But were nunchucks ever actually used in combat? More specifically, popular hypotheses include nunchucks beginning life as rice flails, used with horses, or even wooden clappers used to attract attention during emergencies by Japanese night watchmen in feudal times. That said, this doesn’t rule out such a different type of flail being the inspiration, as there was a type of flail used for this. So it’s possible someone might have gotten the bright idea to make both ends the same, short, length, to make for an effective weapon. This brings us to whether nunchucks were ever used during combat.