View Full Version : "old school" nunchaku...

6th February 2004, 16:17

Every once in awhile, I see a pair of nunchaku similar to the one in the above link, usually in reference to "horse bridle nunchaku." However, they also seem to be quite rare, which makes the skeptic in me wonder if this is an authentic style or just some revisionist history.

Can anyone here set me straight? No offense intended to horse-bridle-nunchaku lovers everywhere. :)

Steven Malanosk
6th February 2004, 17:45

Not rare at all actually.

Not popular as in commercial distribution, and or run of the mill KoBuDo knowledge as a whole, but most legit.

The KaraTe museum in Okinawa displays them if you dont want to accept the occidental refference.

Incidentally, the folks that the page you posted, are quite legit themselves. No, I have no affiliation with them.

There are some interesting followup techniques that are unique to the structure of the bridle.

6th February 2004, 20:33

Thanks for the reply. I was never a big fan of the grain-threshing arguement, but the bridle seemed a little more far-fetched to me.

BTW, I hope no one thought that I was pointing out the weapons-connection link as being fraudulent or anything of the sort. They just had the best picture of what I was talking about.

Are these sort of nunchaku given a different name? Obviously something I won't read too much about in my local library. :)

Mitch Saret
7th February 2004, 01:14
As I have learned the history of Okinawan weapons, most have more than one theory as to how they were used. In the case of the nunchaku, the horse bridle and the thresher were both good theories. As was one about them being a rug beater. Also the possibility of one chaku being longer than the other to facilitate that use. I think I remember there were about 5 in all, but I can only recall those 3.

It is entirely possible that The person who taught me was just trying to sound more knowledgable than he was, but he was from Okinawa. I personally have never been, but want to go. My wife has no desire, so it's probably other places first.

Jay Vail
8th February 2004, 11:34
The grain thresher theory makes some sense. However, the flails typically used to dislodge the kernals from the stalks of grain by beating have one arm/stick much longer than the other so you don't have to bend down too much to reach the ground. I've never seen or heard documented a flail exactly like nunchaku either in Europe of the Orient where the arms are of equal length. Could be I just missed the reference.

Steven Malanosk
8th February 2004, 14:22
Here are 2 versions, both from Matayoshi style folks.

#1 It is thought that women invented Nunchaku to defend themselves after Satsuma's subjugation of the Ryukyu Kingdom about 380 years ago. The idea of making this weapon originated with the tool, which peels off the bark of Abaca (banana tree) for weaving. However, in Fuzhou China, there was a weapon called "Nisetsu Kon" or "Ryosetsu Kon" but pronounced "Nunchaku" in dialect. Its technique has a long history and is similar to Sansetsu Kon. Therefore, this Nunchaku jutsu seems to be influenced from Fuzhou China.

Also called "Sosetsu Kon", Nunchaku is a pair of wooden sticks, usually made of oak, tied together at one end by two strings. The art of Nunchaku was developed for self-defense. Easily concealed, similar weapons are still used today in guerrilla war in Korea and around Southeast Asian countries.

#2 The nunchaku is a weapon made from a horse bridle strap and a tool that was used to pound grain or rice. In the Matayoshi system, the most common types of nunchaku have octagonal (hakkakukei) or round (maru-gata) wooden handles of equal length connected by a length of rope or chain. A vine (kanda) can also be used as a longer connector, in order to bind an opponent's head and hands together in an "Okinawan Handcuff." Matayoshi Kobudo instruction includes nunchaku with one handle half the length of the other, both handles half the normal size, three-sectioned and four-sectioned. The han-kei nunchaku, with the circumference of the handles halved, is designed for easier carrying and concealment, as both handles fit together smoothly.

Here is a pic.


Steven Malanosk
8th February 2004, 14:38
From the Russian perspective, Sasha says: