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Nunchaku Care

Using Wooden Nunchaku can be dangerous to you and others. It is strongly advised that you should not use the real weapons until you have mastered the techniques, first using the now readily available safety training types.

Serious injuries will result from careless use. This also extends to poor maintenance of the different types or misuse during training, that leads to a breakdown in the nunchaku.

During and after training the Nunchaku should be tested to see if the connections are good and are not about to give way.

This counts for both the speed Nunchaku with a ball race bearing connected by chain and the cord connected type.

The cord connections have a tendency to fray quickly if not maintained. Whereas the chained types bearings can wear out leading to failure. They can also give way and fail under medium blocking practice, so cord types are better for this area of study.

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Cutaway Nunchaku made by Master Craftsman and SSK studentNorbert Jaeger.

Thanks to Samurai Jiu Jitsu Club Oldham UK for supplying these images.

Cutaway view 2 Cutaway view 1 Wax application points


Before tying, place candle wax on the points shown to ease tying and reduce friction during use.


1. Follow the diagram. Use a paper clip if needed.

2. Push the end back up through the top.

3. Pull cord tight here and make sure the loose ends are even.

Nunchaku cutaway 3 Nunchaku cutaway 4 Nunchaku cutaway 5 Nunchaku cutaway 6 Nunchaku cutaway 7 Nunchaku cutaway 8 4. Start the same way as A.

5. Insert the other end as shown. Adjust the distance between the heads of the Nunchaku now before tying the final knot. One fist width is the standard.

6. A standard double knot is more than sufficient. You can clip the ends and singe the tips to finish. Pull the Nunchaku apart firmly to seat the rope and knot.

How to tie Nunchaku images

Nunchaku Maintenance

Dry your Nunchaku after use and before storage in a cool dry environment, check connections and replace when required. These days you can purchase replacement bearing kits or you could convert these to cord. You can use mountain climbing cord of your choice to replace the frayed cord types. However I would tend to strengthen the connections by using three or four cords instead of two, where the cord diameter is thin or more likely to wear. With a recent purchase of some custom hand made Nunchaku, I have used 6 mm cord looped and knotted twice in the center of the connection. The knots are quite large and need to be dressed so that they interlock and present neatly before tightening and finishing the ends. Martial Arts Weapons Nunchaku Swivel Repair Kit

Nunchaku Swivel repair kit

An alternative to cord for the Lighter foam Nunchaku is to use a quite stiff 1-2 inch wide Nylon Ribbon, using a two strand connection with a counter twist in each strand. There are two reasons why I like this set up, one is that the nylon ribbon seems to shirk of fraying in the lighter foam Nunchaku, this appears to be aided by the twists. Secondly these counter twists appear to also allow the Nunchaku to spin more readily during the swing. I have only had one piece of ribbon to try with the light foam type. Whether this effect will be seen when this set up is applied to a heavier wood corded type is yet to be discovered. The strength of the ribbon will be important so the thicker and wider the better, but the stain imparted in use has snapped half inch ribbon, I am still trying to source some wider ribbon for trial on the wooden Nunchaku. Martial Arts Weapons Nunchaku Cord Repair Kit Nunchaku cord repair kit.

When inspecting Nunchaku check for breaks in the plastic cores of the foam types by gentle flexing, check for frays and soften exposed plastic ends internally where the surface meets the cord with a light grade sand paper. Wood Corded Nunchaku, check for frays, you can sand paper the area that meets the cord if rough and lubricate with wax or a little olive oil, check shaft for splinters or breaks.

Its important to get your knots right, even on the light Nunchaku, as these still fly away at some speed. With safety in mind some study on this subject would help. I will try to get some pictures of some knots that can be used for the different set ups and for the set ups I use. The following three images show the knot used for the double knot in the center of the connector/bridge. The first is expanded to show the routes of the cords. nunchaku tying diagram for connecting nunchaku shafts with two knots in middle of connection

The next two show the knot tightened and dressed, you really have to tighten these down, and melt a large head on to each end and a finally tighten again, check knots regularly during and before training. 

From above nunchaku tying knots, viewed from above and below. nunchaku tying knots, viewed from below

See this knot on youtube here at the freestyle forum where trojanman has kindly made a video.

With 6 mm cord used on my custom made Nunchaku, the combined knot is quite large. However, this may be useful in the application of locks and blocks to limbs etc.

NEO nunchaku kata in motion logo.Youtube nunchaku knot tying NEO style

Other useful tips on knots

For other helpful hints on tying traditionally or otherwise view this site at beastick nunchaku page and more specifically this page bistick loop and check out his how to Restring Nunchaku page.

Now where were we...ahh

Accidents will happen.

If breaks to the sticks occur and are near the halfway mark with any of the types of Nunchaku convert to a whole and half set by cutting down and sanding broken edges to a smooth finish. Using this set of Nunchaku (SO-SETSU-KON) opens another avenue for appraisal of your techniques. Generally you should not be hitting objects in such a way or with such force that you damage the type of Nunchaku that you are using. You should also be training in an area adequate for those techniques that you wish to perform.

Dont forget the third dimension, that of height.........

Make sure you are not standing just under strip lighting or other similar hazards. Oh, and do not forget to check behind you and be aware of small children and pets, if possible train away from any such distractions or likely dangers.

Do not leave the plastic types on the floor as they will break readily when trodden on, the other round or octagonal solid types may well cause someone to trip if they are trodden on, so store your Nunchaku away when not in use.

Make your training as safe and as productive as you can.

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