Padded Weapons – Nunchaku Courses
Tradition tells us that the Nunchaku was originally a farm implement used for separating rice seeds from the stalks. However, Okinawan traditional rice separating tools look nothing like a nunchaku. It is more likely that it was originally an "alarm" carried by night watchmen and security guards - two blocks of wood connected by a cord that they would bang together to summon help.
When weapons were banned by the ruling powers the peasants adapted everyday objects to protect themselves, including what we now call the "rice flail".
The Nunchaku is usually practiced in traditional Okinawan/Japanese martial arts schools, sometimes as a unique discipline, but most often as part of Kobudo. Traditional nunchaku techniques are highly effective and were developed for combat. If they are practiced in realistic manner they allow the martial artist to resist an attacker who is armed with a stick or knife. However, it takes a long time and much study to master nunchaku techniques. During the few first months (or years!) before the student is proficient (s)he is relatively defenceless.
Some schools adhere religiously to training practices hundreds of years old. EWRK adds new skills based on modern sports' science.
Students start by learning the basic techniques (kihon), then they advance to kata (the Pinans). At the same time students develop power in their strikes and accuracy of moves. When a student shows good knowledge of katas they are allowed to start the practice of renzoku-bunkai - a pre-arranged, continuous sequences of blocks and attacks, extracted from kata but practiced with a real partner who attacks with a weapon.
The next step for advanced students is kumite - sparring against an armed opponent. The opponent's weapon may vary from time to time. The only students who are allowed to practice kumite are those who have very good control of their weapon, because even a mistake of half an inch can be lethal.
When fighting with the Nunchaku we use padded weapons and full head and hand protection.
In traditional nunchaku training, emphasis is placed on footwork, tai-sabaki (body moves) and blocks.
When someone strikes your head with a stick, your expertise in twirling a nunchaku can't help you - you must block your opponent's strike or evade it by moving.
It takes many hours of practice and patience to get inefficient at using the nunchaku. Control of the weapon is paramount at the beginning and building a good foundation to build upon is key. Trying to go to fast too early will only end up in an injury to yourself or someone else. When practicing care should be taken on where you do this. Plenty of space should be allocated preferably outside in a kid free zone. A blow from a nunchaku can seriously hurt someone. Training in restricted space to is very dangerous to. I have heard stories of lights and ornaments being smashed and broken. By doing theses courses you will be shown a safe way to train and in a control environment. I have been using nunchaku for many years and it is a great weapon to supplement your training. If you practice the techniques your speed and skill will improve in your karate too. Some of the basic movements used in the nunchaku are very similar to fighting techniques in karate. (Kihon kumite).
Introduction Course – Approx 3 hours – No experience necessary
• Safety • Where to hold the Nunchaku • Different grips • Basic stances
Level 1 Course Padded Nunchaku – Approx 3 hours – (Ideally the student should have a basic understanding of the Nunchaku.)
This course is very similar to the introduction but you are expected to be more efficient and have basic control of the nunchaku. What is introduced here is movement of the feet. You will be taught how to move forward, back and evade with the nunchaku. Again this is no easy task and does take a lot of practice to perfect without hitting yourself with the nunchuka. A quick overview of the introduction course will be done.
Level 2 Course Padded Nunchaku – Approx 3 hours – (Prerequisite level 1)
This course builds upon what is taught at level 1. The student should be efficient at using the nunchuka and should have good control moving in any direction. This course will complete an overview of level 1. An introduction of the ten Yakusoku Gumite pair techniques will be taught to.
Level 3 Course Padded Nunchaku – Approx 3 hours – (Prerequisite level 2)
This course builds upon what is taught at level 2. The student should have good stamina with the Nunchuka and should be able to maintain good constant flowing movement. This course will complete an overview of level 2. A detail overview of the ten Yakusoku Gumite pair techniques will be done showing different variations. Five basic Knife defence will be introduced.
Level 4 Course Padded Nunchaku – Approx 3 hours – (Prerequisite level 3)
• Pinan Kata’s • Free style Combinations • Yakusoku Gumite pair – Nunchuka • Knife defences • Kumite