Nunchakujutsu – Martial Arts focused on Nunchaku (Nunchucks)
Nunchakujutsu is not Nunchaku-Do, which is a sports-oriented martial arts that utilizes padded Nunchaku. Nunchakujutsu is a Kobudo martial arts originating from Okinawa, Japan. It is taught to Dan grades in various Karate schools. It is also sometimes practiced as a separate Kobudo art without first learning Karate.
Nunchaku techniques revolve around learning basic strikes while being able to control the weapon. There are various attack stances and defensive positions taught in Nunchakujutsu as well as the strikes and blocks that come with them. The most iconic move of Nunchaku (made famous by Bruce Lee) is the under arm and behind the back catch.
Locks and throws are also a part of the traditional Nunchakujutsu curriculum. As with most Karate and Kobudo techniques, great emphasis is placed on ‘Tai Sabaki’ (body evasion/footwork) In order to evade an attack and deliver a strike. There are also Kata taught in Nunchakujutsu. Nunchaku and other Kobudo weapons such as the Tonfa and Sai are often billed as ‘Karate weapons of self defense’ because there is a strong link between traditional Okinawan karate schools and Kobudo. In traditional NunchakuJutsu more importance is placed on actual strikes and blocks as opposed to just spinning the Nunchaku in order to look good (which is great for Xtreme Martial Arts (XMA)/Freestyle techniques as that is what you are being judged on). In Okinawan NunchakuJutsu the Nunchaku are ALWAYS held towards the bottom of the nunchaku, this is mainly in order to take full advantage of the reach of the weapon but also it is much easier to have total control of the weapon when held at the bottom though this contradicts many of the techniques taught in other nunchaku styles. Most people’s perception of how to use Nunchucks comes from what they have seen in movies especially Bruce Lee who is considered the Godfather of Nunchucks, however Bruce Lee learned the majority of his Nunchaku skills from Dan Inosanto (who is a master of many styles of martial arts and is a qualified Jeet Kune Do Instructor) though the Nunchaku as practiced by Dan and Bruce has more in common with Silat and Escrima than Okinawan Nunchaku techniques. As such traditional Nunchaku techniques look relatively unimpressive to non martial artists but are extremely effective against opponents wielding other weapons which is primarily what the art of Nunchaku was designed for. There are some techniques for ‘double nunchaku’ (where a pair of nunchaku are held in each hand) taught in NunchakuJutsu but not many and these are basically variations on single nunchaku techniques. Double Nunchaku is more likely to be found in XMA and freestyle forms.