One of the most asked questions we get here at American Nunchaku is normally about Nunchaku weight and durability. “Which nunchaku is strongest?” “Which nunchaku is Heavy?” On the surface these would seem to be questions about similar properties that the hardwoods have but in reality they are not. A hardwood’s “strength” is not based on it’s weight. When we are talking about strength or durability what we really mean is, how will this stand up to repeated blows in the world of martial arts. There is some inherent problems with judging any martial arts weapon based on how hard you can beat it without it breaking. Any object will break if it is subject to blows against another object, period. With a centrifugal weapon like nunchaku the weight of the woods makes huge difference in this damage, but it’s probably not what you think. The more weight the nunchaku has, the more damage to the object it’s hitting, and to the nunchaku itself. In other words, a heavy nunchaku is not going to be stronger than than a light weight nunchaku when it comes to survivability.
Light vs Heavy
The lighter weight nunchaku of course is where any beginner should start out rather than the heavy nunchaku. They are more forgiving, easier to move and will survive the inevitable drops and bumps. When a user gets more comfortable they should then move towards the heavier sets which will move slower but provide a great workout as the weight makes the movements work the arm and body muscles. Light nunchaku will always move faster and because they are lighter, they will survive better with your day to day use. The heavy nunchaku versions are normally made from the more exotic hardwoods which have beautiful and dense grains. They feel powerful and are unforgiving. Great care should be made when using them. Always practice on a surface like carpet or grass and never on concrete or asphalt.
The Smashing Goal
If your goal with your nunchaku is to simply smash them into hard objects you will be sadly disappointed if you choose any nunchaku, even metal sets. While some will hold up longer than others, in the end you will crack dent and or break them. Like any real world weapon, there is a life span that diminishes with use. The movies and tv make us think that some things last forever or have properties that are not based in reality. The best practice is to be responsible and use them wisely. Light weight for light contact and day to day practice. Heavy weight for personal workouts and technique.
The self defense factor
With many years of practice you may be able to think of the nunchaku as tool in self defense. The key words here however are “many years” It takes time and practice to be effective and while the movies and tv would have you believe that your attackers would run in fear as you produced your nunchaku and started swinging them wildly, the more accurate reality is that you would in most cases be better off not choosing the nunchaku as a practical self defense weapon. They would be equal to pulling out a board sword and threatening a sword cut. Cool in the movies, not so cool in real life. This is not to say that either couldn’t be done, it’s more of a question of “should it be done?” The best bet is to use common sense in any situation which almost always means not engaging and walking away. Nunchaku are a great tool in the martial arts world and a great way to get exercise. Always use great care and common sense and you will get the most out of your set.
If an item becomes “Back ordered“: Since we make all our nunchaku by hand, back ordered for us means that the wood has not been cut yet. This normally adds from 2-5 days to the time before an item can ship out. For more information about shipping please see our shipping page for details. If you need an item for a special event please feel free to use our contact page to get an estimate on shipping time.
The black palm hardwood was introduced to the shop this year via a request from one of our @Twitter supporters and customers. Making a Black Palm Nunchaku was an experiment that turned out wonderfully. All hardwoods have certain properties that effect how well they feel and how well they can be used. A good martial arts weapon needs to be strong yet flexible. Hardness is also good but not at the expense of being to ridged which tends to lead to shattering. While the Black palm has great weight, it also has the large pour-us grains and fibers that give it flexibility. The following are the specs for the tree itself. Basically it’s a palm tree from Asia and Africa. (Borassus flabellifer) Common Name(s): Black Palm, Palmyra Palm Scientific Name: Borassus flabellifer Distribution: Tropical Asia and Africa Tree Size: 65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall.
We love the feel and look of these heavy weight nunchaku. You can feel the power contained within when you hold a finished set. That much dense weight is hard to ignore. The hardwood does take some getting used to as far as the cutting and milling. Most hardwoods are difficult in one way or another. For us this one is
As we experiment with this great hardwood the Black Palm Nunchaku will gain some new sizes and options as we progress into the Autumn for 2018. If you are experienced with the nunchaku and want to experiment with some new hardwoods, this Black Palm is a great find. Beware, the Black Palm Nunchaku are very heavy and thus, unforgiving. Take care with fancy tricks and katas until you get used to the weight.
Currently the black palm is offered in rope and chain nunchaku types with some variations of 12 inch and 13.5 inch lengths. The rope colors are customer choice but many have opted to go with the leopard or cheetah colors as they tend to match the natural colors of the hardwood’s grains. The black palm nunchaku, “nunchucks” will be on sale till the end of the month for those interested in trying out a wonderful and unique new nunchaku hardwood. These nunchkau are guaranteed to stand out in the crowd and make a bold statement.
The nunchaku (Japanese: ヌンチャク Hepburn: nunchaku, often “nunchuks“, “chainsticks“, “chuka sticks“ or “karate sticks“ in English) is a traditional Okinawan martial arts weapon consisting of two sticks connected at one end by a short chain or rope. The two sections of the weapon are commonly made out of wood, while the link is a cord or a metal chain. The nunchaku is most widely used in martial arts such as Okinawan kobudō and karate, and is used as a training weapon, since it allows the development of quicker hand movements and improves posture. Modern-day nunchaku can be made from metal, wood, plastic or fibreglass. Toy and replica versions made of polystyrene foam or plastic are also available. Possession of this weapon is illegal in some countries, except for use in professional martial art schools.
The exact origin of nunchaku is unclear. Allegedly adapted by Okinawan farmers from a non-weapon item, it was not a historically popular weapon because it was ineffective against the most widely used weapons of that time, and few historical techniques for its use still survive.
In modern times, nunchaku (Tabak-Toyok) were popularized by actor and martial artist Bruce Lee and his martial arts student Dan Inosanto, who introduced this weapon to the actor. Another popular association in modern times is the fictional character Michelangelo of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise. Organizations including the North American Nunchaku Association, World Amateur Nunchaku Organization, Fédération Internationale de Nunchaku de Combat et Artistique, World Nunchaku Association, and International Techdo Nunchaku Association teach the use of nunchaku as a contact sport.
The origin of the word nunchaku (ヌンチャク) is not known. One theory indicates it was derived from pronunciation of the Chinese characters 双截棍 (a type of traditional Chinese two section staff) in a Southern Fujian dialect of Chinese language (兩節棍 nng-chat-kun, pair(of)-linked-sticks). Another derives from the definition of “nun” as “twin”.
Another name for this weapon is “nûchiku”(ヌウチク).
In the English language, nunchaku are often referred to as “nunchuks”.
The origin of the nunchaku is unclear, although one popular belief is that nunchaku was originally a short South-East Asian flail used to thresh rice or soybeans. This gave rise to the theory that it was originally developed from an Okinawan horse bit (muge), or that it was adapted from a wooden clapper called hyoshiki carried by the village night watch, made of two blocks of wood joined by a cord. The night watch would hit the blocks of wood together to attract people’s attention, then warn them about fires and other dangers.
Some propose that the association of nunchaku and other Okinawan weapons with rebellious peasants is most likely a romantic exaggeration. Martial arts in Okinawa were practiced exclusively by aristocracy (kazoku) and “serving nobles” (shizoku), but were prohibited among commoners (heimin). According to Chinese folklore, nunchaku are a variation of the two section staff.
Ana: the hole on the kontoh of each handle for the himo to pass through—only nunchaku that are connected by himo have an ana.
Himo: the rope which connects the two handles of some nunchaku.
Kusari: the chain which connects the two handles of some nunchaku.
Kontoh: the top of each handle.
Jukon-bu: the upper area of the handle.
Chukon-bu: the center part of the handle.
Kikon-bu: the lower part of the handle.
Kontei: the bottom of the handle.
Formal Styles of Nunchaku Use
The nunchaku is most commonly used in Okinawan kobudō and karate, but it is also used in eskrima (more accurately, the Tabak-Toyok, a similar though distinct Philippine weapon, is used, as opposed to the Okinawan nunchaku), and in Korean hapkido. Its application is different in each style. The traditional Okinawan forms use the sticks primarily to grip and lock. Filipino martial artists use it much the same way they would wield a stick—striking is given precedence. Korean systems combine offensive and defensive moves, so both locks and strikes are taught. Nunchaku is often the first weapon wielded by a student, to teach self-restraint and posture, as the weapon is liable to hit the wielder more than the opponent if not used properly.
The Nunchaku is usually wielded in one hand, but it can also be paired. It can be whirled around, using its hardened handles for blunt force, as well as wrapping its chain around an attacking weapon to immobilize or disarm an opponent. Nunchaku training has been noted[by whom?] to increase hand speed, improve posture, and condition the hands of the practitioner. Therefore, it makes a useful training weapon.
There are some disciplines that combine nunchaku with unarmed techniques:
Mouhébong Taekwondo combines Korean nunchaku with taekwondo.
Nunch-Boxing combines nunchaku with kicking and punching techniques. Nunch-Boxing itself is part of the broader discipline Nenbushi.
Nunchaku en savate combines savate techniques with the nunchaku.
Freestyle nunchaku is a modern style of performance art using nunchaku as a visual tool, rather than as a weapon. With the growing prevalence of the Internet, the availability of nunchaku has greatly increased. In combination with the popularity of other video sharing sites, many people have become interested in learning how to use the weapons for freestyle displays. Freestyle is one discipline of competition held by the World Nunchaku Association. Some modern martial arts teach the use of nunchaku, as it may help students improve their reflexes, hand control, and other skills.
Nunchaku Sporting Associations
Since the 1980s, there have been various international sporting associations that organize the use of nunchaku as a contact sport. Current associations usually hold “semi-contact” fights, where severe strikes are prohibited, as opposed to “contact” fights. “Full-Nunch” matches, on the other hand, are limitation-free on the severity of strikes and knockout is permissible.
North American Nunchaku Association (NANA): Founded in 2003 in California by Sensei Chris Pellitteri, NANA teaches all aspects of the nunchaku, traditional and free-style, single and double.
World Amateur Nunchaku Organization (WANO): Founded by Pascal Verhille in France in 1988.
Fédération Internationale de Nunchaku de Combat et Artistique (FINCA): Founded by Raphaël Schmitz in France in 1992 as a merger of disbanded associations WANO and FFNS (Fédération Française de Nunchaku Sportif). Its current name is Fédération Internationale de Nunchaku, Combat complet et Arts martiaux modernes et affinitaires (FINCA). A fight with FINCA rules lasts two rounds of two minutes. There is no need for changing either the nunchaku branch or the hand before hitting, just a correct recuperation. There are no stops during the fight, except for loss, lifting, or penalties.
World Safety Nunchaku Organization (WSNO) : Safety Nunchaku Grandmaster Soshihan S. Kothandan, India’s Senior most Shito-ryu Karate exponent who got trained under many world level renowned Grand masters in Martial Arts, has gained rich technical expertise in that domain by his passion towards the Art, and he has achieved many milestones in Karate field particularly in Shito-ryu Karate from the past 46 years. He started researching in Safety Nunchaku from 1991 onward. He founded and presented Safety Nunchaku for the first time in front of the general public and Honorable Ministers of Tamil Nadu, India on 28.08.2005. On this day, Safety Nunchaku, Kata, Team Kata, Kumite, Team Kumite, Own style, Stand Target, Moving Target and other new techniques were demonstrated. This research is being continued by means of meeting experts from different parts of the world and sharing their view on Safety Nunchaku as a game and as a Martial art. Finally, 02-08-2015 he had introduced Safety Nunchaku in front of VIP’s, and General Public & released website (www.worldsafetynunchaku.org), demonstrated KATA’s and gave Black Belt to 1st Batch who got training more than two years during his research period. With his vast knowledge, experience and hard work he has introduced and dedicated first time in the Martial Art field “World Standard 16 unique Katas” in the field of Safety Nunchaku. If a person know the proper names of the techniques, correct method of practicing such techniques and most important is where to apply such techniques and what circumstance to apply those techniques then he will do very well in real life under critical situations where his safety is prime concern. By keeping those very important facts in mind, he has framed Katas in Safety Nunchaku in a simple and elegant way where a common people can get into interest to practice and understand the nuances of each techniques.He has also followed some unique methodology to name “World Standard 16 Unique KATAs” in Safety Nunchaku. In general Japanese, when they design a Kata, they gave their names or their master names. But, In Safety Nunchaku, Grandmaster Soshihan S.Kothandan had given names Single chaku “World Standard 16 Unique Katas ” to the patriots-freedom fighters, who made the country to proud globally, People who made proud India in Martial Arts and aid citizens to spread the Art throughout the country and People who supported, encouraged Soshihan in the Karate domain and considered his growth and success as a growth of Martial Art. Safety Nunchaku Grandmaster Soshihan S. Kothandan to insist that fact to future generation to remember those legends in the Name of KATA in near future. Also he categorized the above Unique katas as Origin Katas (4), Fundamental Katas (4) & Superior Katas (8). He also manufactured with foam and foam rubber Safety Nunchaku cheaper, different colors and different sizes to use all ages of public.
World Nunchaku Association (WNA): Founded by Milco Lambrecht in the Netherlands in 1996. WNA uses yellow and black plastic weight-balanced training nunchaku and protective headgear. They have their own belt color system, in which participants earn color stripes on the belt, instead of fully colored belts. One side of the belt is yellow and the other black, so that in a competition, opponents may be distinguished by the visible side of the belt. WNA fight rules correspond to the kumite subsection of Nunchaku do discipline. It is a two-minutes “touch fight,” in which technical abilities are very important. After each scored point, the fight stops and the fighters take back their starting position.
International Techdo Nunchaku Association (ITNA): Founded by Daniel Althaus in Switzerland in 2006. ITNA rules fights last two rounds lasting 2:30. There are no stops during the round, except for loss, lifting, or penalties. Between two strikes, the fighter has to change hand and nunchaku branch before hitting again, except if he blocks.
I’m trying to get to the USA so I can train with the best fighters in the world. I’m a mum of three boys and I have a special need child so money is hard to save up. So please help me out it would help my career. Belinda@Bellringermma
Given the choice wouldn’t you rather buy American Handmade Nunchaku
USA Nunchaku is not a warehouse in China, or a large manufacturing factory. USA Nunchaku Co. is a small American company making handmade nunchaku from 100% American materials in our small workshop. We make handmade nunchaku in different shapes and sizes in small batches, each featuring a selection of various hardwoods. While they do cost a bit more than a $9 Chinese “chuck in a bag”, our nunchaku are Handmade and each one of a kind.
Stop in and check out the store, your perfect nunchaku is waiting for a spin.
We have been making nunchaku by hand for 20 years. In that time the number one request has always been handmade u Swivel chain linked nunchaku. To do it right, we had to go back in time and skip the cheap imported barely metal versions of this classic martial arts weapon. We are proud to present our Tapered Octagon U Swivel Chain linked Nunchaku. Just like our woods, the metal and all the parts are 100% American made. It’s tried and true design that gives smooth flow to the nunchaku. We think they are the best chain nunchaku made today and we invite you check them out. We have a number of different models in play at the moment. The cocobolo’s are all one of a kind and will be re listed as they made. We are giving the option to change the amount of chain links used and have a number of different hardwoods and lengths available.
Diameter: Tapered 1 1/8″ to 1″
U- Swivel & Chain: High carbon steel 375 lb test 100% American made ( 5 links plus swivel spanning 4.5″ from base to base)
While most martial arts stores and warehouse have lots of stuff, unlike USA Nunchaku Co, they only have 12″ nunchaku which raises the question, “Since I have options, which nunchaku is right for me?”
The 12″ nunchaku is the standard size. The tapered octagon tied with rope it is the most common nunchaku found is martial arts of karate and kung fu styles schools which teach it. Some schools use plastic and foam nunchaku as well which are tied together with plastic chain. While many schools use them for practice, they are the worst example of what a real nunchaku is. The next kind of nunchaku is fastened with chain. These are designed more for sport and swinging tricks than a martial arts form, but both can be used either way.
If you are looking for nunchaku for a smaller frame, shorter lengths can work very well as well as the thinner 1″ models which are better for smaller grips. Sometimes experimenting with nunchaku lengths and rope and chain lengths is the best way to get a nunchaku that works for your size. The most important thing with nunchaku is having it feel comfortable while you practice.
Ropes vs Chain
The chain links swing and feel very different from the rope ties, but the basic rule is that you need more chain than rope for the same swinging feel. Rope is better for your kada and form work as it is best with joint locks and using the nunchaku leverage to inflict holds and breaks. Yes it’s true, there are other uses beyond swinging them into things! The chains are far better to use when trying out tricks and spins that wrap around the body. They do require more length than the rope, and if you put too much length of chain between them you have to shorten up the nunchaku which then moves us into the speed chuck. The speed chuck is basically a shorter nunchaku handle, with more chain. These are harder to control, but tons of fun.
Wood Types and Weight
If you are new to the nunchaku, stay with lighter woods. They are much more forgiving and easier on the mishaps. If you are familiar with them, choose the heavy ones only if you do not drop them all the time. Unlike a piece of plastic or foam, if you crack wooden nunchaku into hard surfaces, you may damage them, or the hard surface or both. It’s basic physics. The more weight and speed, the more impact. The lighter woods are faster and spin with more speed but do not pack the punch and damage of the heavier nunchaku. This is why they are the best for the student to practice with. If you want to see what will happen when you swing your nunchaku into a tree or rock please understand that you would be setting yourself up for a broken nunchaku.
We recommend practice on grass or carpet. Do not purchase with the impression that cocobolo or other hardwoods means “indestructible” If anything, it’s the opposite. Like all other martial arts weapons, great care should be taken when using them. They should only ever be used under the supervision of a martial arts instructor in a class setting.
As we hit the dog days of summer in 2017 the shop is finishing out the Dragon Fly run of nunchaku to end the first part of the season. With the introduction of our chain linked nunchaku this summer, we wanted to add to the mix with some cool variations from the old days of kung fu and karate with a similar variation of the classic speed chuck. We have made the handles shorter and the chain longer to match the total length of a standard 12″ chain set. We are going to be making these in a variety of shapes, woods and lengths for our next batch along with 3 sectional staffs and chain linked cocobolo nunchaku. These will finish out the dragonfly run 2017.
These nunchaku hard a bit different than the normal size to swing. It doesn’t take too long to get used to them. Look for us to try out a variety of woods in the coming batches to give a good weight mix for nunchaku swings of all styles.
The debut are two pairs, one red heart at 10″ and a katlox set of 9.5″ weighting in a full 16 oz pound! As always, join our newsletter to get updates on new nunchaku in the shop.
The Rare Preferred Hardwood of the Martial Arts world. Why is Cocobolo so Expensive?
Cocobolo Dalbergia retusais the long searched for wood in martial arts. It is in the family of the Rosewoods Dalbergia nigra. In part it is so saute after because of it’s weight and density but also because of the beautiful colors and patterns that appear in the wood’s grain. With this wood however it is not the demand that is the problem as much as it is the supply. The first price point that drives it up is being able to find it. The second is how much it costs once you have located something you can use. Unlike red oak or ash, cocobolo is a medium to small sized tree that has fewer straight branches. It is much harder to mill and even harder to get good undamaged straight boards so you can work with them. Hardwoods of this nature eat through expensive cutting bits in weeks, where as the same bit would last a lifetime with normal woods. The last price point that adds more to the final cost is how hard it is to work with. The first problem; the saw dust is poisonous to humans. Don’t get me wrong, all saw dust is bad for people and use of a mask is the general practice, but with cocobolo it is down right hurtful. It is much like getting poison ivy on the inside of your lungs. Not fun. So we use suits and masks and it’s hot and miserable doing so.
In the end it’s always worth it but much more time and work go into things made of cocobolo. It’s a rare wood loved by all the martial arts. The time may also be coming when cocobolo is gone from the planet. I wonder what those cocobolo nunchaku would be worth then? At USA Nunchaku Co. we hunt down cocobolo every week to use in our wood shop so we can bring you great nunchaku pieces. It’s a time honored hardwood in the martial arts world, but don’t forget all the other great woods we have available.
While cocobolo is a great hardwood, there are others that will also serve the same purpose. We encourage our nunchaku users to try out different weight hardwoods and test out some of the many other exotic hardwood options we provide.
The three rope tie method will be the norm for all nunchaku coming out of our store from May 2017 forward. The 660 para cord colors are expanding too, Summer 2017 will see reflective para cord and glow in the dark para cord available on the nunchaku and in re string packs.
New Exotic woods
The new woods available are just fantastic. East India Rosewood is the first. It’s similar to cocobolo, hard dense and dark in color. Redheart is our second new wood, the grain pattern is as good as it gets, it’s a good middleweight nunchaku wood. katalox is our new heavy. Dark in color with interesting pulp patterns it’s dense and heavy.
The main base woods will use, red oak and ash will still be available as well as these new exotic woods. Later this summer we will be releasing some other new exotic woods that should make for some great looking nunchaku.
Memorial Day Weekend: Pre release New Chain linked Nunchaku
They have finally arrived. The chain linked nunchaku in red oak. The pre release started this week running through the holiday weekend to kick off summer. We are excited and proud to finally offer one of the most requested versions of the nunchaku. The first sets will be from red oak and soon this summer we will be releasing the nunchaku in Red heart, rosewood and cocobolo
We will be continuing our curly maple nunchaku sale through the weekend! Stop by the site to check out all the curly maple nunchaku we have in stock in various sizes. This is the last of the curly maple stock and will not re visited until early Summer.
This is a great lighter weight nunchaku perfect for form practice. They will take a beating and have the wonderful curly maple figuring in the wood grain. Like all our nunchaku these are 100% made in the USA, hand cut sanded and finished.