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DAY ONE of my journey second to nun…chuck

The plan:  Rise at dawn, two hours solid nunchuck training before breakfast, one hour training midday, two hours before bed.

Don’t be ridiculous! That’s next week – when I’m doing aerials!

Five or ten minutes a day should make some kind of difference, shouldn’t it? (Shouldn’t it?) – Considering I’m going from NO minutes a day? Well – ask me in seven days and I’ll answer that myself! But for complete no-hopers like myself, I think any kind of consistency must be good.

Let’s begin.

Simple! 250 basic strikes with alternating hand catches. You guessed it. I made that up – but only because I have NO idea how to describe the moves and I certainly don’t know the Japanese terms (if, in fact, there are any)! Did you know that nobody seems to even know where nunchucks originated? The most popular theory is that they came from peasants – but martial arts were only practised by the aristocracy, so ………….. Yep! Clear as mud! (Note to self: do more research!)

So for the purpose of the next 7 days I’m going to be talking about Strike 1 and Strike 2!

Strike 1: Strike with left hand holding, swing over left shoulder, catch under left arm with right hand and repeat …….

Strike 2: Right hand holding, upward strike, swing over right shoulder, immediate downward strike and catch under right arm.

Glad that’s cleared up, then.

So …………… 250 x Strike 1 and 100 x Strike 2

The lessons learned/Questions to ask:

  • Everyone jokes about black eyes, bruised heads, etc. etc. The danger (at this level) has nothing to do with heads, eyes, faces in general. The only pain was in my fingers – from missing the catches.
  • How the hell do you stop that chain from ‘wriggling’ mid-swing, making an annoying noise, not to mention making everything look really sloppy (which, of course, it was!)? Need to work that out …
  • Well …. If you straighten your arm and actually do a full type of ‘swing’ for the strike, the chain doesn’t wriggle so much BUT this can’t be right, since it’s slow and ineffective, therefore hardly of any use in combat, right? So …
  • Wrist! The trick has to be in the wrist action ……….
  • Rubber nunchucks or wooden ones for beginners? Ho hum! In spite of the ouch factor, the wooden ones appear to be less unruly in my inexperienced care and …. that ouch factor is a serious incentive to get the catch right!
  • It’s very easy to get drawn into ‘going through the motions’ simply because the moves are so basic but I still can’t do them. The strikes improved dramatically when I was really focussed on what I was doing – rather than simply thinking ‘strike catch strike catch’!
  • Thinking aggressively (not a natural instinct for me) was a surprising help!
  • Focussing my eyes somewhere on the ground ahead of me while I was ‘thinking’ about what I was doing seemed to be ‘natural’ response – however, the strikes were stronger and better (I use the term loosely!) when I looked straight ahead at an imaginary opponent! Logical, I know – and I guess the whole purpose of the exercise – but not something that came unconsciously!
  • Strike 2 in a tee-shirt is quite unpleasant at my inexistent level of experience. A gi or at least a sweatshirt required!


(a)    Think ‘wrist’

(b)   Look straight ahead and not down

(c)    Think ‘strike’, not ‘caress’!!!! lol

(d)   Focus!

(e)   I think the key behind these nunchucks is to treat them a little like life:  pussy-foot around it and you’ll end up on the wrong side; go for it, commit, enjoy the challenge and at least you should have some fun! That’s the philosophy I’m taking into tomorrow’s efforts!

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