|The sansetsukon, or three staved nunchuku, is a |
difficult weapon to master.
This particular student is very dedicated to martial arts and periodically shows up to class with uncommon weapons. Not so long ago, he arrived with odachi in hand – a samurai sword that is as long as most people are tall, something most never see.
This is because, few martial arts books are properly edited, and many are self-published. There is nothing wrong with self-publishing, as I highly recommend it, but self-publishing is sometimes a license for some authors to avoid spell checking, grammar and editors, when it should be used to avoid publishers, who pay little to authors for their work. It was not so long ago, I had one well-known publisher contact me about writing a series of books on rock-hounding (in addition to being a martial artist, I'm also a geologist) - but after discussing a 5% royalty, and having to be available at the publisher's whim to travel around the country to autograph books, I decided not to sign a contract. Through some self-publishing venues, authors can receive as much as 40% of royalties, but then the author has to do much of the advertising.
The weapon consists of three staves with a combined length typical of many bo. These staves are attached by rope, chain, or rings, and the original tool likely was used as a farmer's flail to extract seed. If you decide to train with one, either make your own out of good-quality materials, or search the internet for custom sansetsukon, because those sold at most martial arts supply houses, such as many rattan sansetsukon, have poor quality chain links and metal cap attachments, such that the weapon will fall apart with little use.
The three-sectional staff it is used similar to surujin, bo and nunchaku combined. And like the surujin, it causes problems even for the most adept of kobudo practitioners. I do not like to teach this weapon to beginning students as it is difficult and beginners who often pinch and bruise themselves during training.
|A coiling dragon, pencil sketch copyright by Soke Hausel|
Along with learning how to block and strike with the weapon, our students learn bunkai (practical applications), kata (forms), basics and warm-up exercises. It is a brutal tool particularly to those new to its, whether you are on the receiving or attacking end. Even so, you will find it to be an effective weapon once you get use to it. And just like the nunchaku, I recommend starting with foam padded sansetsukon. A rope between the staves is also recommended.
|Swinging sansetsukon to extend reach, Arizona Hombu Karate Dojo|
|Blocking sansetsukon with tonfa during Shorin-Ryu karate |
& kobudo class.