Using nunchucks (or nunchaku) for self defense is an excellent idea, even for people who don’t have a lot of experience with the weapon.
There are multiple things to keep in mind when wanting to use nunchucks for self defense.
The first is proper mechanics. You must keep your balance by keeping your feet slightly more than shoulder width apart, while keeping your dominant foot in front and your body at a 45 degree angle with your opponent. Keep your elbows in towards your body and your arms relaxed.
Secondly, you must stay calm. This will not only allow you to keep proper mechanics, but it will also enable you to react to what your opponent does. It will also help you make sure that you can anticipate your next move if you are able to think clearly.
Thirdly, don’t be afraid to change tactics. If you are using nunchucks, you will primarily be in a hand-to-hand battle. But your opponent may work to keep their distance, or run away. Learning to throw your nunchucks will help in this situation, especially if you are able to switch to a different weapon.
In addition, the type of nunchuck that you use can determine exactly what you end up doing. If you use foam nunchucks, which are best used for training, you may not achieve your desired result against your opponent. They will likely just bounce off of your opponent and not deter them as you would want.
Nunchucks made out of different materials, such as metal, wood or other hard substances, will create a significant deterrent. Do you think your opponent wants a fast moving piece of metal or wood coming down on their arms or head? I don’t think so and they will likely do what they can to avoid being on the receiving end of that type of punishment.
To summarize, nunchucks are a fantastic weapon for close range and for hand-to-hand battles. They can also be used as a throwing weapon if the situation calls for doing this, but be prepared to switch to a long range weapon if you use all of your nunchaku and they are away from you.
Good luck and please feel free to reach out if you have any questions about your new foam nunchucks!