Instructables

Practice Paracord Nunchaku

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Paracord can be used to create some very usable and decorative practice nunchaku.

WARNING :  The possession and/or manufacture of nunchaku is illegal in many states all over the world.
in most cases you can possess them only for training purposes as part of a martial arts club.
Please check the laws regarding nunchaku in your local area BEFORE making these.

These have been made with 2 x 5 metre lengths of 550 paracord and 2 x 16mm diameter, 25cm long timber dowel rods.
You can vary the lengths/thicknesses of the rods to suit your needs.
You could even use some solid foam cylinders instead of the timber, to make them even softer - however, they would still be considered nunchaka by law - even foam ones.

There are only two knots used in the construction of these nunchaku,  a solomon (or cobra) knot and a diamond (or lanyard) knot.
Detailed videos for making these knots are available on you tube, however, I have provided some simple photos of each stage. 
 
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Step 1: Tie a Diamond Knot to Start

Picture of Tie a Diamond Knot to Start
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Take and end of each of the pieces of paracord and tie together using a diamond knot.
Steps are shown for tying the diamond knot.  if these aren't clear enough, search you tube for "diamond knot" for video instructions.
You will be tying four of these knots in the construction of this piece. 

Layout the knot as shown and then slowly work the knot into a ball shape, continue until the knot is firm.

Step 2: Tie a solomon knot around the timber.

Position the diamond knot at the top of one of the pieces of timber dowel and start the solomon knot.
This is easier if you lay the timber on the floor and lay out the knot as shown until you get a few turns of the solomon knot onto the timber to hold it in place.

Once you have a few turns in place, the timber will be held firmly.

Continue tying the knot, pulling each turn as firmly as possible, until you reach the end of the dowel.
AlexKein2 months ago

I made it. I twas a very fun project to make. Noticed somethings that would be better if changed so I changed up the design a little bit. Overall great project.

dnash26 months ago
How much feet of paracord is that thank you
cool projects one thing tho arethe also called nun chucks and the Solomon knot is also called the cobra weave
Angus MacGyver11 months ago
 I've made some using the 'ible How-to-Make-a-Paracord-Fender-Keychain

By removing the dowel and making it completely out of cord, you lessen it's image as a lethal  weapon (plausible deniability). BUT, as we all know, if you reef down (tighten) all those knots it may as well be wood. With a marlinspike or awl you can make it as dense as pinewood.

By paying attention to how tight you reef, you can vary the hardness from little more than foam to almost solid nylon.

Keep in mind that nunchaku are LETHAL weapons when used as such. Cover your ass legally, and don't do anything stupid. Funny enough the way they are usually used to kill, is not with striking.
get paracord. get heavy dowel. (i hate lightweight stuff even for practice). make this. practice.
thanks to your idea of paracord i dont need to be at the dojo to practive these. thanks :)
instead of the solomon or cobra weave, why not to the snake know all the way up? it would take longer but it would remain circular
ede guzman22 years ago
When I first saw this, I thought the core inside was paper cause in the image it is white. :)
tjzx34322 years ago
it took me 5 hours to wrap the one handle then my mother ruined it
too bad. at least you had a chance to make one...
murak (author)  tjzx34322 years ago
Noooo. That is a shame.
I haven't tried making one yet, but something I might say for those looking for some less-painful practice nunchaku is to use tightly-rolled layers of newspaper for the core instead of dowels, and then somehow waterproofed (duct tape or something else) before tying the paracord over it. I used to make juggling clubs that way to practice with, and I've never had clubs before or since that I've been totally comfortable whacking myself in the head with on a regular basis.
Jujitsu-Man3 years ago
Great idea. I'm a huge nunchaku fan, and a very active martial artist, so I'll totally make your paracord nunchaku to test it.

I'll remember to post an image here when done, so you can see the result ;-)
murak (author)  Jujitsu-Man3 years ago
Excellent. Would love to hear what you think of it once you have tried it.
I finally made it. I've also tested it and I have to say that, although the nunchaku looks great and it's very light weighted, it's pretty bad for practicing because the knots always get loose after a few rolls.

After that, I nailed the knots like Tape-scrutable said, but it didn't improve too much, it stills feeling bad when practicing in comparison with the other nunchakus I own (some of them are bought, others are DIY).

Also, I had a lot of problems trying to tight hard the diamond knots, wich I finally achieved, but it was pretty difficult for me. I don't know anything about knots, so I can't tell if this nunchaku could be improved with a different knot for the ends.

Anyway, the idea is great and, as I previously said, the nunchaku is very cool looking and very cheap/easy to make ;-)

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murak (author)  Jujitsu-Man2 years ago
Hey great work and thanks for the feedback. I completely understand what you are saying about the knots becoming loose after a bit of use.
One solution you could try is to screw in a couple of small eyebolts through the diamond knots on each piece of dowel and use a small chain attached to these eyebolts to connect the two pieces of dowel rather than - or as well as - than the paracord itself.
This should improve the roll action and will not become loose. The paracord is then used for the grip and decoration.
Also - if you notice that the paracord around the grip itself is loose you can tighten this by stretching the paracord up the length of dowel before you tie the second diamond knot.
Hope this helps !
Thanks, I'll try to make another one following your advices. Anyway, this is the first thing I ever made with paracord and knots, so I'm not very good at it and I think that it could be done more tight with experience.

The grip itself is confortable, so if I improve the knots at the ends so it wont become loose, I think it would be a nice nunchaku.
I'm going to make one. I wanted to make me a pair of those anyway to get a hang of such weapons and to practise using them, just in case....

I think it should be possible to use foam inserts at the beginning and then swap with wooden ones by untying the diamond knots at the ends, sliding the foam out and sliding the wooden ones in and retie, if the foam sticks have the same diameter than the wooden ones. :)
I created one. Colors used were black and od green. I think my dowel is shorter and fatter than yours. Changes made were I added another solomon knot in the "chain" part with the left over paracord, and I also nailed down the crown knots where the chain starts to keep it from falling off. :P
One of the knots on the dowels were very sloppy, and one of them was neat.

Sorry, I had to upload the pictures online, the one on here wont work.

http://i51.tinypic.com/2r798gw.jpg
murak (author)  Tape-structable3 years ago
Nice work indeed. Great idea about nailing the diamond knot down - that can get loose after a bit of swinging it around.

How does it work with the thicker knotwork between the dowels? Does it restrict the movement in any way?
It's illegal but I doubt police will go after you unless you're walking down the street twirling them
and even then they'd probably just ask you to relocate or put them away

now on the subject of legality, we all know that certain parts made them illegal
but does anyone know why?
anibioman3 years ago
really cool but im gonna make a chain type thing that is in this instructable.
http://www.instructables.com/id/Cross-Knot-Paracord-Lanyard/step7/Step7/
Verga3 years ago
Great ible. I love the way you showed the knot so clearly.

How about making a smaller one as a key chain kubaton
Ubbo3 years ago
Very nice knotwork indeed...

Poor thing Nunchakus are illegal in Germany, so i have to stick to the Solomon as a keyfob...
K4nyix Ubbo3 years ago
Illegal, but sooo not applied ! Street artists use nunchuks like, everywhere. I live very close to Germany (in France), and I happened to see some, in Kehl (I live in Strasbourg). I don't say it's legal, I say it's stupid to make it illegal, and don't worry to much about being caught possessing nunchuks haha this won't happen.
grigsby3 years ago
I was told wooden ones were illegal but plastic ones were toys.??? disclamer,I do not know about your area.
murak (author)  grigsby3 years ago
Here is a link to a site that has a good summary of some areas.
http://www.totalnunchaku.com/nunlaws.html
lknowles3 years ago
Super nice project. Super nice instruction...I'm doing this!!!
cliffordsr3 years ago
Illegal in many states around the world? lol
Great idea!