Few weapons have been so closely associated with the martial arts than the nunchaku, westernized as nun-chucks, or simply chucks. They were first popularized in the west by Bruce Lee in his widely popular 1973 movie, Enter the Dragon.
Nunchaku originated in Okinawa. Some believe it was used by to harvest rice. A farmer would be in his boat and swing the nunchaku in a long arcing motion to gather as much rice as possible. Grabbing the nunchaku on its return, the farmer would pull into the boat all the crop that was encircled by the nunchaku. A second theory says that the nunchaku was derived from the Chinese three sectional staff. This weapon proved too large for easy concealment by the Okinawans so they modified it, downsized it, and eliminated one section of the staff. Another theory has it being used as a horse bit (the original cord was made from woven horsehair).
Some versions have two rods of equal length, some had one rod longer than the other where the long rod was held with both hands so the small rod could be strike powerfully against a shield. The long rod prevented the short rod from bouncing back against the user. The Chinese had similar weapons, the shuang-chin-kun, which had two rods connected with metal fitting, and the san-chin-kun, the three-sectioned staff. Another variation of this nunchaku has one normal stick, and the other side composed of two shorter sticks to makes it harder for the opponent to block an attack and easier to loop another weapon or attack. Another variation is made of four sticks (long piece-short piece-rope/chain-short piece-long piece).