Friday, April 8, 2016

Nunchaku and the Law

The Nunchaku was popularized as a martial arts weapon by Bruce Lee in the 1973 movie, Enter the Dragon. The movie was not only entertaining, but apparently gave some future lawmakers nightmares.

The nunchaku is actually an excellent martial arts tool designed to have improve motor skills along with ethics and concerns for other people in traditional martial arts schools. But it takes time to learn proper muscle memory to use the Okinawan kobudo weapon. Most bunkai (applications) use nunchaku as a pair of self-defense sticks with chain held within the hands and a small percentage of bunkai use nunchaku with release strikes. When some of us were growing up and learning martial arts in the 60s and 70s, it was common knowledge that if you wanted to get even with someone, you gave them a pair of nunchaku without instructions. In those days, all nunchaku were made from hard wood in garage shops and were brutal when a person began swinging them around, especially after the 1973 Bruce Lee movie when many wannabes tried to imitate Bruce Lee and bruised their heads, elbows, knees, shins - and ... well let's say, most are lucky that they were able to have kids. So, what is so wrong with this? We even heard one story back in the early 70s or a person apprehending themselves for the California police after they attempted to rob a bank with nunchaku. Stepping back from the teller to give a performance, the criminal struck himself in the head - but apparently did not receive any award for apprehending the bank robber. Sounds to me like we need to give these to all criminals.

Soke Hausel demonstrates ni cho nunchaku (two nunchuks) at the
Arizona Hombu karate dojo in Mesa.
In some states and countries, you can carry a samurai sword, but not nunchaku. This probably goes back to those old nightmares as we could not find much evidence that anyone in North America ever died from a nunchaku. But we heard of rumors of people who died of boredom listening to legislators making up silly laws - such as outlawing nunchaku.

In Kentucky, apparently a person can obtain a permit for concealed carry of nunchaku and shuriken. You might be able to get away with walking down a street with a submachine gun, but not a pair of sticks. In Arizona, nunchaku are listed with bombs, grenades, rockets, poison gas (does this include outhouses?), automatic weapons, sawed off shotguns. Apparently, lawmakers can't legislate stupid, even so, we are hopeful some common sense will prevail.

It is crazy for any legislator to outlaw something they know little to nothing about - because we all know that martial arts requires dedication and integrity something that all legislators lack. Ever see a Congressman in a traditional martial arts class

We searched the internet (which is full of misleading information) to try to gain an insight on what is legal and what is illegal when it comes to kobudo. Do not consider this site as an authority on laws and legislation - instead, visit your local police department and ask about laws on kobudo weapons. And be sure not to take any with you.

Demonstration of Okinawan kobudo (nunchaku) at the 
University of Wyoming International Week.
Here are some pieces of information we found on the internet about the possession of nunchaku.  Nunchaku are still illegal in California and New York for civilians, but not for police officers, but in California and New York, it is legal to be illegal and many other weird things. Personally, I have never heard of a single person dying from a nunchaku attack, although there are reports in Great Britain - but what would you expect from a nation that drives on the wrong side of the road? A few people in Great Britain drunk themselves to death last year, but you don't see booze being outlawed. 

It's almost unheard of when government does anything positive for its people. Personally, I feel governments should be required to operate on tips rather than taxes. Thus, it they offer good service, they receive a tip, but we all know that if such a policy were instituted, governments worldwide would go out of business within a week. 

We were shocked to hear that one legislator in Lake Havasu City, Arizona was working to legalize nunchaku in Arizona. Wow, a government representative who actually appears to be working for the concern of its people.

As we searched for examples of misconduct with nunchaku, it is more than clear that few examples exist. Possibly some legislators were punished (or threatened) by their ninja wives for not having sex. If true, legislators need more help than we thought. Based on resources we could find on the internet, legislators should consider banning women from using nunchaku and leave the men alone - as it appears women enjoy beating their boyfriends with nunchaku and in some cases, use the tool for self-defense.

So, whether its Bruce Lee, the Ninja Turtles, or an ex-girlfriend, we need to investigate just how dangerous nunchaku are before silly legislators outlaw a perfectly good martial arts tool. It seems that modern society is doomed to repeat history. After King Shoshin on Okinawa outlawed bladed weapons, Okinawa was invaded by samurai from Japan. And even the feared weapon by legislators today couldn't save the Okinawan people in the 17th century.