The most controversial
of the weapons of the Ryukyu but in essence the least properly
explored. Made preferably of red or white oak, or a heavy wood,
the sections are tapered from the chord end (2.5cm) to the predominant
strike end (3.3cm). The shafts vary from octagonal to round
in shape and the weight is dependent on the strength of the
user. Again too light and there is no power, and too heavy and
the movement is slow and ponderous. Traditionally this weapon
is not used in pairs, as the actions of the one should be sufficient.
Nunchaku belongs to the family of Bo and is known as the “portable
History has not endowed this weapon with traditional kata as
shown by the content of those handed down. They are by design
training kata to enable better handling and combination work.
The essence of the weapon is the kumite, exploring distance,
angles and footwork. Impact should be on the tip of the weapon
or it will bounce back on the user. For a long period, the nunchaku
was said to have been derived from a rice flail, or grain flail.
However the grain flail was a much larger tool. Its development
on Okinawa is not wholly clear, since a direct precursor to
the modern Okinawan nunchaku seems to have been a wooden horse-bridle,