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How to Use Nunchucks

Spinning nunchucks, or nunchaku, are a traditional Japanese weapon that requires skill to master. Learn the basics with these tips.


  • Step 1: Grip your nunchucks In an open space like a field or martial arts dojo, hold 1 stick of the nunchucks in each hand, leaving 1 inch of space at the bottom of each. Stand with your feet shoulder distance apart, and your weight distributed equally.
  • TIP: Consider using foam-covered practice chucks and working under the supervision of an instructor.
  • Step 2: Practice striking Hold 1 stick of the nunchucks in your right hand, with your left arm in the blocking position across your chest. Strike from right to left. Repeat on the left side.
  • Step 3: Try a figure 8 Try a figure 8: hold 1 stick of the nunchucks in your right hand and place your right foot forward. Swing diagonally downward, then up and across diagonally, making an 8 shape in front of your face.
  • Step 4: Practice catching Practice catching. Perform a side strike, and catch the free nunchucks stick in your left palm. Switch hands and repeat on the other side. For upper catching, place your catching arm in front of forehead. For front catching, swing your nunchucks for an upper strike and catch the free stick under your armpit.
  • Step 5: Striking an object Try striking an object. Hang a ball or punching bag from the ceiling, take your position, concentrate, and strike it from different angles. If you think you’re ready, try striking a moving object. Ask a partner to throw an apple in the air and attempt to smash it with the nunchucks.
  • TIP: When nunchucks hit an object they can bounce back and cause you injury. To prevent this, pull back and make a sword-like cutting motion immediately after striking.
  • Step 6: Practice, practice, practice Commit to frequent training sessions, and understand that it will take a long time to see results. The aim of martial arts isn’t victory, but the perfection of your character.
  • FACT: It's believed that nunchucks were developed from a farming tool that was used to separate the rice grain from its husk.

You Will Need

  • Nunchucks
  • Open space
  • Punching bag
  • Partner
  • Apple
  • Padded nunchucks (optional)
  • Instructor (optional)

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