Monday, May 16, 2016

They are not "Chucks", got it?

In Kobudo, we are getting ready to wrap-up tonfa study and move on to our next weapon.  Our next rank test will take place in July, 2016, so it's just a couple of months away.  I will be spending all of my extra time in bo and tonfa practice so I can ace that test like a boss.

Our next weapon is possibly my least favorite of the Japanese/Okinawan weapons that exists.

Yep, I'm talking about nunchaku.

My nunchaku. There are many like them, but this is MINE.
Why am I not looking forward to this weapon?

To be honest, my excitement about any given weapon seems to be directly proportional to the amount of shenanigans I've seen either in television/movies or on the internet with said weapon.

If you were making a list of weapons most often found in weapons shenanigans, Nunchaku has to be at the top of the list, right up there with the katana.

It's not uncommon to have people with zero training grabbing them and thinking that they can spin them around their body from side to side and that makes them an "expert" in the weapon, inspired by Bruce Lee or other dorks on the internet spinning the damn things around like they're actually accomplishing something.  There is a reason why people flailing about with nunchaku is the one of the most common contributor to "martial arts fail"  video compilations, right up there with bad board or concrete block breaking and people horribly misjudging the height of their kicks.

Posting a nunchaku groin shot would have been so cliché.

The thing is, for most of us who know diddly-squat about the weapon, we think twirling it around like you see above is how the weapon, y'know, works.  Add that to the tournament-style day-glo "nunchucks" and "Speed Chucks" and "Extreme Chucks" and very quickly, it goes from being a weapon used against other weapons and people, and it becomes a prop for dancing or tricking or whatever.

And all y'all know how I love that, right?

Missing from the video - lots and lots of screaming.

Of course, the program I'm in doesn't do that sort of thing.  You saw the standard-issue nunchaku I have for my class above - they aren't even tied together with a chain, they don't light up in the dark, and they aren't padded.

I know it's going to be fine.  Fine.

Hell, I've sparred against nunchaku several times with a variety of weapons (jo, bo, and of course Arnis sticks - the ActionFlex versions, but still, it was sparring).  I know how devastating the weapon can be, up close (as I've been whomped with them more than once - and I did have two fingers horribly sprained when I missed a block vs. nunchaku not too long ago - those things move FAST).

So here's an antidote to the shenanigans above.  Yes, it's a demo, but still...

Now that is kinda cool.

And then there's this - similar to the first form I'll be learning (I don't know the name of yet, y'all, I haven't learned it, but I have seen it).

Nary a weird flip or a toss of the weapon to be found!

I will start learning Nunchaku soon.  But for all that is holy and good in this world...

Don't call 'em "Chucks".


Do you have experience with nunchaku? Or is there another weapon that you kinda dreaded learning but took it on anyway?  Let me know in the comments!