how to use nunchucks

Nunchucks or nunchaku is a traditional Okinawan weapon, recognized today as a martial art weapon. Originating in Okinawa, it has a great history behind it. 

Nunchaku is a historical weapon that served in warfare. During the 10th century, it was used as an agricultural tool. Soon, it transformed into a badass fighting weapon. 

Chinese used it for reaping crops, and later on, it was discovered as a pure warfare weapon by a Chinese Emperor. It assisted Chinese army in defeating the Mongolians. 

Today, nunchucks have been recognized as great martial arts and self defense weapons. This is why people are interested in learning how to use them?

If you are also a person learning how to use nunchucks, this is the destination. We have come up with a detailed guide on how to use them. 

Before we begin with a guide, you must learn what sort of weapon this is and why you should be learning it. 

What are Nunchucks?

Nunchaku is another popular name for nunchucks. It is a small sized weapon made of two sticks and connected via a chain. 


Generally, there are two wooden sticks connected using a chain, rope or cord. However, there are two types of nunchucks available today. 

The typical of them includes two wooden sticks. However, there are steel-made nunchaku. These include two sticks made of steel. Both are lethal and mainly used for self defense, cosplay and martial arts. 

Read Also: The Rise of Nunchucks in 21st Century - A Traditional Weapon Turned Modern

Why Should You Learn Nunchucks?

There is no doubt that nunchucks have become extremely popular. More and more people seem interested in learning it. Here are the reasons why you should learn how to use a nunchaku:

- Use it for Self Defense

The main reason why most people learn to use nunchucks is self defense. It is a lethal and ideal self defense weapon to be used against the attackers. 

This encourages people to learn how to use it. Of course, the first thing you need to do is to learn how to injure the attacker with it. Then, you will be able to use it for a guaranteed survival.

The advantage of using it for self defense is the extended reach that it offers. It has a long chain or rope attached to it which allows you to target the attacker from a distance. 

Moreover, it is made of steel or wood, and both are strong materials. A few strikes with this weapon can cause serious injuries. So, you must prefer using it to prevent such attacks. 

However, using it in the perfect manner is certain. For this purpose, you should learn how to use nunchucks.  

- Use it for Cosplay

Secondly, you should learn using it to get engaged in some cosplay. If you are a cosplayer, it can work for you as a cosplay weapon. 

Cosplayers tend to replicate different popular characters and personalities. To do so, they need their costumes and related equipment, such as cosplay weapons. 

If you have to play the character of Bruce Lee on stage, you definitely need his costume. And his costume is incomplete unless you hold a nunchaku in your hands. 

Also, you need to play the tricks that he used to play. To play those tricks, you need to learn them.

- Use it for Martial Arts Training

If you want to learn some martial arts techniques, you must train yourself with a nunchaku. It is a popular martial art tool that can assist in learning different fighting techniques. 

If you learn how to use it, then you can also go ahead and learn defensive techniques as well. 

- Use it for Playing Tricks

Nunchucks are often used for playing different tricks. It is one of those weapons and tools that are easier to work with when it comes to playing tricks. Figure 8 is commonly played trick.

You should learn how to use them to impress your mates by playing different tricks. There are two sticks that allow you to perform as many tricks as you can, considering you are creative enough. 

Playing tricks is one of the hardest tasks. To learn and perform them, you must be familiar with how to hold a nunchaku and how to swing it. 

How to Use Nunchucks?

How to use nunchucks, mainly depends on the purpose of using it. However, the way you hold them and the way you swing them is similar in all cases. 

Whether you are just attempting to replicate Bruce Lee, or you are playing some tricks, or you are facing an attacker, there are some important ways to use it. 

The following steps will guide you through the learning process and make you a perfect user of nunchucks: 

Step 1

The first step in the learning process is holding a nunchaku. You need to learn how to hold it in your hands. 

An ideal way to hold it is by using your dominant hand. Most probably, your right hand is your dominant hand. Hold the right wooden stick in your right hand. 

Step 2

Secondly, you need to learn when to use your other hand. You have to hold the other stock in your left hand when required. 

Generally, before striking the opponent, you first have to swing it in a way that the other stick goes to your back from under your armpits. Then, you should be holding the left stick with your other hand. This is to gain some control. 

Step 3

Thirdly, you need to learn the strikes. The basic way of striking is by holding one of the sticks in your dominant hand, and taking it towards the back over the shoulders. Hold the other stick with your left hand from your armpit. This is where you gain momentum. 

Use your full force and then strike the attacker with it. Make sure to give full extension to the rope or chain when using it for self defense. 

To practice, strike some objects and realize the force you apply. There must be a maximum effort behind your strikes. 

Step 4

Now, you have to get it back after striking an object. Make sure to maintain control over the weapon. 

When it has struck something, pull it back in a way that the other stick goes under your armpit. This is how you can maintain control over it. You need to flip the nunchucks towards the target using your dominant hand. 

Step 5

Finally, you have to learn more moves and tricks with the nunchaku. You should practice the basic moves first using a wooden weapon.

Once you gain some control over it, you can make the move to real wooden nunchucks. However, it is better to practice basic and advanced moves on foam-made training nunchaku. 

You can try some basic tricks or moves, such as Figure 8 at the start and then try advanced moves. Once you follow all these steps, you will soon become a master user. However, keep practicing and remember practice will make you perfect. 

Learn Nunchucks from Movies

We hope you know how to use nunchucks. This was a detailed step by step guide. However, if you feel you have to see some action to become an expert user, watch movies. 

The movies you need to watch are the 1970s and 1980s movies involving Bruce Lee. He was the most skillful user of this weapon and he showcased his skills in his movies. 

There are plenty of movies featuring nunchaku fighting scenes, such as Enter the Dragon, Way of the Dragon, Black Dynamite, and Birth of the Dragon etc. He does not stop here though; many other movies of Lee feature the use of a nunchaku. 

Watching those movies and seeing Lee doing some tricks with it will show you how to perfectly use them. Go, watch Lee in action on the big screen.

Learn Nunchucks from YouTube

Apart from Bruce Lee movies, there are some YouTube tutorials on how to use nunchucks. These tutorials are from some expert martial artists. 

Make sure to follow different YouTube channels of martial artists to watch their tutorials. This is a great way of learning things quickly. 

YouTube tutorials briefly explain each and every step and also show you how to do it. This ensures quick and easier learning. So, go watch those tutorials on YouTube as well. 

Safety Instructions for Learning Nunchucks

Before you start using nunchucks or start practicing with it, there are some significant safety instructions that you need to follow:

  • Always practice away from public places i-e make sure no pets and people are closer to you while practicing 
  • Wear proper equipment before using it
  • Practice easier tricks first
  • Use training nunchucks that don’t cause harm i-e foam made nunchaku
  • Keep your eyes on the weapon all the time
  • Keep your head away from the reach of the sticks
  • Know the length of the rope or chain 
  • Keep them away from the reach of children


Nunchucks are not the easiest weapons to handle. You need a lot of practice in order to become a master user like Bruce Lee. 

Spending more time in training and observing the way Bruce Lee used it will help you in mastering the art and the skills. 

Watch more and more movies and YouTube tutorials and then practice hard. Follow the steps we mentioned and you are well on your way to become a champion user of nunchaku.