Nunchucks are a weapon that have been made popular by martial arts films and famous personalities like Bruce Lee and the animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Michelangelo. Although they are probably not the first line of defense most people think of in dangerous situations, they can be an effective means of self-defense, if used properly.
Nunchucks essentially consist of two small sticks connected by a flexible rope or chain. In fact, they can be rather versatile weapons, since users can strike opponents from a small distance or use the rope to choke an enemy instead.
The police force of Anderson, California, has announced it will arm its officers with nunchucks in an effort to provide them with another non-lethal way to detain criminal suspects. The California police officers will be trained in using them to restrain subjects more simply, by pinching their extremities (arms and legs) instead of swinging them.
Alternative to deadly force
Interestingly enough, nunchucks are illegal for citizens in the state of California to own. Law enforcement officers, however, will now have the choice to use them.
"With the strained relationship between society and law enforcement currently that we are seeing on a day to day basis and looking at the potential litigious matters that could be ahead for us having to use force, I thought what's a better way to give another option to the officers to maybe subdue a suspect, which limits injuries to both," Michael Johnson, Anderson Police Chief, told CNN. "The nunchaku is that tool."
Nunchucks are old news
Nunchucks are far from breaking news in the world of martial arts, but they aren't terribly fresh on the law enforcement scene either. In fact, in 1989, officers used nunchucks to subdue a rowdy protest outside of an anti-abortion clinic in San Diego, according to the Huffington Post.
Police officers drastically reduced the use of nunchucks when utilizing force to detain a suspect, in part because of the injuries to suspects that often came with nunchucks. In an effort to better protect the public and shield themselves from lawsuits, police officers explored other non-lethal means of using force to detain a subject, like the electric taser for instance. But now, nunchucks are becoming an option for police officers again as they continue to explore weapons that don't run the risk of deadly force.