Hi there kids
As I was informed with 3section staff and also 9 section chain whip (both if made traditionally Chinese have extra rings twixt each section that have no purpose towards strengthening or 'catching' objects), that noted....
IMHO, as I was informed, the extra rings are there...
1.) to distract/dismay/break opponents focus....esp.
2.) practitioners of these particular weapons were rather exceptionally skilled (Not me...others) and in general an opponent upon hearing the oh so distinct noise made by each had a choice to make...test 'em, best 'em or run
3.)As a cool aside...the 9 section chain whip (a flexible weapon) and the 3 section staff (still considered a cudgel) were so renown in the past that caravan and Royal guards often flew banners of said weapons to discourage bandits.
.....BUT, as always, I'm wrong so often even this statement is erroneous..