London·Video

This 9-year-old nunchuck master is ranked 3rd in the world

Meet London's 9-year-old nunchuck phenom, Eccaia Sampson.

Eccaia Sampson recently got an opportunity to show off her skills in a music video by KT Tunstall

Nine-year-old Eccaia Sampson is ranked third in the world for her age group when it comes to the nunchucks. (Julianne Hazelwood/CBC News)

Nine-year-old Eccaia Sampson from London, Ont. is ranked third in the world for her age group when it comes to the nunchucks. 

I love the nunchucks- Eccaia Sampson, 9-year-old nunchuk prodigy

For the uninitiated, nunchucks, or nunchaku, are a martial arts weapon of Japanese origin that consist of two sticks connected at one end by a chain or rope that were originally used as farming implements on the island of Okinawa.

Eccaia however, offers a different description. 

"I describe nunchucks as an experience for anyone who wants to try them," she told London Morning host Julianne Hazlewood Tuesday. "I love the nunchucks." 

'I love how free it is'

A picture showing two pairs of nunchucks, the top pair in black is connected by a chain, while the bottom pair in wood is connected by rope. (Antonio Vernon/Wikimedia Commons)

She began her apprenticeship when she was only six and Eccacia said as soon as she picked up her first pair, she "just knew." 

"I love how free it is. You just have to be able to understand what the movements are and then it's so free you can do anything with them." 

She quickly took to them, learning new moves and winning competitions, which as a child can be an anxiety-inducing experience.  

"I feel so nervous," Eccacia said, noting that anxiety seems to dissolve once she squares her shoulders for the task at hand. "The moment I enter the floor I feel fine."

Not a conventional past time

Her mother, Penny Sampson, acknowledges the fact that her daughter does not have a conventional past time. 

"I absolutely love it," she said, noting that while Eccacia might be a prodigy with the nunchucks, she doesn't let it go to her head. 

She's very humble about it.- Penny Sampson, Eccacia's mom

"She's very humble about it and she doesn't talk about it much with her friends," Sampson said of her daughter. "When she's at school, she's told me she's at school and when she's doing martial arts, that's her martial arts life."

The way Eccaia puts it, she'd rather not be the kid everyone is talking about. 

"I would get way too much attention. I don't want that much attention," she said. 

Featured in a music video

Still, it doesn't mean the nine-year-old will shy away from the spotlight. When she was invited to show off her moves for the camera as part of a music video for the song "Human Being" by KT Tunstall, Eccaia stepped up to the challenge.

She said she spent three days practicing her form, in order to be in sync with the music.

"I took pieces out of my original form and I timed them to the song. I spent about an hour every day learning the song and practicing my kata to the music." 

For a nine-year-old used to performing in front of a crowd, she said performing for the camera was a different experience entirely.

"I definitely felt not normal," she said. "It felt different and I loved it." 

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