Nunchucks, also known as nunchaku, is a quite familiar weapon these days, but it wasn’t that popular in American continent a few years ago. However, when Bruce Lee was at his peak, he introduced this interesting weapon to the Americans, and they loved it. 

Americans didn’t just love the weapon; they loved the way Lee used it. And it was indeed impressive watching him performing tricks with the nunchaku. Admit or not, he would remain as the best user and trickster with this weapon as well. Perhaps, this is why it is known as an iconic Brue Lee weapon. 

As the American people watched the immense skill level of Bruce Lee on the big screen, nunchaku made its way in this part of the world. And since then, it has been used for diverse purposes, mainly for self defense against the attackers. 

We know most of the people are beginners with this weapon and this is why we have come up with some key information that every beginner must know. In this article, we are going to discuss certain significant things to know about nunchucks as a beginner. 

When we talk about everything, we mean the uses, popularity, history and types of nunchaku. But, we shall start with the introduction of the weapon. So, what is nunchucks?

Nunchucks is a small sized weapon consisting of two small sticks connected via a rope, chord or a chain. Generally, the two sticks are made of wood, but also steel is used for manufacturing these sticks. It is a powerful weapon majorly used for fighting and defense. 

It is a martial arts weapon that is used for learning fighting and defense techniques in Japan. But, when we explore its history, we get to know different tales associated with it. It is time now to explore those tales again.

Origin of Nunchucks

As a beginner, it is necessary to know how your favorite weapon, or the weapon you are attempting to use, originated. Since there are plenty of stories, we won’t plunge into all of them. But, let's focus on the real facts.

As far as the origination and fascinating history of nunchucks is concerned, most of the historians agree that it originated in China. It was basically an agricultural tool used by the Chinese. However, there are not many evidences that it was used by the people of China for self defense or for battling their enemies. 

However, one amazing story takes us to how nunchaku served as a weapon for fighting the enemies. Jiu Hong Jun, the first emperor of the Sung dynasty of China, is actually the person behind the transformation of this weapon from an agricultural tool to a fighting weapon. 

Jiu Hong Jun lost a battle to the Mongolians during the 10th century. Hence, to prevent a humiliating defeat, he along with his army retrieved and went to mainland Chinese territory. This is where he stayed and discovered this weapon. 

He saw people reaping crops with a small tool. He realized that this tool can work in his favor. He asked his army to assist the villagers and as a result the local villagers fed him and served his army as well. 

Meanwhile, he trained his army and the villagers with nunchucks. He knew that this weapon can serve him in the battle. Once all the troops were well-trained, he counter attacked the Mongolians and re-captured his territory. 

One can say that this was the foundation of nunchaku as a fighting weapon. Impressed by this battle, people started perceiving it as a real or primary fighting weapon. The martial artists also started learning fighting techniques with this weapon and  eventually led to immense popularity of the weapon across the Asian continent. 

Nunchucks in the Movies

The popularity of nunchucks enhanced at a rapid pace across the globe. In the late 1970s and 19080s, Bruce Lee made an impact when he started using nunchaku in his movies. Most of his movies during that era featured a great use of this weapon. 

There are plenty of movies in which he displayed his skills, but we shall shed some light on the most popular ones among them. Enter the Dragon is the most popular movie in which Lee showed that he is the boss as far as handling nunchucks is concerned. 

Other popular movies include Black Dynamite and Game of Death etc. in which he appeared as the real user of this weapon and displayed his incredible talent. But, after Lee, it actually became a trend in Hollywood. 

Several movies apart from Bruce Lee’s films also featured the use of nunchucks. The latest one features Donnie Yen who has tried to replicate the Great Bruce Lee, and to a great extent, succeeded. Hence, it is the popularity of this weapon that took it to the grandest stages and screens. 

Nunchucks in the TV Shows

Not only the movies, many TV shows also featured nunchucks, specifically during the past decade. The most popular among those shows is the WWE Raw. If you are an American, you know what this show is about. 

WWE Raw is a wrestling show and very popular in the US. On different episodes of this show, nunchucks appeared on the screen. In fact, a wrestler used it during a match on a specific event. 

Generally, using such weapons during a match is illegal, but there was one match known as the Asylum Match where it was legal to use all these weapons. Though there were other weapons as well, but nunchaku captured the attention of the audience and the viewers.  

The highlight of the show was the use of this weapon. The match took place between Chris Jericho and Dean Ambrose. It was Ambrose who used this weapon and displayed his skills of using it. Maybe, he was a fan of Bruce Lee, who knows. 

Later on, a new controversy was created. Abrose was fined for carrying nunchucks by the Border Control Authorities. However, Ambrose seemed happy over this as he said; 

“At least, I have an international weapons’ charge in my record.”

Types of Nunchucks

When we explore the types of nunchucks, we actually mean the different parts. There can be anything different between the different types. But, here, it’s the material used for manufacturing them. 

There are two types, as discussed below:

- Wooden Nunchucks

We believe it’s obvious from the name that this is the nunchucks made of wood. These are the most widely recognized ones. In this type, the two sticks are made of wood. However, the rest is the similar. The two wooden sticks are connected using rope, chain or chord. 


- Steel Nunchucks

The second type is the steel nunchucks. Here again, the name tells you the story. The two sticks are made of steel instead of wood and they are connected in a similar fashion using a chain, rope or chord. This type is getting popular these days and preferred for self defense. 


Nunchucks for Self Defense!

As a beginner you should know whether your weapon is good enough for self defense. Undoubtedly, your preferred purpose of using it is self defense against the attackers. Is nunchucks worth a use for defense? Let’s find out by weighing its pros and cons with respect to self defense. 

- Longer Reach

Nunchaku provides you a greater reach, unlike most of the self defense weapons available in the market today. Those weapons require you to get closer to the attacker in order to do the damage which is quite dangerous. But, nunchucks save you from this danger. 

Since there is a rope or chain that extends your reach, you can stay at a safe distance and strike the attacker with your weapon. 

- Capable to Inflict Injuries

Whether you choose steel or wooden nunchucks, both are capable of inflicting severe injuries. Remember how it allowed the Chinese to defeat the Mongolians. You can easily use it for defeating the attackers. 

All you need to do is learn how to use it. A couple of powerful strikes would do the job for you. 

- Easy to Carry

One thing you always want from your self defense weapon is that it is easy and comfortable to carry. Not many weapons provide that luxury, but a nunchaku certainly does. It is easy as well as comfortable to carry. 

It is small and lightweight and can be carried with ease. Also, you don’t need a sheath for covering it while carrying. 

- Requires Training

One great disadvantage of nunchucks is that you need to spend a great amount of time learning it before using it for defense. If you are unskilled, you can easily lose the battle against the attacker. 

Therefore, you need to learn it first before actually using it for self defense. It is unorthodox and sometimes difficult to handle. 

- Conclusion

So, is it a great idea to use nunchucks for self defense? Well, it certainly it is. Considering the fact that it is easy to carry, powerful and provides a longer reach, you can ignore the difficulty of using it. Once you are trained, you can use it to your advantage and teach the attacker a lesson. All in all, it is an effective weapon for self defense. 

Nunchucks for Performing Tricks

- The Grip Tricks

Nunchucks is one of the few weapons that are popular for performing different tricks. Beginners often ask about basic and easy to perform tricks with the weapon. So today, we teach you some fundamental tricks. 

The easiest and basic trick with nunchaku is the grip trick. This is actually how you grip the handle of the nunchucks. It gives you control over the weapon. To get that control over the weapon, hold it from the top at a length of one thumb. This is the best position to hold it. 

- Figure 8 Trick

Figure 8 is the first advanced tricks to perform with the chucks. Hold the weapon in a way mentioned above. Then, swing it sideways in a figure 8 shape. Avoid to clonk yourself on the head though. You need to repeat this trick several times in order to achieve perfection. 

How to Learn Using Nunchucks?

- Watch Bruce Lee Movies

To learn how to use nunchucks tricks, you just need to watch the movies of Bruce Lee. He was easily the most skillful user of this weapon. There are movies like Enter the Dragon in which he clearly displayed his skills to use it. 

If you closely watch all his movies, you can quickly learn the art of using chucks. You can find his movies on YouTube and other sources. Just watch the movies and become an expert user. 

- Watch Tutorials on YouTube

Secondly you can watch tutorials on YouTube. As a beginner, don’t hesitate to explore as many videos as you can in order to gain the necessary skills. There are many tutorials in which expert users have given a step by step guide on how to use a nunchaku efficiently. 

- Join Martial Arts Schools

What most beginners do to learn using the nunchucks is join a martial arts school. These schools teach the beginners regarding different fighting and defensive techniques with this weapon. 

You would be learning under the experts who will make sure to deliver as much knowledge and expertise as they can. And we assure, you would come out as skilled as Bruce Lee was. 


So, these were the most significant things that beginners must know about the nunchaku. As a beginner, you must concentrate on gathering as much information as you can. This would determine your passion for learning how to use the weapon. 

Nunchucks is a historical weapon that made a name in history when it was used by the Chinese for battling the Mongolians. Today, you can learn and use it for self defense against the attackers.