There are two Nunchaku Kata that must be done with great proficiency for your ranking examination. These Kata incorporate most of the wrapping, spinning, striking, and passing skills discussed earlier in this manual. If you are practiced at those skills then you should be able to perform these Kata without much difficulty.
Some Nunchaku Conventions
Here are a few conventions that are observed in the following discussions:
- Many strikes are defined by the body part being targeted. For example, Shomen Uchi, Yokomen Uchi, Empi Uchi. Unless otherwise specified, a noted body part specifies a target rather than a weapon.
- The names of spins, strikes, wraps, and passes from earlier discussions in this manual are used to define most of the movements in these Kata.
- A vertical octagon orientation is used throughout these Kata to define the path of the free stick or other relevant motions. If you are not familiar with this form of octagon reference then please review the Octagon article noted at the end of this page..
About the Tensoku Ryu Nunchaku Kata
The Tensoku Ryu Nunchaku Kata were created by Richard Munson to provide a practice vehicle for the majority of the movements commonly used with this weapon. These Kata stress powerful strikes, repetitive spins, and seamless passes that allow the weapon to be in nearly constant fluid motion.
Both Nunchaku Kata will seem long when you are first learning them. After you become practiced at them they will seem quite short. If you are planning to do these Kata in a demonstration or tournament then you may wish to consider doing the two Kata as one combined form. This is readily possible since the two forms begin and end in roughly the same location facing global angle one. As a variant, especially if you are performing in a tournament with advanced practitioners, you may wish to begin the second Kata by rotating 45° to the left or right and establishing local angle five or seven as the new local angle one. This means the second Kata would be done at a forty-five degree angle to first, providing a more visually satisfying performance. At the conclusion of the second Kata you would need to gracefully transition to face angle one as you begin the closing salutation. You would of course need to practice these two Kata as a seamless pair extensively before attempting to do them in a demonstration or tournament. Doing the Kata as a pair should not be difficult, but you will want to be sufficiently familiar with doing them back-to-back so as to avoid any momentary confusion while doing the combined pair.
The opening salutation is performed by holding both weapons in your right hand in a standard grip. Begin with both hands at your side in Heisoku Dachi. Bow toward angle one and then step L3 to establish Heiko Dachi F1. The weapon is then presented at the apex of your center triangle and oriented horizontally. The left hand then moves over top of both the weapon and your right hand to symbolically cover both your hand and the weapon. This position is held for several seconds. The weapon is then rotated by a turn of your right wrist into a vertical orientation with the corded end facing upward as the left open hand moves to gently support the left side of the weapon. The fingers of the left hand will point upward and the palm will rest against the weapon and your right hand. This position is again held for several seconds. Now the left hand grasps the closest stick and pulls it away, allowing the weapon to be stretched fully open and oriented horizontally at Chudan level directly toward angle one. This position is once again held for several seconds. The opening salutation is complete.
The closing salutation is done in the reverse order. The weapon is positioned horizontally in front of you with each hand holding a stick in a standard grip. The sticks are pulled apart so the cord is taught. This position is held for several seconds. The two sticks are then brought together and held vertically in front of you at the apex of your center triangle. The right hand grasps both weapons in a standard grip and the open left hand moves so the open palm presses into the weapon gently from the left side. This position is held for several seconds. Now the weapon is lowered and moved to a horizontal orientation as the open left hand moves on top to symbolically cover both the right hand and the weapon. After several seconds both hands are lowered to their respective sides as the feet come together to form Heisoku Dachi (normally the left leg moves in toward the right leg). Bow toward angle one. The Kata is complete.
Admonishments that you should practice new movements slowly and with great care should generally not be necessary for practitioners working toward the Green Belt ranking. But we would be remiss if we did not caution you once again to be careful, especially with this weapon. There are few weapons that have the propensity of the Nunchaku to strike you at odd angles and with exceptional force. Never abandon a movement once it has been initiated. Always perform a pass or wrap the weapon so you can bring it to a controlled stop. Use practice Nunchaku until you are quite familiar with each form. If you do not, I can guarantee you will regret it.