The Art of Nunchaku

Nunchaku Kata

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In the art of kata one has to perform basic techniques arranged in series, as fluently and perfectly as possible. These techniques are aimed at an imaginary opponent. The purpose of a kata is to get a better understanding of the techniques.

Studying a kata does not only mean learning the techniques, but also learning how to properly perform a technique.  Therefore, a jury judges not only knowledge of the techniques, but also posture, fighting spirit and technical perfection.
The exam-rulebook includes 5 different kata’s:

Link kata

This kata is separated into 5 sections, and are divided over the graduations. For the yellow graduation, the 1st link kata is included into the study material. A section is added to each graduation. When a participant wants to pass the brown belt exam, he should therefore be able to perform link kata 1 till 5 sequentially. Another thing that sets this kata apart is the fact that a participant uses two nunchakus when performing link kata 5.

Competition kata

As you would expect, this kata is used in competitions. So far, this is the only kata used in competitions. The competition kata is required study material for the green belt.

Kata thé

Kata thé is required study material for the blue belt, but is performed in a different way for the brown and black belt. For the brown and black belt, two participants perform kata thé. Their movements and techniques should be identically. Kata thé is known in this form as kata thé-synchronized.

Kata block

Kata block is a special kata, because it does not includes one single strike. This kata consists entirely out of blocking opponent’s strikes. Kata block is required study material for the brown belt.

Self designed kata

A participant should design his own kata for the brown belt. The participant is free in the construction of this kata. The kata should nevertheless match the following requirements:

  1. The kata must have a greet- and closing-ceremony
  2. The kata should start and end at the same location
  3. The kata must consist of 25 nunchaku-movements or techniques (a variation of 10% is allowed)
  4. The performance of the kata must be perfected
  5. The kata should be as creative as possible

Performing a kata

Each kata consists of different sequences of techniques. However, the performance of each kata is the same. When performing a kata, you should mind the following guidelines:

  • All strikes should be performed properly. Of course, maximal range should be achieved at all times
  • Outside the rest- and concentration-points, the kata must be performed fluently and in a high pace. The strikes and movements should succeed each other rapidly
  • The participant should be in balance at all time
  • The participant must have the right posture and attitude
  • The nunchaku must be under control during the performance of the kata
  • All techniques should be performed with confidence. The speed of the technique should be constant
  • The free hand in the kata is always a “contact hand”. This means that the hand should be held around 30 centimeters before the chest, with the palm of the hand held vertically.
  • When a kata has a Kiai (scream), it should be clearly hearable and should be sign of confidence and power
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