Sunday, September 6, 2015

Nunchuks and Boxing Gloves

My wife and I were shopping for floor tile in Mesa Arizona when we discovered the owner of the shop had taken karate in the past. So we began talking about karate and he mentioned in the conversation his experience in kobudo. Although he had swung a bo only a few times, the weapon he really trained with was nunchaku and I heard something from him I had never heard before. When he was taught to use nunchuks, all of the students wore boxing gloves. Hopefully, they didn't also have to sign contracts wearing boxing gloves. Now, I never heard that one before and not sure what the purpose of the gloves were other than he indicated he thought it was to protect their hands from the nunchuku

When I learned to use the nunchaku back in about 1967, we had to make our own chuks and we trained hard and learned one of the important lessons of nunchakujutsu. You have to keep an eye on that weapon at all times in the beginning until you domesticate the weapon, otherwise it will sneak up on you and bite you.

Nunchaku is like a snake - mistreat it & it will bite” - Soke Hausel

I still have fond memories of training with nunchaku at the University of Utah and later at the University of Wyoming and listening to my students periodically imprint a lifelong memory when swinging the nunchaku and accidentally hitting themselves in the shin, knee, elbow, or other not so friendly spot. There was a distinct sound of wood hitting bone (we did not have foam rubber in those days), followed by "ouch" and a few choice words only an engineer would understand. Why would any karate ka want to miss out on such wonderful memories - we all went through the same lessons. 

We had more discussions about nunchuku and I was again surprised he did not know who Tadashi Yamashita was. This is not the first person not to know who sensei Yamashita is or what he is known for. Osensei Yamashita is known for his kobudo, and in particular for nunchaku. He is an extraordinary martial artist and without him, few people in the western world would know much about the popular weapon. His techniques and applications with the nunchuku provide great showmanship and most techniques by Yamashita are practical. Then there is the kobudo of Dai-Soke Sacharnoski that continues to provide us with extremely practical and devastating techniques. In addition to nunchuku, Dai-Soke Sacharnoski also teaches many other kobudo weapons as well as karate, aikido, jujutsu, judo, toide and extreme body hardening.

In closing, leave the boxing gloves at home.

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