back off). Ninja Nate runs through some strikes… practice these lots too!
A fancy routine to learn
Once you’ve mastered these basic moves, here’s a couple of routines from Ryoji Okamoto. See if you can learn them, or at least parts of them, and follow along …. After lots of practice of course!
Also notice how in the routines he often positions his hand to protect his face. Is it from the attacker, his own spinning or both?
We’ll be adding video lessons for nunchuk intermediates and using two at once later in the year… make sure to subscribe (use the button towards the top right) and follow us on Facebook to get updated when they ready.