Better Nunchaku Technique Using A Stick

Tracing True Movement

This tutorial is all about tracing the movement you create when swinging nunchaku, and then correcting any errors to improve your Nunchaku Technique. When you focus too much on where you want the nunchaku to end up it is very easy to overlook the most essential part of nunchaku movement – the natural path that they are supposed to take.

When you are practising with nunchaku you will not always see where you are going wrong with the movement because of the flexibility of the chain and the speed of the batons. You get away with it…until you get smacked in the head or they are not where you want them to be for the catch.

How Does A Stick Help Improve Nunchaku Technique?

A solid stick will show the path you are creating with your technique and it also encourages you to correct mistakes. The fact is that the more you stray from the correct technique the more difficult it is to produce the desired movement and catch the stick. As your technique gets better the stick becomes easier to swing and catch.

Common Errors

The most common errors that I come across when observing nunchaku practise are:

  • Stooping
  • Contracting the swing
  • Premature switches


This is usually a tell tale sign that the practitioner is not extending the nunchaku on the swing, stunting their natural motion and contracting the whole manoeuvre. Standing tall makes it easier to swing the nunchaku right out and over to complete the catch, according to their natural way of movement.

Contracting The Swing

The practitioner is too concerned with going from A to Z, while avoiding all the letters on the way. It can’t happen. When you look at the video, pay attention to the move with the stick. There are no short cuts. The nunchaku must follow a certain natural path if they are going to move swiftly and fluidly.

Premature Switches

When you practice with nunchaku or a stick the hand that starts out under the arm has to swing down and out in front of you. It moves outwards as though drawing a sword, with the thumb nearest the ground and the swinging hand’s movement being led by the knuckle of the little finger. However, in order to continue with the motion there comes a point when the hand that is holding the stick or the nunchaku has to twist otherwise the elbow joint locks and the movement stops. That twist should not occur until the swinging arm is completely extended out in front of the you.

Let The Stick Guide You

Just give it a go yourself. Use a broom stick. Ideally it should be a little longer than an extended set of nunchaku. Try to be mindful of the common errors but, more importantly, feel how the stick moves and look for the line of least resistance.

If you would like more detailed one-to-one instruction from me, get in touch.

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