You’re reading a book or an article on nunchaku techniques. You read that a person is confronted by a knife-wielding assailant and the defender slips his nunchaku around the waist of his attacker, gives a twist and sends the brute flipping onto his back.
Or the defender parries a knife thrust, adroitly steps inside and gets the attacker in a nunchaku chokehold.
Or the defender knocks the knife from the person’s hand with a nunchaku technique, lunges forward and down, wraps the nunchaku around the assailant’s ankles and sweeps him off his feet.
How do you feel when you read something like that? Do you buy it? Do you honestly think these types of nunchaku techniques would really work?
The Realities of Nunchaku Training
Imagine yourself in the role of the defender in a real-life situation. You’re walking down a street — alone. Suddenly, someone approaches. This someone is holding a knife. By his words and actions, you have no doubt that he intends to use the knife on you.
It’s a narrow, dead-end street. Consequently, your best defense — escape — is not possible.
But you do have your nunchaku with you. You grab hold of the sticks and face your attacker. ln that precious fraction of a second, you have to decide what you are going to do and which of your nunchaku techniques you’re going to use.
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How to Use Nunchaku Techniques in a Dangerous Situation
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you really want to get close enough to attempt slipping the nunchaku around his wrist? (There’s a hand at the end of that wrist, and there’s a knife in that hand.)
- Do you really want to try to parry a knife thrust? (Remember, this is for real.)
- Are you really sure that, under such circumstances, you could be accurate enough with your nunchaku techniques to knock a knife out of someone’s hand? (Hands are pretty small and very mobile targets.)
If your answers to the preceding questions are “No,” well then, what do you do?
Something practical. Something realistic. A nunchaku technique that has a very good chance of working.
You may only get one chance.
Choosing Nunchaku Techniques
Whatever nunchaku technique you choose should meet the following criteria:
- It is fast.
- It is unexpected.
- It does not require unrealistic accuracy or power.
- It leaves you in a good position to strike again or withdraw in the event your attacker is not neutralized.
With these criteria in mind, the following two variations of a practical nunchaku technique against a knife attack are proposed. Both variations share the same general outline:
- a feint (to draw the attacker’s attention away from the direction of the actual strike)
- the strike itself
- good final position (ending in a stance that is neither awkward nor defenseless)
One variation of the nunchaku technique uses a forehand swing of the weapon to the attacker’s head, the other a backhand swing. Let’s analyze the steps in each variation.
Nunchaku Technique #1: The Forehand Variation
In this nunchaku technique for self-defense, the defender squares off against the knife-wielding attacker and leads with his left side. The nunchaku is held in a ready position over the right shoulder. The defender leaves a fairly large distance between himself and the attacker (always a good idea when up against someone with a knife).
The defender then throws a low (about knee-high) front kick with the rear leg (his right leg). This serves three purposes:
- It draws the attacker’s attention down and away from the nunchaku, putting the assailant, at least for a moment, on the defensive.
- It closes the gap between the two combatants while the attacker is on the defensive, putting him in range of a nunchaku strike.
- It pivots the defender, turning him in the same direction as the upcoming strikes, thereby adding power to the swing of the nunchaku.
The feint-kick is not meant to connect with the attacker’s leg; it is meant to divert attention downward. (Glancing down at the attacker’s knee just before throwing the kick can help draw his attention downward.) The kick should look forceful enough to put the attacker on the defensive, but it is not necessary to make contact. This allows the defender to maintain a safer distance because the striking range of nunchaku is considerably greater than that of a kick or a knife.
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The real strike is a full-swinging nunchaku forehand to the attacker’s head. The strike should begin…