Nun Chaku Training

Nun Chaku Information
Legend says that the first emperor of the Chinese Sung dynasty, Jiu Hong Jun, lost a battle to a Mongolian conqueror in mid- 10th century. In order to recuperate from a huge defeat, the emperor and his army retreated and returned to inland China, to the vicinity of a nearby village. Since the villagers fed the army and cared for them, emperor Jiu thought that it was the duty of his soldiers to help the peasants in various everyday agricultural work. Among these duties were growing wheat, rice, soy and other crops. The emperor regularly visited his soldiers to make sure they were doing the work they were assigned. In the meantime, he watched the villagers use a tool for threshing wheat and rice. The tool was made out of two sticks of different length and the sticks were tied together with a rope made out of rice hay intertwined with horse hair.

As a great warrior, Emperor Jiu realized that this tool would make a good weapon and could help him not only fight the Mongolians but it could be used to help train his infantry. After borrowing the flail (the Nun Chaku) from a villager, emperor Jiu settled in his tent and, in a couple of days, he developed specific techniques which his infantry later practiced and used as a weapon against the cavalry during combat. Emperor Jiu developed 18 techniques for the use of the tool, now a weapon, and he called it dai- so- dji (great cleaners). He also developed certain punching techniques and used the weapon to break horses’ front legs as well as various high jumps with punches directed towards the horseman. According to legend, emperor Jiu trained his generals and his army for a few months in how to use the weapons. Emperor Jiu fought in a decisive battle near the town of Buk Sung and used the dai- so- dji as a weapon for the first time in combat.

Emperor Jiu defeated the Mongolian army in that battle and banished them from the Chinese territory. During the battle the flail’s sticks were broken and many became of the nearly the same length. This was noted by one of Jui’s generals and later they invented a new combination of movements using a shorter flail. The technique was called stuso- dji (little cleaners). According to this legend, that techniques used were identical with today’s techniques of handling connected sticks (the Nun Chaku). Today’s Nun Chaku are derived from the stuso- dji skill.

In some parts of China the Nun Chaku are also called shuang chin kun which, in free translation, means “a two- part flail“. However, in some regions like Fujian, the Nun Chaku are called nng-chat-kun, which can be translated as “a pair of connected sticks“. In the southern regions of China as well as in some parts of Japan, the Nun Chaku are also called shuang jie gun or iang jie gun.

According to certain discoveries and legends, the defensive skills of using the Nun Chaku were transmitted from China to neighbouring countries such as Japan, Korea, India, Mongolia, The Philippines and others. According to the legends, handling the flail (the Nun Chaku) as a means of self-defense was brought to Japan by various Chinese masters and priests in the 14th and 15th century. Some historians think that the spread of the knowledge of handling the Nun Chaku can be attributed to the Chinese general Chan (Chan Yuan Bin) who was excellent in the practice of martial arts. He ran away from China around the year 1640 because of the prosecution of the Manchu dynasty and took shelter on Okinawa (and after in Bushio Edo– today’s Tokyo). General Chan also spread the skill of fighting without tools or weapons which is today known as jiu- jitsu. According to a legend, general Chan developed and perfected the skill of handling the Nun Chaku on Okinawa. Some stories say that fighting with the Nun Chaku became a common tool-weapon, first among some noblemen and later among peasants. They even used it as a means of self- defense against various attackers and Japanese invaders who arrived in their areas (the Ryukyu archipelago). In 1507 king Sho Hashi signed a proclamation that prohibited citizens from carrying weapons and made it illegal to purchase weapons unless you were in the king’s service and then the weapon was kept in the castle’s storages. Also, the Japanese invasion led by Bushi Satsume in the 17th century brought forward the use of the Nun Chaku in that area.

Benefits Of Nunchaku Training
Improved Concentration
You’ll never master the nunchaku if you’re lacking concentration. The concentration you exert and build via nunchaku training will translate over into your lifting and productivity outside of fitness.
Improved Coordination
Strikes, catches and swings – even as a very beginner will test and build upon your hand eye coordination, if you’re an athlete this will translate to increased coordination on the sporting field.
Strength & Conditioning Gains
Once you’ve got a few basic strikes, spins and catches mastered you’ll really begin to work up a sweat as you piece them together into drills – your heart rate will climb through the roof and you’ll find yourself getting in a great cardio workout while loosening up your wrists and working your forearms.
Working The Creative Mind
Nunchaku training is a form of art, once you’ve learnt the basic strikes and catches along with some beginners drills and combinations you’ll be able to work in your own moves and exert your own creativity. Not only is this a great way to get the brain thinking and coming up with new ideas, both related to your training and otherwise you’ll find yourself relieving stress and overcoming other obstacles as you swing your nunchaku swiftly around your body.
Practising Persistence
You may have mastered bodyweight movements or jump rope, but once you pick up those nunchaku it’s back to square 1. You’ll be humbled as you slowly but surely learn new moves, increase your coordination and play techniques together into drills. You’ll be able to once again set yourself goals and deadlines to keep yourself accountable, and as always if you persevere you’ll achieve mastery of the nunchaku in time.
Learning To Defend Yourself
Nunchaku are not just for show (although the foam nunchaku I recommend training with are harmless) the nunchaku can be used for striking (the most basic strike you’ll learn is the forward strike to the clavicle). Along with offensive strikes the nunchaku can be used to immobilize your attacker by locking and constricting joints and movement patterns.

Nun Chaku Gradings at Lamka Shaolin Disciple's Union
1. White Belt - 2 Months of Training
2. Yellow Belt - 2 Months Additional Training
3. Orange Belt - 2 Months Additional Training
4. Green Belt - 4 Months Additional Training
5. Brown Belt - 4 Months Additional Training
6. Black Belt - 6 Months Additional Training

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