What is shuttlecock(Chinese jianzi)? What are they made of and how to make?

Jianzi, What Actually It Is?

Good question! If the word “jianzi” sounds somehow just that unfamiliar to you…ok, let’s make it one of my hubs then.

Jianzi, perhaps better known as shuttlecock or Chinese hacky sack, which is named as Da Cau or Chapteh as well, is actually an ancient sport in China.

That’s right, though I did say it’s an ancient sport in China, it may also consider as a traditional popular free-time game however which enjoyed throughout Asia by all ages especially last recent 30 years. Hence, you won’t be surprised to see people practicing or playing jianzi on the street corners, in the courtyards, playgrounds and the parks.

Jianzi, an ancient sport in China
Jianzi, an ancient sport in China

How It Looks Like?

Okay, I know you are getting curious and excited by now to know what exactly the jianzi is, right?

Well, shuttlecock, as some of us love to name it this way, it is not a high-drag projectile used in the sport of badminton though. Just that it looks like a badminton shuttle with a tail of feathers instead of plastic mesh.

Its tip is often made of weighted plastic disks covered by cloth or leather. It consists of 4 equal length feathers, normally goose or duck feathers (we prefer using chicken feathers though as it is much more easier to get) conjoint at a plastic base which the diameter is about 4cm. It weights approximately 15grams, the total length of it is about 15-18 cm, and the feathers vary in color, usually dyed red, yellow, blue or green. 5-7 paper or leather washers are placed at the rubber part so to ensure the flexibility.

Front kick
Front kick
Side kick
Side kick

How To Play?

It’s actually a game in which players aim to keep it in the air using their feet and may be other parts of the body except hands. Would it sound unbelievable to you?

Kicks are the primary method of moving the shuttlecock, while the chest is often used to stop high flying shots and cause it to fall in range of a kick.

I wonder if you have come to the sense that it’s mostly about kicking…there are however three main kicks (front kick, back kick, side kick) that are most frequently used in the game.

Front kick, the player extends their leg forward and uses the top part of their shoe to kick the shuttlecock.

Back kick, the player lets the shuttle cock pass over their head or to the side of them and uses the bottom of their shoe to hit it.

Side kick, the player uses the inner sole of their shoe to hit the shuttlecock.

Amazing huh? Let’s find out what’s the benefits that the shuttlecock, I mean jianzi can offer us.


As you might have already known that it is not only a fun and vigorous aerobic workout that suits all of us at all ages, but a high concentration of body and mind exercise the ingenuity of people to enhance response capabilities.

From the raising of legs, jumping, kicking, bouncing, bending and turning of the body, it makes almost every parts of our body take part in the exercise. Besides providing us the health benefits like other active sports do; it trains the hand-eye coordination in the meantime as well. So, don’t be surprised if you were to find out from the list below that how many benefits the “jianzi” has actually brought to us.

- It trains our brain to be more focus and quick response.

- It encourages the use of our weaker foot.

- It promotes our blood circulation.

- It increases our metabolism.

- It effectively improves our joint and body flexibility.

- It improves our heart and lung function.

- It enhances our physical fitness.

- It promotes and enhances our response capabilities.

- It builds up our confidence.

- It can enhance the cold resistance ability.

- It helps improve human intelligence.

- It helps losing weight.

Need A Jianzi?

Well, what do you think of all those benefits?

It's incredible, isn't it?

And hey, don’t you find it's an amazing game to all of us?

Try it yourself today, it’s simply the best when what you need is merely a shuttlecock, yes, a jianzi I mean, it can be played just about everywhere and anytime, no worries of weather, you can always play it indoors or outdoors, and the best part is that you don't even have to have any partner to start this amazing game, yes...just you alone can enjoy it much too.

Need a shuttlecock however, huh? Well, there are quite easy to buy at stores actually or you can always buy it online if it is not that popular in your area. Anyway, share with you my style of making shuttlecock when I was in my primary if it happens that you can’t find any in your area or you don’t feel like to buy it online.

What Are They Made Of

Materials to be prepared:-

  1. 4 feathers (get the chicken feathers if that’s the only feather you can get.)
  2. Unused bicycle tube- cut 2-3 pieces of same round shape about a diameter of 4cm.
  3. 1 nail.
  4. 1 rubber band.
  5. masking tape.

How To Make It

Method of doing:-

  1. wash and dry the feathers.
  2. use the rubber band to tie up the four feathers together from the bottom of the feathers.
  3. Pile up together the 2-3 pieces of round shape tube which you have cut, use the nail to penetrate to the middle of the round shape tube.
  4. Put the feathers that you have tied onto the nail which you have pierce through the round shape tube.
  5. Use the masking tape to tape it up tightly.

There you go...this is what I enjoyed much in my childhood, hey hey!

Oh yes, before I forget, I have bought three beautiful and colorful shuttlecocks to enjoy back this fun and health game with my kids when I visited Vietnam last year.

I really enjoyed seeing them kicking the shuttlecock in the park with their laughter around, that reminded me the unforgettable childhood memories of mine...

I have promised my kids though to make them a DIY jianzi which I have showed you the method mentioned above, the simple making yet with full of my sweet childhood memories' jianzi.

Have you played Jianzi before?

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© 2011 Injured lamb

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Comments 49 comments

always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

This is why i love Hubpages, you get to meet people from all over the world and learn new things. Thank you for sharing. This was totally new to me....

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Injured lamb 5 years ago Author

Thanks always exploring for being the first to make my day today...hoping this hub can share a fresh idea to get a healthy exercise and pastime...

jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 5 years ago from Philippines

Great hub!

We also play a similar game here in the Philippines. I don't really know if it has a Chinese origin here. Maybe, as we can trace back so many things here (food, practices, etc.)from Chinese influence.

Voted up!

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Injured lamb 5 years ago Author

Thanks a lot for the kind voting and comment jill...it's a power to me...

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

I learned something new today! Nice Hub! :)

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Injured lamb 5 years ago Author

Nice to see you here again Cheeky Girl...hope you enjoy...cheers!

ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 5 years ago from Lagos

Wow! Never heard of that before, now i am acquainted. Looks like fun to me especially the benefits you outlined. Voted useful, beautiful, awesome and interesting. Great job!

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Injured lamb 5 years ago Author

Can't resist your wonderful compliment...thanks uban for always giving me a great power...

Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Never heard of this before, thanks for the information. I love learning other people's ways.

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Injured lamb 5 years ago Author

You are welcome Gypsy Willow, thanks for leaving me your precious comment and well, your following too...have a nice day...

A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 5 years ago from Texas

I had no idea this game existed. Definitely a game kids should play. Improves motor skills, and more importantly, gets them tired before bed. Thank you for sharing.

stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 5 years ago from Miami, US

I had never heard of this! It looks really difficult for beginners, but I guess it takes time to get ahold of it. I am so interested in sports and games from other cultures. Voted up! Great hub!

Injured lamb profile image

Injured lamb 5 years ago Author

Oh ya hey, what a brilliant idea of getting the kids tired before bed…hahaha, give you five A.A.Zavala! Thanks for leaving your cute comment…cheers!

Injured lamb profile image

Injured lamb 5 years ago Author

You got to try it stephaniedas, it’s really fun. What you need to do is just the focusing…it’s easy to learn. Thanks for your feedback and voting, it’s really an invisible power for me to move on…

Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States

Hi Injured Lamb! Jianzi seems like so much fun as well as great exercise. I am so glad you wrote this hub. I love to learn new things! Thank you!

Injured lamb profile image

Injured lamb 5 years ago Author

Thanks Dex, hope you enjoy...

Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 5 years ago from London, UK

Interesting. First time I have heard of it and it's good for health too.


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Injured lamb 5 years ago Author

You are welcome Lady_E, hope you enjoy the reading...thanks and cheers!

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masmasika 5 years ago

This is an interesting hub injured lamb. I think in my country there is a similar game we call this sipa. And I think too that sipa was introduced by Chinese people who came to colonize my country hundreds and hundreds of years ago.

Injured lamb profile image

Injured lamb 5 years ago Author

Thanks mas for taking the time for the read and comment...hope you enjoy...cheers!

kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 5 years ago from Massachusetts

I never heard of Jianzi before thanks for writing about it in this interesting hub.

Vote up !!!

Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

What a great idea! I am bookmarking this hub so I can print out directions after I make some as Christmas gifts! I have old bike tires, after all...!!! Thanks so much. Voted up.

Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

Hi injuredlamb! I though I commented last visit but I guess it didn't take. I appreciate this idea so much and plan to make these for my nieces and nephews for Christmas. I have bookmarked the site so I can print your hub's instructions. Thank you!

Injured lamb profile image

Injured lamb 5 years ago Author

Thanks for the voting and comment kashmir56, hope you enjoy my way of writing...

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Injured lamb 5 years ago Author

Really appreciate your precious time to leave me your sincere comment Storytellersrus. Old bike tyres? Wow, that's really great! Your nieces and nephews are going to have a big surprise for this Christmas...thanks for the bookmarking and voting up as well my dear friend, you did give me a great power to move on...be blessed with love...

tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 5 years ago from New York

Interesting. I've seen haki sak but never jianzi. Definitely a good thing in this time of kids sitting a playing video games. Voted up.

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Injured lamb 5 years ago Author

Thanks tillsontitan, thanks so much for your visiting and leaving me your precious comment...yup, it's a wonderful and healthy activity for both kids and adults...

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Derdriu 5 years ago

InjuredLamb: What a colorful, elucidating, entertaining article about the benefits of jianzi! It is such an overall toner in such a critical area of the body: the legs where crippling and fatal clots are likely to form in the ankles, knees and hips from inactivity. And as AA Zavala observes, it gets energetic children (as well as teens and adults!) worked up and then tired out in time for bedtime.

Thank you for the information on making the shuttlecock. Are shuttlecocks collector items? It seems that they could be quite unique and therefore collectible.


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Injured lamb 5 years ago Author

Thank you so much for your precious comment Derdriu, haha~I really didn't mean to "put those energetic kids as well as teens and adults into trouble"...but somehow, well,urm....well...hahaha...I really didn't mean it...

chspublish profile image

chspublish 5 years ago from Ireland

Hi Injured lamb, I like your style of writing. It has such a free flow about it, that you make your subject matter so easy to read.

Having read your profile and saw the ease of your style it drew me to read one of your hubs. I like the way you make things so easy and flowing. Interesting game too! Well done.

Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 5 years ago from US

It would sure be a good exercise, I hope it does get popular...everywhere! It certainly would be an easy game to warm up to or ease into rather. Thanks. Voted up.

Injured lamb profile image

Injured lamb 5 years ago Author

Thanks chspublish, I really feel that encouraged to have your comment with all the kind words… appreciate much for your visiting and comment…be blessed…with love…

Injured lamb profile image

Injured lamb 5 years ago Author

Thanks for the precious comment Pollyannalana, yes, I too hoping that it would get popular everywhere as it’s really a fun and healthy activity for all of us…

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september girl 5 years ago

Looks challenging. Not sure I could do it, but it sure would be fun to watch it being done, with all the moves you listed here. : ) Great share, as I found it very interesting. A new feather in my cap, you might say...no pun intended. ;)

Injured lamb profile image

Injured lamb 5 years ago Author

Thanks so much september girl for the visiting again...yes, it's really challenging, and I am sure you could do it, so, just do it.

homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas

This is something that I had never heard of before. Quite an unusual little sport. I am going to have to share this.

It is so good to learn something new. Thank you so much!

Injured lamb profile image

Injured lamb 5 years ago Author

Appreciate your comment homesteadbound, glad that you enjoy and going to have to share it...thanks a lot, have a nice day...

YogaKat profile image

YogaKat 5 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

Yay . . . jianzi. Thanks for sharing this. This is why I love hubpages! and as another hubber commented . . these would make GREAT christmas presents!

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Injured lamb 5 years ago Author

Thanks so much for your visiting Yogakat, appreciate your time for leaving me your sincere comment...have a nice day...

ytsenoh profile image

ytsenoh 5 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

Injured lamb, I agree with some of the other hubbers in that you've also taught me something knew. This was both interesting and entertaining. Thanks much.

Injured lamb profile image

Injured lamb 5 years ago Author

Hi Cath, appreciate much for being here with your precious comment...hope you enjoy the reading, be blessed...take care...

BeyondMax profile image

BeyondMax 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Wow, that's interesting but it looks a bit tricky, though quite entertaining.

Injured lamb profile image

Injured lamb 4 years ago Author

Own Max, well, not really tricky actually, try it and I bet you would love it for sure...

princesswithapen profile image

princesswithapen 4 years ago

The shuttlecock looks cute but the game looks terribly tricky to play. Interesting read.


Injured lamb profile image

Injured lamb 4 years ago Author

Thanks princesswithapen, appreciate your reading and comment...well, it's fun, you are going to love it if you give it a try...cheers!

pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 4 years ago from sunny Florida

This was very interesting. A game like this would give you all of the workout you would need for the day, for sure. It would be a fun game to watch too.

thanks for sharing this.

Sending Angels your way :) ps

Injured lamb profile image

Injured lamb 4 years ago Author

Appreciate much Patricia for your comment and support...and thanks for the angels you have sent...be blessed, with all my love...

Raitu Disong profile image

Raitu Disong 3 years ago


I'll have to make one for myself lol!

Thanks for sharing Injured lamb!

Injured lamb profile image

Injured lamb 3 years ago Author

You are so welcome Raitu Disong, thanks for the reading and the comment you have left...really appreciate much...

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