TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - They might be a hallmark of Bruce Lee films, but nunchucks are actually illegal in Arizona.
The state is just one of four where that’s the case including New York, Massachusetts, and California. Nunchucks, or nunchaku, are currently listed in the same category as bombs and sawed off shotguns.
But now a new senate bill is hoping to change that.
SB 1291, introduced by Sen. David Gowan (R) - Sierra Vista, passed the Senate Judiciary Committee by 4-3 on Thursday, Feb. 7 and now goes to the full Senate for debate.
But they weren’t always considered weapons. Andy Latherow, Senior Master Instructor at M.Y. Martial Arts in Marana, said. originally nunchaku were used for farming implements and then were eventually adapted for self defense purposes.
And even though the real thing is illegal, martial arts studios still use a version of them - foam nunchucks.
“It’s mostly to disguise repetition and have the students work on skills like speed, power, timing, coordination and also basic repetitions.” said Latherow.
According to Latherow even though the students cannot work up to using the real thing, the benefits from using the foam nunchucks are still great.
But Latherow understands not everyone might be on board, because at the end of the day, nunchucks are still considered a weapon.
“There are people in general that are fearful of weapons or things that can be used in a violent nature. But as I tell my students all the time, anything can be a weapon.”