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)
- Overall Length: 12″
- Weight approx 14 oz.
Which Nunchaku is Right for Me?
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.
Chain linked Speed Chucks
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 Rare Preferred Hardwood of the Martial Arts world. Why is Cocobolo so Expensive?
Cocobolo Dalbergia retusa is 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.
Nunchaku News May 2017
Moving all our Nunchaku to the three Rope Tie
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
Usa Nunchaku Debut our 3 Rope Nunchaku tie
We are now going to start offering the nunchaku tied using a 3 rope nunchaku tie in the middle method. It will be offered in a number of colors featuring a 480lb para-cord as always 100% American made. While this method takes a bit longer to do and is more complex, we feel that it’s a great look, very strong and doesn’t require us to remove any more of the wood material which in the end makes for a stronger nunchaku. It is also still a reliable end knot which can not unfasten like the other two method.
This string method takes longer because of the complex pattern for the string. We do not have an instructional set up yet for this way of roping the nunchaku. As with all martial arts moves, there are a number of ways to arrive at your desired results. This is also true with the many ways you can choose to tie your nunchaku later on. This year we are also planning to feature a number of instructional posts on the site that will feature different ways people tie their nunchaku.
Two Rope 650lb Tie
We will be continuing our two rope in the middle tie with a few changes. Now we will be using the flat 4 strand 650 para-cord. As with all our rope we only use American made and only buy it from American retailers. Currently this tie will only be available in a few colors but we hope to broaden the selection soon.
For more information on rope check out the rope lengths guide and the how to string nunchaku post on our website. Remember to sign up for our newsletter for updates, new products in stock and nunchaku news.
Oh my, it is so hot outside in north America this summer. Right now in the north east the humidity has taken over completely. Day and night it is 100 % in charge. It’s pea soup at 5:30am, and it just gets hotter and stickier as the sun crosses the sky. There is only like one guy that I know who isn’t bothered by this at all. Not to worry, the last 2016 batch of nunchaku are on the way. We spent the weekend doing the ruff cuts and hard routes and Cocobolo dust. Soon the next batch will be at the sanding stations.
Cocobolo dust is one thing that is hard to deal with. Most people don’t know that the saw dust is poisonous. It has a strong smell when it’s cut and creates a red dust power that gets on everything. I can tell you is to horrible. In the shop the saw dust can get crazy. We cut and expel a lot of wood. Add the 72% relative humidity and 92 degrees F, it makes the cocobolo dust cling to your skin and turn to a paste. I have to take breaks and continuously wash off while cutting this wood. Not much fun, but the only path to the beautiful and colorful wood becoming a set of nunchaku.
This time around we will have cocobolo featured but we will also have some other great woods like zebra, bloodwood, red oak, and locust. Small and slim models with some of the high end woods and our new highly searched for “nunchaku stringing packet“. I’m planning three complete batches to be for sale between now and Christmas so there will be plenty to go around for everyone. As always each is handmade, never stained and we sand, oil and string every pair. It’s without question and best nunchaku value for the practicing martial artist and best of all, they are made in the USA.
New Nunchaku Stock Coming!
Bloodwood, Cocobolo, Zebrawood, and a few others will be featured this time as well as new product designed for the martial arts school or instructor. We will be bundling 10-20 12″ Red Oak Nunchaku in packs for schools at a discount. Each one will be strung on the one side and come with the instructions on sizing the rope to the correct length.
We know our stock is about at rock bottom, more nunchaku are coming!!
Update 8/6/2016: We made a special trip to the warehouse and have New cocobolo stock! The cocobolo nunchaku has some great pulp markings in the grain and will have a variety of lengths to choose from this time around.
What is a Martial Art compared to a Sport?
This morning I read a great article on kung fu. It was written well and was insightful, but a few things about it troubled me so I thought I’d run down some of the mostly overlooked basics that most people on the outside, and many on the inside of martial arts, don’t know. With the popularity of the MMA fighting we all see on TV there is much to go over.
One statement I want to make before I start. There is no one martial art that is better than all others. In my opinion, being in the worst martial arts class available is better than not being in martial arts at all. In other words, its good for everyone, and it’s not about fighting. A good school weeds out the non hackers and trouble makers and in the end the students learn that fighting in martial arts is merely a side effect to your training. This point is one thing that separates a martial art like karate or kung fu, from a sport like MMA fighting. MMA is not a martial art. It is a sport that the contestants use various martial arts against each other, whatever is brought to the table. It’s main goal like a boxer is to train to win one fight. A martial artist one goal is never ending, and that is to better one’s self through discipline. Fighting is a side effect.
Which came first, the chicken or the egg
One common issue in martial arts is the attempt to classify which art is older or better or more powerful. Which ever the argument is, one can normally find enough evidence to prove one’s point, whatever it is, by using google to make your case. For example, most people are not aware that karate in it known “modern form” has only been around since 1920’s when it was made the national sport of Japan only after it was discovered on the island of Okinawa by high ranking people in the Japanese government who wanted to use it for physical education in the Japanese school system. Had it been on the island the whole time? Yes, but it was not discovered as you know it until 1922. Those people on Okinawa learned it from shipping and trade with the Chinese main land. The fact of the matter is simple. All of the Asian arts come from China in one way or another and at one time or another. In China alone there are 1000’s of Kung fu styles. Some are family systems and very private only taught to family members.
When you study kung fu you quickly learn it was all about watching the animals in nature “live” The forms and styles are based on animal movements. These movements are why it is used in Hollywood action scenes. They are pronounced and vivid, They are easier to see and more entertaining to watch, but the one thing that gets lost watching kung fu in film is the “why”. In martial arts all styles use forms or kata’s to teach. They are sequences of movements the student must master to advance. Hidden in these movements are micro movements and hidden in these are even more subtle movements. Depending on your skill level you may only be aware of a fraction of the things going on in each form. Hollywood doesn’t use kung fu for these reasons, they use it because it plays well on film “it looks cool” Different styles display different moves and attitudes. Hollywood likes to borrow from many styles to achieve the look we see in movies like “The Matrix”. Another thing that makes this happen is the Chinese culture and mythology. Unlike western schools of thought, there are hidden meanings when we see people flying through the air on wires, to us in the west we dismiss it as a cool effect with artistic license, but in China these visuals have a mythology and a meaning.
Real fighting vs Fake fighting
MMA is a controlled fight sport. It’s not no holds bared as you might think. Fighting each other at your martial arts school is also not real, or at least it shouldn’t be. We train to help each other, not hurt each other. The one thing I get more than anything else from all my years in martial arts, mainly from karate guys, (sorry karate guys) is that kung fu is a dance, it’s all show and that the movements are too pronounced and the positions are impractical. Most people get this idea from watching a movie like “the dragon” on a Saturday afternoon. This is the main reason I decided to sit down and scribble this out. Lets get some misunderstandings out of the way first. The most important point I want to make is that in a fight, a martial artist studying kung fu for example isn’t going to “dance” at me in a fight. No, they are not going to get into a cool pose and wave you in, nor are they going to have wires attached to them and fly into the battle. If it was a trained fighter he or she would likely wait for the attacker to come in and the outcome would be a dislocated joint or compound fracture depending on how hard they came in. You see most people don’t understand that Kung fu is defensive art, meaning literally all the forms, sequences and kata’s revolve around the idea of “being attacked”, not being the attacker. You may ask yourself, “what good is that?” If you are an aggressive asshole, you are right, it serves no purpose at all. If you are protecting yourself or your family, it’s everything and then some. It’s the “then some” that hurts.
I’ve been studying Kung Fu for almost twenty years. When I started out, in the first year of my studies, I lost my job and was forced to take a bouncing job at a very rough getto bar to make ends meet. Needless to say this made me look at my kung fu class as more than a hobby. My martial arts studies suddenly became on the job training that very well could mean the difference between life and death. I did this for over ten years. I can’t say many things in life with certainty. This is a humbling fact. One thing however I can speak on with absolute wisdom and clarity is how martial arts are applied in a “real life” situation. Not Hollywood, not MMA, not some crazy cage fight or a flying kick 12 ft in the air, not breaking bricks, but real life. You see, in western society the only place you can go to find a real fight on a regular consistent basis is “a bar” This is the one place you can be sure that given enough standing around time you will be assured a real live fight. There are no rules or codes. No referee, no help. Watching a room of people get drunk over the coarse of four or five hours is fascinating. I would urge literally anyone to do it, without drinking yourself of course.
When I started I was the first full time bouncer in all the bars in Harrisburg PA. Yes some of them had weekend muscle bound guys in squads of 5 or 6 as bouncers, but I was the only Monday through Saturday bouncer, and I worked alone. I didn’t work alone because I was super skilled, I did because they couldn’t afford more people, and I couldn’t afford to complain. At first it was very scary. When the shit would hit the fan, all eyes would turn to me and I’d have to walk down to the scene. It was more like an old western movie than a kung fu movie, trust me. Most of the time however you would be surprised what skills were the most effective. They all came from my training n martial arts, but most of them were not rockem sockem robots, it was skills like observation, patients, negotiation and temperament. If these didn’t work, then we get out the kung fu bag of fighting skills. This was not easy as I said before, kung fu is reactionary, and the job of bouncing is very much confrontational, but I made it work. Many times it became very physical. As the years went on they did hire people to help out on the weekends. Many didn’t cut it. Taking an ID was one thing, stopping a fight or ejecting a human who doesn’t want to go is quite another. Many martial artists tried to work with me, not one was able to do the job. Many people thought they would do great, until the moment of action. At that moment the fight or flight reaction kicked in, and they flew. Because I wanted to keep my job and not have my employer get sued, many of the tools were off the table from the start. While this is true some of them were never on the table to begin with, like
- dancing at them
- waving them in from a sideways horse stance
- making weird chirping sounds
- starting from a fixed position like crane
- kicks to the head, of any kind
- flying kicks
- brick breaking
Given those exceptions, there were some epic fights, all out brawls, some great judo throws and some people did literally sail through the front doors back out onto the street without ever touching the ground. While those facts are true, every time it was real and the reality of it is what had to come out of me when handling each situation. The reason I was kept on for almost a decade is that 95% of the time I was able to walk them out calmly. I grew and became the voice of reason. After a while, even the worst people that came in that bar knew better. It may have been because of something they saw weeks before, or just word of mouth but the purpose was served. I used a martial art to keep fights from starting and only an art form can do this, not a sport of fighting.
So when you are looking at the different styles of martial arts understand that the movies are not real. A good school will teach you far more than fighting they will teach you about life.
Blonde Cocobolo Nunchaku
This pair was a special cut fro the master block of cocobolo we used. The oils have set out the great colors in the wood grain. These are not stained. The lighter pulp wood looks blonde next to the fiery red in the dark cocobolo grains. I have number of other cocobolo in the store now but this one we are listing alone in the store. This is why I’ve decided to call it Blonde Cocobolo Nunchaku.
Coming up on the next round we will be cutting blood wood and will be featuring the return of the Lignum Vitae (ironwood)nunchaku.
Lignum Vitae (Genuine) is an exotic wood native to the tropical regions of the Americas. It is a very hard, dense, and heavy wood, with a fine texture. The heartwood color ranges from a dark greenish brown to black. Lignum Vitae is excellent for wood turning, as well as being used for bearings, bushings, some marine applications, and mallet heads. It has an oily to waxy character and takes a high polish.
We make Traditional Octagon Wood Nunchaku from real hardwoods. Real wooden American Nunchaku. We have a selection of great dense hardwoods. All our nunchaku are strung and oiled ready to go. They are fast, easy to swing and control. Perfect for school and form study. We also have chain linked nunchaku featuring the ever sought after U swivel. They are available now in a number of woods and lengths. Each nunchaku we make is special and our goal is to match them with special people who use them. We do it all here in the USA while using American products and materials. There is no robot factory, we don’t import anything to make them. The one you pick is the one you get. Stop by the store and check out the selection. usanunchaku.com
When to Martial arts teaches us to remain calm in the face of danger. To turn the other cheek. To stay far from harms way. We learn to fight to make our bodies strong and our minds confident should the time come when we are tested.
Fight or Flight
Unfortunatly sometimes we can not avoid confrontation. The basic choice is stay and fight, or turn and run. In my school, on the first day all students are taught to run. They are told to not bother fighting, save yourself. After more classes there may be more options, but for now, run!
I worked as a bouncer for many many…….too many years. Being in martial arts is one thing, depending on it for your job was another thing all together. It takes a special person to gravitate towards danger rather than steer clear of it. I, like any normal person, was not all that into the first altercations that started my bouncing career. In the small city of Harrisburg PA, I became the first full time Tuesday through Saturday bouncer. I was able to buy my first house with that job. It was dangerous, exciting and hand in hand with all my training in Kung fu, totally changed me. Being out matched out numbered and on guard all the time can wear a person down. It’s not a natural way to be. Testing a person like that is not the norm, but a test non the less may find its way to anyone at any time.
” In time, no matter who you are, or where you go, the odds are you will be tested.”