View Full Version : Q: Nunchaku kata in Ryukyu Kobudo

16th January 2002, 14:43

I've been practising with nunchakus for about a year, using the meagre information I could find from books, videos and the internet. No combat applications, just twirling and having fun.
I have pretty good control of the weapon.

I would like though, to learn the traditional katas.
From what I understand, there is just one nunchaku kata in Ryukyu Kobudo? Can you tell me of any other katas in other styles of karate?

So... I found a Ryukyu Kobudo school near where I live. I e-mailed the teacher, told him about myself, and asked whether he could teach me the nunchaku kata. I didn't get a reply. Perhaps he was insulted by my question. I can imagine that he was, as basically I said I didn't want to learn the whole art, just a select piece, that of the nunchaku kata.

But I already train Tae-Kwon-Do and Ju-jutsu, I work 56 hours every week, and I just have no more time for practise. And even though the rest of the art of Ryukyu seems interesting, it's really just the nunchaku I want to study. By this I mean no disrespect.

And in the other styles of karate that has a little nunchaku in them, it seems I have do advance quite a bit in those styles to get to learn the nunchaku. Practise for years just to learn a kata or two?

I guess what I'm asking is.... is there another way ?

I really want to do the traditional katas... It's not like I'm gonna walk around telling people I'm an expert in Ryukyu Kobudo....
I just want to have something traditional that I can practise on my own....

Best regards,
Johan Eliasson.

BTW: Here's my website with a collection of nunchaku links, perhaps it can be of interest :

John Bowden
16th January 2002, 15:45
I don't think there is any such thing as a "traditional" nunchaku kata. Nunchaku are kind of like the Saturday Night Specials of Ryukyuan Kobudo. If you really want to learn about nunchaku, the meat of the weapon cannot lie in any kata anyways. All the good stuff is in direct combative application. It's unlikely that any teacher would agree to teach you alot of nunchaku unless your karate and probably bojutsu was already pretty good.

If you're hell-bent on it though, you can keep your eyes open for Okinawan Style Seminars in your area and maybe find a seminar that'll go over some nunchaku. Matayoshi ryu has a nunchaku kata, but it's relatively recent in origination, I think. I think the same is true of the nunchaku kata in the Taira Shinken line.


Doug Daulton
23rd January 2002, 23:01
Hi folks,

The Taira --> Akamine line has two nunchaku kata. The first kata is called both Taira no Nunchaku (The Nunchaku of Taira) or Maezato no Nunchaku (The Nunchaku of Maezato). Essentially both names refer to Taira Shinken as Maezato is the name of his birth family.

This kata is also taught in the Taira --> Inoue line. In addition, I believe this kata is also taught in Itosu-ha Shito-ryu (Sakagami Ryusho Sensei, Demura Fumio Sensei) and Hayashi-ha Shito-ryu (Hayashi Teruo Sensei) ... all of whom had ties to Taira.

The second nunchaku kata in the Taira --> Akamine line is reserved for members of the "family". :) Beyond confirming it's existance, I can say little else.

That said, I have to agree with Mr. Bowden. In my experience, few kobudo teachers worth their salt are likely to teach the nunchaku unless they first feel one has a sound understanding of karate and the bo.

Furthermore, I'd also agree that absent and understanding of the intended combat applications, nunchaku kata are a pretty worthless endeavor.


Pavel Dolgachov
24th January 2002, 15:01
Nakamoto Masahiro, Akamine Eisuke and Inoue Motokasu were all students of Taira. And now there are few different kata versions of Taira. Nakamoto uses in moves (steps) kokutsu-dachi (similar to shotokan kokutsu) and then ura-zenkutsu. Akamine - two little different kokutsu-dachi. Inoue created (devided) this kata (or created other two) from this kata. As I know theese kata not bear name "taira"or "Maezato" - simply - nunchaku-kata. And I saw one (the same Maezato-no-nunchaku) but it utilize han-zenkutsu (or something similar) stance. And all conception of Inoue nunchaku-jutsu are little different of others. Inoue-ha representatives use evasive movements every time! They don't practise so much nunchaku vs bo as okinawan kobudo.

But all of them use strikes, blocks, traps and throwing techniques with nunchaku (the same for Matayoshi-ha).

Pavel Dolgachov
24th January 2002, 15:05
In Matayoshi kobudo there are just one kata - Mateshi-no-nunchaku or Senhara-no-nunchaku. But he used a lot of hojo-undo - supplementary exersises before teaching it. Probably he had other kata of nunchaku.

I created myself 8))))))) two nunchaku kata for children. They can easy understand techniques. One consist of uke-waza (blocks and just two strikes), one consist of using close range combat strategy. Very simple too. 8)

Rob Alvelais
24th January 2002, 16:25
Originally posted by Pavel Dolgachov
In Matayoshi kobudo < snip>

Doesn't Nishiuchi have a nunchaku tape with kata in it out on Panther Video?


Pavel Dolgachov
24th January 2002, 16:35
Hm, I had no possibility to see Nishiuchi tape. I will try to buy it, but, probably, it will be next - 2003 year 8)

What Nishiuchi demonstrate on his tape?

John Bowden
25th January 2002, 01:11
His nunchaku tape has the Matayoshi Nunchaku Sandan kata and a kihon kata (Kobu no Nunchaku) invented by Nishiuchi's teacher, Kinjoh, I think his name is.

It does a good job breaking down Nunchaku Sandan but is slim to none on application other than the most basic. The applications are the weak point on his video series, in general. Every other aspect is pretty decent. His breakdowns on kata are excellent.


Keith Frederick
25th January 2002, 09:06
So... I found a Ryukyu Kobudo school near where I live. I e-mailed the teacher, told him about myself, and asked whether he could teach me the nunchaku kata. he he...time to re-watch The Challenge... :)

Pavel, have you posted videos or a publication of your nunchaku kata?

- Keith

Keith Frederick
25th January 2002, 09:15
Did some googling and found that Nunchaku is to be taught at this upcoming summer training camp:


- Keith

Pavel Dolgachov
25th January 2002, 09:33
Of course I even had no idea to publish book or record a tape with my nunchaku kata. 8)
I'm very-very small and young kobudo instructor. My kata are very similar to 'Matayoshi-ha hojo-undo" (it uses basic techniques in order from most simple to little more diffucult). There is no need to publish theese kata. I know some teachers of karate publish taikyoku series. But it have a little value for little skillful fighter. Of course such kata have historical value and very important for begginers... But I'm not great to publish something...

Tim Chilcott
29th January 2002, 04:10
I study Kenshinkan Shorin-Ryu. In our style of Shorin-Ryu there is one Nunchaku kata, Nunchaku exercises, and Nunchaku Ippon Kumite. The Nunchaku is not given much emphasis in Kenshinkan, my Sensei explained that it was a weapon that could be easily disarmed with a Bo if twirled around like one would commonly see depicted. The Nunchaku is more of a grappling weapon in practical use.

Be Well,
Tim Chilcott

Pavel Dolgachov
30th January 2002, 12:33
Hm, nunchaku is possible to use against bo. And disarm your opponent too. unchaku (like a bo and any other weapon) may be used as very effective weapon to strike, grab, make armlocks etc. It depends of accent in kobudo practise.

Fred Sodergren
30th January 2002, 16:14
Hi all!
Being a practiononer of Inoue-kobudo, I thought I'd give a few info-cents. Inoue taught two Nunchaku-katas with the simple names Sho and Dai. No fancy names there.....
In kumite the attacker uses punches, kicks, knife and seizing(spelling?) you with his hands. So obviously he thought it was a usefull weapon in a grappling situation. (Among others)

Not that I'm an expert or anything! :karatekid

Pavel Dolgachov
31st January 2002, 06:46
Nunchaku kata of Motokatsu Inoue's Ryukyu Kobujitsu were based on the same kata of his teacher Taira Shinken. People call this kata Maezato-no-nunchaku. It's not "fancy" name , because it simply mean "nunchaku of Maezato" and Maezato is one of the names of Taira Shinken.

Inoue divided this kata for two sections.

Fred Sodergren
31st January 2002, 09:42
Was looking at your website and since I don't speak russian, isn't it available in english??
It looked interesting....

Fred Sodergren

Pavel Dolgachov
31st January 2002, 12:20
It was on English before... More than year ago. I tryied to creat it on Russian again, but there are too much information to translate. And I'm not good interpretor... Sorry.

I dreamed do found russian/english webresorce but it's impossible now.

20th March 2002, 17:24
In the syllabus for the International Okinawan Kobudo Association (UK) there are three nunchaku katas - "Ko-bu nunchaku ichi", "ko-bu nunchaku ni" and "nunchaku kata"

However, on the Nishiuchi tapes he demonstrates two kata (ko-bu nunchaku + nunchaku kata), but he also demonstrates a kata at the start of the video. This kata is not seen again on the video, so I do not know what it is.

Oh, and for the record, I practice Matayoshi Kobudo.


Budoka 34
1st April 2002, 13:56
Tsunami Productions has several traditional Okinawain Kobudo videos featuring nunchaku. They may be what you are looking for.
I am a new student of Ryukyu Kempo Kobudo, the only kata I am aware of are Nunchaku Sho and Dai.

Budoka 34