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Last update: 27/04/2010
The dimensions
It is very important to have Nunchaku of the right size, first of all for comfort, but also for the handling: you will not require the same type of handling according to what you want to do with your Nunchaku (for example freestyle or combat). Furthermore, a Nunchaku which not fit to your size may cause injuries...
Traditionally, lengths of the branches correspond to the length of your forearm, from the elbow to the articulation of the wrist: that makes an average of 32 centimeters for an adult.
A too long or too short Nunchaku is generally rather hard to handle: when too long it could touch and wound the user during the handling, and when too short it would not have enough momentum and will be hard to control.
The diameter of the branches generally is about 2 or 2.5 centimeters.
There are two traditional types of Nunchakus: the Chinese one and the Japanese one. Chinese Nunchaku is cylindrical and has an equal diameter over the entire length of its branches: this is the most common Nunchaku shape today. Japanese Nunchaku is octagonal, and generally has a smaller diameter towards the rope than at the ends. Chinese Nunchakus are very versatile and appropriate for any type of handling, while the Japanese model is exclusively made for combat: indeed, its octagonal shape and the most important weight at its ends ensure a maximum amount of inflicted damage during a strike.
The length of ropes or chains is very variable. Usually, it is one to two centimeters more than the length of the palm of the hand. That makes an average of 12 centimeters for an adult.
Although this size is most common, this is not the only one, this is just a kind of "standard" size. .
Chinese Nunchakus often have very long ropes or chains, going up to 22 centimeters, while Pro Chux has very short ones, only a few centimeters. Here is a comparison of the characteristics of Nunchakus having various sizes of ropes (at the same weight):
As you can see on the graph, shorter is the rope, faster is the Nunchaku, at the expense of striking power. The term "control" defines how easier it is to handle such Nunchaku: a great control means that you will require less time to learn the bases, but of course, with the experience, this data becomes irrelevant. This graph act just as an indication, because it does not exists a "best Nunchaku", they can all be good with training. Beyond measurements given on the graph, Nunchaku often becomes very hard to handle.
In addition to the size of the branches and the length of the rope, another element must be taken into consideration: the weight. Indeed, the weight is very important and must be selected according to the type use you want to have with your Nunchaku:
- Between 50 and 100 grams: for these lightweights, a very short rope must be used (less than 6 cm), because if not, the Nunchaku will be quite hard to handle. This is the weight of the Pro Chux.
- Between 100 and 230 grams: this is the standard weight for common Nunchakus, this is appropriate for any kind of use.
- More than 230 grams: they are the weights used for combat Nunchakus, they have a great destruction capability but this is harder to make artistic things correctly, except for Nunchakus having a long rope (more than 14 cm).
- More than 600 grams: whatever the length of the rope is, these weights are only made for combat.