Everyone calls them “Nunchucks”, but this is not the appropriate term: Shuangjiegun (雙 Shuang = rope, 節 Jie = to join, 棍 Gun = stick, pronounced “shan-jia-goon”) is the original name of this weapon. Born in China as an agricultural tool, the versatility of the Shuangjiegun soon became clear to Japanese Karate practitioners (hence the Japanese name “nunchaku”, and then the Americanized term “nunchuck”), although its with Bruce Lee’s Kungfu movies in the 1970 that its popularity exploded. Since then, everything that now has a Shuangjiegun-like shape, is called nunchuck, but here at Martial Arts Explained we want to give this weapon the prestige it deserves, by first calling it the right way.
Body mechanics in the service of Self Defence.
The similarity of the Shuangjiegun with Human Body makes this weapon one of the most efficient weapon out there. Here’s why: the efficiency of our arms (and same concept applies to our legs) is given by the possibility to extend them and contract them as we please. Of course, physical training and technical training are the two factors making our arms and body deadly, but basically speaking we can state that
arms, legs and Shuangjiegun share the same principle of contraction-extension.
Now, imagine if your arms and legs didn’t have to be conditioned in painful BMC exercises, but were naturally immune to pain and ready-to-fight… wouldn’t it be everybody’s dream…? Well, the Shuangjiegun fulfils this dream, by providing an extension of your arm, but faster and immune to pain caused by impact.
Fast on the crop-field, Deadly on the Battle-field.
The efficiency of the Shuangjiegun is given by its speed, range of movements and, as stated above, by its contraction-extension feature.
- Speed, because they will always be lighter than your arms. No doubt on that.
- Range of Movements, unless you think you can bend your arm in the opposite and side direction. This is the best skill of the Shuangjiegun, as it can go everywhere with no risk of over-extension.
- Contraction-Extension Mechanism: when you throw a punch, your fist draws a path that goes from your chest (or face) to the maximum excursion of your arm. The Shuangjiegun doubles this range, by reaching a longer distance (again: your opponent), but allowing you more protecion, as you can now attack by a longer distance.
Weaknesses of Shuangjiegun.
A deadly weapon like this can turn out to be your opponent’s sidekick if you are not trained enough. There are two situations where you’d rather run away in front of your oppoent:
- you hit yourself (and maybe you will be hitting just down there)
- you hit you opponent, but you don’t consider the force feedback given by the impact of the terminal stick on him.
Remember: being a skilled Shuangjiegun free-styler is not equal to be skilled with its application as well