Nunchaku / Horse bit



Traditional Okinawan Horse Bridle at Matsumura House


Popular myth says that the Nunchaku was used as a rice flail, however this story is not true. The Okinawan flail, like European, had long handles. The Nunchaku was originally used as a horse bit. It was not very popular as it has a low effectiveness when used against the sword or Bo. In situations against Tunfá or Kama, it had more chance of defeating the opponent. Nunchaku exists in many martial arts forms all over the world and became very popular due to Bruce Lee and other high profile moviemakers. This weapon is nevertheless effective in self-defense, if the time is taken to become proficient with it. Beware, this weapon has the tendency to cause bruises, especially when learning.



The two kata taught by the Ryukyu Kobudo Shimbukan are Maezato no Nunchaku, developed by Taira Shinken Sensei and Akamine no Nunchaku, developed by Akamine Eisuke Sensei.

There is also a Sanbon Nunchaku, which is a three sectioned nunchaku.  However, the association does not have Kata for the Sanbon Nunchaku.

The parts of the Nunchaku.

Gedan tsukagashira – Handle end nearest to the rope.

Ushiro tsukagashira – Handle end furthest from the rope.

Moto – Handle centre.

Himo – Connecting rope.