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My Practice Guide

This is just a collection of my advice that I give to people about practicing nunchakus, especially those who are just beginning. Remember that my word is by no means law, nor should it be considered above any info given to you by your official teacher. I'm just an average Joe (actually that's my brother's name, so I'm an average Pat) who has a bit of experience. Because I had to teach myself nunchakus, I picked up on a few tips that could save people the trial-and-error approach that I used, as well as many bruises! Some of this may be obvious, but it's still important!

1. Practice is the only way you will get better. It sounds simple, but it involves dedication and persistence. Here are a few things to remember:

-Practice consistently. I practice everyday, even if only for a few minutes.

-Work on one move at a time. Once you master one move, it will help you with other moves. Don't try too many things at once, that will only slow you down.

2. Learn the fundamentals and physics of the nunchakus before trying any moves.

-The closer to the chain you grip the stick, the more flexibility you have. I recommend a grip so that you can put your thumb on the metal clasp if you extend it upwards. In cases of roped ones, just a few inches below the rope.

-Learn how to control the speed of your strikes. Refer to the video clip page to see how I do it. The goal is to be able to swing with force, but then to be able to subdue that force in as little time and movement possible.

-The first move you should learn is the basic verticle spin. Spinning "toward" you while keeping the nunchakus off to your side is the best way to learn.

3. FORM BEFORE SPEED!

-This is extreamly important. First, learn how to properly do a move, then practice consistently, and speed comes naturally.

-Trying to go super-fast will only hinder your muscles from "remembering" how to do the move in the first place. Also, this is how most guys hurt themselves.

4. Start with practice pairs.

This is the best way to avoid injury. This is the scale that I moved up in my years. Remember that this is not going to be the same for everyone, and one should only move on after being totally confident with each type.

A. Foam covered practice pairs

B. Light weight wood (burned rattan is best)pairs

C. Heavier Molded solid pairs (acrylic is best)

D. Metal pairs (aluminum nunchucks are my current learning pairs)

By moving on to heavier pairs, you have the same effect as weight training. Your muscles become tone and stronger as you require more force to do the same moves. Also, when you have mastered multiple moves with many types of nunchucks, be sure to keep using each pair at least some of the time. Never let your muscles get used to just one type. I practice my wrist flips with all pairs, as well as with a Bo-Staff and a metal baseball bat! I tell people, "when you can wrist flip a baseball bat, you can flip anything". I gave myself a bit knot on my forehead the first time I tried it, so be warned!

5. Gradually, draw your vision away from the move. I am happy to say that I can perform nearly all of my routines blindfolded (definitly not the arial move). This is how I got to that level-

A. When first learning, forcus on how you move your arm, and look carefully.

B. Try to stare straight ahead while doing the same move. You should still be able to see it out of the corner of your eye.

C. Draw your attention to something in the opposite direction, but still visualize what your other arm is doing.

D. Do the move with your eyes closed. You might have the tendency to wince a bit, especially with anything that comes within a foot of your head.

E. Cover your eyes with a bandana. This has a different effect than just closing your eyes, but it's very hard to explain. Trust me and see (pun not intended).

6. Accuracy comes through targeting. When I practice accuracy, I aim for a single leaf on a tree, and I try to swipe it off without any others. This is the best that I can think of. Also try hitting things like fruit, koosh balls, or anything else with "give". If you hit something too solid you will either get a sting or you will damage the nunchakus.

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