Way of the Dragon (1972).
A man (Bruce Lee) visits his relatives at their restaurant in Italy where gangsters are trying to force his relatives to sell. He arrives to help them defend their restaurant. He uses his martial arts skills to defend against all weapons except the gun for which he hand makes throwing darts.
The photo below shows one of the fight scenes in the alley behind the restaurant. Behind Bruce Lee is "Fred" played by Robert Wall who in 1970 was the U.S. Professional Karate Champion. This is a good photo because it shows the unusual Nunchaku being used by Bruce Lee. They are black Nunchaku which appears to have black tape wrapped around them (something popular to do in the 70's - I know because I did that too) but have an unusual bottom, very much resembling the bottom of a cue stick - flat with a round knob of wood. The Nunchaku has eleven links - you can count them right on the photo.
The obvious advantage of the eleven link Nunchaku is the extra reach. If you watch the fight scene in the film where this particular photo was taken, you'll see Bruce Lee dispatch seven guys with just his two Nunchaku. This fight scene shows the exceptional range that these eleven link Nunchaku can achieve!
The end of this film also has the very famous fight scene in the Roman Colosseum where Bruce Lee fights "Colt" played by Chuck Norris who was then the current Professional World Middleweight Karate Champion. This film is by the way the only film where Chuck Norris "dies". Below is another photo showing the Nunchaku.
Reproduction of the "Way of the Dragon" Nunchaku
We at Woodall's Custom Workshop were asked to make a replica of the "Way of the Dragon" Nunchaku and we took the responsibility seriously. After several weeks of development and research, we have created a Nunchaku that we hope would make Bruce Lee proud. Below in the same photo which inspired our design is our version of the Black Octagon Tapered 11 Link Nunchaku. We settled on the octagon tapered design because during my research I came across a promotional poster ("movie poster") showing the "pool cue type bottom" on a pair of non-black-taped octagon tapered nunchaku that Bruce Lee was holding.
The Way of the Dragon Nunchaku is available in three woods: Black Walnut, Indian Ebony and African Blackwood. While Indian Ebony and African Blackwood are naturally black, Black Walnut (despite its name) is brown.
We at Woodall's Custom Workshop apply an especially dark stain to the Black Walnut and looking at the photo below you can compare the color of the Black Walnut to Indian Ebony and see that it is very very dark brown (but not black!). Despite this we have included this as a choice because we want a less expensive wood to be one of the wood choices.
Looking at the three woods above, you can see several differences. Black Walnut is very dark brown but is significantly lighter in weight than the others, averaging 12.5 oz. for one pair of Nunchaku. The pores of the wood are open (similar to the oak species) allowing you to see the grain.
Indian Ebony has a smooth surface (not the glass-like of African Blackwood), weighs a moderate 16.5 oz. (32% heavier than Black Walnut) but is absolutely black.
African Blackwood can probably be considered the king of Nunchaku wood considering that it also is absolutely black (with a hint of purple grain beneath the surface), weighs a heavy 22.5 oz (80% heavier that Black Walnut) and has an absolute glass-like surface.
Lengths of Wood
Twelve inches is the standard length but the 14" version can be chosen by using the pull-down menu below. They are finished with a clear gloss lacquer finish that protects the wood from the salt and sweat of your hands during your workout.
Although the 11 chain link version is recommended, the number of chain links can also be changed. The price at the top of this page is the price for the Black Walnut. An additional charge applies if you choose the more expensive Indian Ebony or African Blackwood woods.
Below is the photo which shows how we measure the length of this unusual Nunchaku.
"Way of the Dragon" Nunchaku Specifications:
| Specifications for the "Way of the Dragon" Nunchaku|
|Octagon Tapered |
|12 inch length |
|Tapers from 1" at the top to 1 1/4" at the bottom |
|Connector type: 11 Link Ball Bearing |
| ||Black Walnut version:||Indian Ebony version:||African Blackwood version:|
|Weight||12.5 oz.||16.5 oz.||22.5 oz. |
|Color||Very Dark Brown||Black||Black |
|Surface||Open Pores||Smooth||Glass-Like |
|Janka Hardness (see below)(in lbs force)||1010||1630||2900 |
What is Janka Hardness?
The Janka hardness test measures the force (in pounds-force) required to embed a .444 inch steel ball into the test piece of wood up to half of the steel ball's diameter. It is an excellent measure of how well the wood withstands wear and denting. The Janka hardness of Black Walnut is 1010 pounds. That means it takes 1010 pounds of force (about 1/2 of a ton) to imbed that .444 inch steel ball half way into the surface of Black Walnut. For more information on Janka Hardness, Google "Janka Hardness". To get an idea of the Janka hardness of 1010 pounds, consider the following. Pine has a Janka hardness of 910 pounds, Red Oak is 1260 and Hickory is 1820.
For those of you who would like to see Bruce Lee using his Nunchaku, go to www.youtube.com and enter in the "Search" field the following term: Way of the Dragon. And enjoy.
Alot of confusion exists regarding the name of this film. In the 1960's and 1970's, changing the name of a film was common if it were to enter a different market. Below are the different names for the film "Way of the Dragon" (with varying degrees of editing for the target country)
- Fury of the Dragon (English title for Europe)
- Maang lung goh kong (Cantonese title for Hong Kong)
- Return of the Dragon (USA)
- Revenge of the Dragon (cable TV title for USA)
and finally the title I use:
- The Way of the Dragon (English title for Hong Kong)
|Number of Chain Links:
|Wood Length (inches):