Your First Real Weapon
Most martial artist start out with the three most common weapons. jo staff, nunchaku and a sword associated with their respective styles. Aside from the sword of course, many of the traditional weapons are based form farm tools that people had around. Most people were not allowed to own weapons so they developed skills using the things they had on hand.
A staff is as simple as it gets. It’s a 5 to 6 foot pole. It can be a broom, or a hockey stick or a long piece of cocobolo wood. While the later would be the best for effect, anything will do. you can buy good poles from just about anyone, great ones however are harder to find.
A sword is something that you have to explore separately as there are many kinds and many styles. You can buy a $49 dragon sword based on something from a movie or you can sell your first born to a warlord and commission a $200,000 dollar sword. That and everything in between, bottom line, you get what you pay for. Your movie sword no matter how cool, will be ok for one cut in one fight. It’s not combat steel and it is made of plastic and tin.
Nunchaku are a bit different. Bruce Lee made them popular. They can be found in many forms from a foam “nerf” like thing, to metal, to plastic with prism reflectors. While you can get the basic concept with any of these, many of a modern mass produced models made of plastic would not be very effective in real life. My first set was purchased online from some Asian martial arts outlet store. My instructor had told us we would be using traditional Chinese roped octagon shaped nunchaku, so that is what I tried to buy. What arrived in the mail a few days later can only be summed up as a an awful waste of $19 dollars. I’ve never really even used them. They were too fat, stained so they got tacky when you start to sweat, they were unstrung. It too me all day to figure out how to string them up. Basically looked like what they were, cheap. I’ve been making nunchaku for people ever since that day. I nunchaku we make fit in your hands. They are cut from beautiful hardwoods and they are oiled, polished and strung. They are not for demonstration, they are for real. They are for study in real martial arts classes on the topic of nunchaku. They are also just like the ones that were fashioned from farm equipment 2000 year ago.
The concept is simple. Learning a real weapon in martial arts means taking a serious attitude about what you plan to learn and how well you will be able to sue your skills should the need ever rise.