Nunchaku Summer work shop updates

Nunchaku Summer Work Shop News

media2-meditating Well summer is here in the north east.  We have been getting our shop time in and hunting new wood stock for our nunchaku, which has been difficult.  Some times of the year it is very hard to find good stock in the exotic woods.  Typically I will get a call from one of the local wholesaler to come out and have a look at the new stock.  I’ll be going this week to a new location hunting some cocobolo and hopefully some more bloodwood.

Right now in the shop we have red oak and blood wood being cut.  We will be featuring a new bulk item for martial arts schools.  These will be red oak nunchaku sold in packs of 15 for instructors to sell in their schools.  These will be priced at a discount and sold to martial arts schools.  I’m hoping to have a number of these packs ready to go in the next few weeks.

Please check out our new “How to String Nunchaku” article.  This will hopefully provide you with the needed information on how to re string your nunchaku

We will also be featuring the smaller lengths for younger students and people with smaller hands.  These will be in various lengths shorter than the standard 12 inches.

Please follow us on twitter and face book for current updates and news on when the new nunchaku will be released.  Everyone have a wonderful start to your summer and stay cool.

 

 

How to String Nunchaku

 Basic 2 Rope Method of Stringing Nunchaku

This article teaches the 2 string method on how to string nunchaku.  As we sell more and more of our nunchaku we have found that many martial artist do not know how to fix and or re-tie their nunchaku.

Let us first state some facts before getting into how to tie nunchaku..  Just like your martial arts moves, there are many ways to arrive at the end.  In other words, there is no one right way to tie them.  A far as how to string nunchaku, some ways are better than others and some ways of stringing nunchaku require the correct rope and or nunchaku.  Many methods you may find are partly for show while others are for function.  The one thing that we have found is that there is no information on the internet  that shows how to tie them well.  This brings us to this lesson of nunchaku stringing.  The method below for tying nunchaku is the “two rope” method taught to me by my instructors many years ago.  Our style is Northern Boxing Style Kung fu requiring a short 3 inch rope length between the nunchaku.  You will find that different martial arts styles require other lengths depending on the applications.  Rope lengths will always wind up being a personal preference for each user.

restring tools 1
restring tools 1
  • Bell Wire
  • wire snips
  • small flat head screw driver
  • sissors
  • plyers
  • at least 3 ft of rope

The secret is in the bell wire tool.  It needs to be thin enough to fit through the last stage but thick enough to last through the process.  Almost any hardware store will sell this in small spools.  All the other tools you can find around the house.  The photos below show how to make your tool which can be used a number of times.


Cut about 12 inches of wire and fold in the middle making a half moon.
Cut about 12 inches of wire and fold in the middle making a half moo
bend the ends
bend the ends
Trim if needed.
Trim if needed.
Finished re-string nunchaku tool
Finished re-string nunchaku tool

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Next is the stringing of the nunchaku. It is important to have a flat table that you can lay the nunchaku out on. This will help keep things organized as you go through the process.

Lay flat head to head
insert tool
insert tool
pull enough to thread your rope
pull enough to thread your rope
make sure rope is even, pull through.
make sure rope is even, pull through.
pull though, re check your even lengths.
pull though, re check your even lengths.
Use the tool to thread to the other side.
Use the tool to thread to the other side.
Continue and pull
Continue and pull
next using the opposite end of the tool...
next using the opposite end of the tool…
Feed tool through top.
Feed tool through top.
Pull the open ends through the loop.
Pull the open ends through the loop.
Holding the open ends, pull out the slack.
Holding the open ends, pull out the slack.
Pull...
Pull…
pull...
pull…
Pull until all slack is out.
Pull until all slack is out.
Insert rounded end of tool into other nunchaku.
Insert rounded end of tool into other nunchaku.
Attach the first string
Attach the first string
Pull back through.
Pull back through.
Then continue to pull it through the other side.
Then continue to pull it through the other side.
Repeat process pulling the other string through.
Repeat process pulling the other string through.
Pull the second open string through.
Pull the second open string through.
Start of last section
Start of last section

The last section: How to String Nunchaku

At this point you should have exactly what is pictured above.  If you don’t,  you should start over.  The beauty of this method is that you have not cut anything yet, so using the same string can be done.  You want to make sure you have even lengths of rope at this point and that you have a bout 1 1/2″ of rope between the two nunchaku with no slack or kinks.

Lay ropes on opposite sides, and push round end of tool through top.
Lay ropes on opposite sides, and push round end of tool through top.
Pull one of the rope ends through.
Pull one of the rope ends through.
Lay to the right side.
Lay to the right side.
Use tool again to pull remaining string.
Use tool again to pull remaining string.
Pull through and lay on left side.
Pull through and lay on left side.
*Important* Rotate top nunchaku and wrap open strings around the string between the nunchaku.
*Important* Rotate top nunchaku and wrap open strings around the string between the nunchaku.
Tie the open ends to a double knot. "box knot"
Tie the open ends to a double knot. “box knot”
Distance check.
Distance check.

Rope Lengths

At this point you are ready to size and cut your rope.  Where you put the knot will determine how much rope you have between the nunchaku.

Using the line tool, tighten your knot.
Using the line tool, tighten your knot.
Cut off your extra rope leaving some extra before the knot.
Cut off your extra rope leaving some extra before the knot.
Cut knot with some extra.
Cut knot with some extra.
Using the lighter heat the frayed edges to seal the cut cord.
Using the lighter heat the frayed edges to seal the cut cord.
Use the pliers to compress the knot while still hot.
Use the pliers to compress the knot while still hot.
pull the knot tight to the top of the nunchaku. You can use the pliers and or screwdriver to press it in farther.
using the small Philips head, draw back the knot.
how to string nuncahku
pull the knot tight to the top of the nunchaku. You can use the pliers and or screwdriver to press it in farther. pull the knot tight to the top of the nunchaku. You can use the pliers and or screwdriver to press it in farther.

That concludes the stringing process.  Only forty some odd steps.  If you are asking yourself “This doesn’t seem like fun”, it’s not.  This is something we do as a bonus for our customers.  As we stated before their are other ways to string nunchaku.  we have found this is the easiest, safest and most practical way to do the stringing.  Keep in mind, the thicker the rope, the harder each step is to complete.  If the rope is too thick, the last steps can be very challenging.

Thank you for taking the time to read our stringing guide and don’t forget to stop by the shop as we are always releasing new nunchaku made from hardwoods, all 100% American.


History of the Nunchaku

Red Heart Nunchaku
Handmade Nunchaku

The nunchaku (Japanese: ヌンチャク Hepburn: nunchaku?, often “nunchuks “, “num-chuk”, “danger sticks”, “juan-tuo”, “chuka sticks'”[1] or “chainsticks” in English) is a traditional Okinawan martial arts weapon consisting of two sticks connected at one end by a short chain or rope. Used by Okinawan nobles,[citation needed] it was not a historically popular weapon because it was ineffective against the most widely used weapons of that time, and because few techniques for its use existed. 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. Many varieties of nunchaku are available.

During the Japanese occupation of Okinawa some 350 years ago, invading warlords prohibited the use of ordinary weapons such as the gun, sword and spear. So, the Okinawans turned to karate and kobu-do, which is the art of karate weapons such as the bo (a staff), sai (a short sword with the two prongs at the handle, kama (a sickle), and surushin, a length of rope with weights attached to both ends) for protection. Some kobu-do weapons were farm implements which the ingenious farmers converted into effective protective devices. For instance, the forerunner of the nunchaku was an instrument used to pound grain, which was later put to practical use as a weapon. The nunchaku was constructed of two hardwood sticks which were securely connected by rope braided from horses’ tails. Today, the sticks are tied with rope or chain. Because of is innocent appearance, nunchucks could easily be mistaken for a toy or harmless bundle of sticks. In a defensive situation, however, it could be used to strike, block, hit, twist and pinch

Classical nunchuku dimensions conform to their user’s anatomy. The linking chain is the length of the back of the user’s hand. The two sticks are as long as the distance between the user’s wrist and elbow. These dimensions are optimal, they allow the execution of many maneuvers.

Also known as nunchaku, nunchucks, chucks or chain sticks, originally a farm tool used to harvest rice, it developed into a traditional Okinawan weapon and consists of two sticks connected at their ends with a short chain or rope.

Blonde Cocobolo Nunchaku

Blonde Cocobolo Nunchaku

Blonde Cocobolo NunchakuThis 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.

Stop  by the shop to check them all out.

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.

Exotic wood Nunchaku

Exotic wood Nunchaku

Exotic Woods I’ve been working away at getting the new stock ready for this coming weekend.  So far everything is a go.  This time we will have Red Oak, Cocobolo, African Blackwood and Locust.  The weather here has been horrible and the wood shop has been cold but things are moving along well.  All of the blanks are being shaped and the toxic stuff has been cut.  Most people don’t know that the cocobolo dust is very toxic.  We have to wear masks when cutting it as it becomes hard to breath and the air literally turns maroon.  In the end it is well worth the time put into them as the cocobolo tend to feature some of the most beautiful wood grains.  This time I have a few pieces that feature the pulp wood from the cocobolo which is a lighter color and makes for the wonderful finish mixed with the dark red colors.

Locust Wood Nunchaku
From tree to block the Locust wood is cut down to make nunchaku.

African Blackwood is our newest exotic wood type.  It has taken the place of the ebony which has become impossible to find in sizes we can use.  It has a dark to pitch black color and is very dense and heavy.  The grain is very fine much like the ironwood we also use.  This makes for an overall dense heavy nunchaku which comes alive when it’s weight gets put into motion.

Stop back on Sunday morning to usanunchaku.com and check out the new arrivals.

Nunchaku Handmade in America

Nunchaku Handmade in America

ash NunchakuOne of the big stories in politics and the news is American jobs and companies making products in the states as opposed to imports from other countries.  Martial arts in America is as popular as ever.  I love the fact that we provide a great product that can be produced and used here at home.

I started making nunchaku back in 1998.  After my first year studying in my local kung fu school, my instructors has finally started teaching us the basics of our first weapons, the jo staff and nunchaku were the first ones that we were shown.  The staff was cut and dry, but the nunchaku was another story.

Ironwood Nunchaku To be taught nunchaku forms in any martial arts school most will find the only acceptable kind of nunchaku are the wooden corded type.  These type of nunchaku are called traditional octagon in shape.  While I was able to find this type in the typical Asian warehouse outlet stores online like my teachers, only a very generic version was available.  they were too thick, and felt horrible.  they were also stained and not even strung together.  That dreadful $5 to$19 product was always the same  lifeless weapon in a clear plastic bag.  This is how the making of our handmade nunchaku came to be.

Locust Wood Nunchaku
From tree to block the Locust wood is cut down to make nunchaku.

Our nunchaku are made by hand.  Each one is made by a martial artist in a wood shop, not a robotic Chinese factory.  We sand them oil and dry them and then string them with strong quality para-cord.  Rather than feature “some kind of stained wood”  we made our nunchaku from dense hardwoods of different weights like cocobolo, red oak, bloodwood and locust to name a few.  It’s an American product for a great American past time.

American Nunchaku Handmade

Red Heart Round Chain Nunchaku
Handmade Nunchaku

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.   All our nunchaku are made in small batches daily to the customers order specifications. We have a large selection of domestic hardwoods and exotic imported hardwoods from all over the world.  Stop by the store and check out the selection.  About US


Martial Arts: Your First Real Weapon

Your First Real Weapon

Martial Arts Jo staffMost 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.swords

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.

Read more

Nunchaku rope lengths

Nunchaku Rope Lengths

The nunchaku we make come to you pre strung.  We do this because we understand how frustrating it is to have to string them yourself.  Even my teachers will ask me to string up their nunchaku in lieu of them trying because I do it so often.  This service is done as a bonus for the customer, but not being able to size up each martial artists needs, we string our nunchaku in one fashion.  

Our nuncahku are strung with 500 lb  test paracord.  The rope length of a nunchaku is determined by the martial art style.  Our default style is Chinese northern style White Dragon boxing kung fu.  This style has many forms that require strikes and control methods to lock joints and break bone.  The standard rope length is three finger lengths plus a few cm.  Depending on the size of the person, the length on the nunchaku itself and the weight of the wood, this size maybe need to be adjusted after you get used to them. Please note, if you are used to chain linked nunchaku, chains require much more length to work as opposed to rope..This does not mean that you can not restring them to your own needs.

In addition to the size of the nunchaku themselves and the length of the rope, another element must be taken into consideration: the weight.

Indeed, the weight is very important and must be selected according to the type use you want to have with your Nunchaku:

Between 50 and 100 grams: for these lightweights, a very short rope must be used (less than 6 cm), because if not, the Nunchaku will be quite hard to handle. This is the weight of the Pro Chux.

Between 100 and 230 grams: this is the standard weight for common Nunchakus, this is appropriate for any kind of use.

More than 230 grams: they are the weights used for combat Nunchakus, they have a great destruction capability but this is harder to make artistic things correctly, except for Nunchakus having a long rope (more than 14 cm).

More than 600 grams: whatever the length of the rope is, these weights are only made for combat.

All USA Nuncahku are combat weight.  Please take care to start slow and get used to how they flow.  These are not plastic or foam toys, they are the real deal.

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