City of Madison Repeals Ban on "Numchucks"

In the 1970s, as films like "Enter the Dragon" demonstrated traditional martial arts weapons such as the nunchaku to the American public for the first time, numerous locales across the country moved to ban these items due to fear of their "deadly" nature. But as martial arts have entered the mainstream, calmer heads have prevailed with many of these bans being repealed in recent years. Now, the city of Madison, Wis. has joined in freeing up martial arts enthusiasts to swing away with their nunchucks.

The city's Council Office informed Black Belt that a motion to repeal the ban on certain specific martial arts weapons passed unanimously at a meeting of the Common Council, Tuesday.

Showing how little Americans knew about Asian martial arts 50 years ago, the ordinance banning these weapons in Madison, from 1976, officially prohibited the possession of "numchucks," throwing knives or "churkins" (a.k.a. shurikens) and a wood or metal rod referred to as a "sucbai" (perhaps meaning a sai?). Local Madison radio station WORT, who initially reported on efforts to repeal the ban, noted that a former assistant city attorney, who helped craft the prohibition, can't even remember why these weapons were banned in the first place.

But now, the martial artists of Madison are once again free to (responsibly) swing their numchucks and throw their churkins.

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