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What Is a Kubotan and How to Use One?

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Using a Kubotan for Self-defense

With crime rates on the increase in many parts of the world, a lot of people now carry self-defense devices. There is, though, a large range of personal protection products on the market to choose from. Most self-defense experts agree that having several self-defense products is better than relying on only one. As well as things like pepper spray and personal alarms, you may have heard of the Kubotan. But, what is a kubaton, and how do you use one to protect yourself? Here’s everything you need to know about using a kubotan for self-defense.

What Is a Kubotan?

A kubotan is a keychain self-defense weapon. It was first developed by Japanese American karate master Takayuki Kubota. It’s a stick self-defense weapon. They are usually five to six inches long. They are made of hard materials, like steel, hard plastic or wood. Kubotans are usually used as a keychain. They then serve the dual purposes of a key ring and a self-defense weapon.

The kubotan was first made for use by the Los Angeles Police Department. Kubota based the design on the “hashi” stick, which Kubota’s father had invented. Small stick weapons of this type have been used in martial arts for centuries. The Japanese Yawara is a similar type of weapon. Kubotans are used by many police forces and by military personnel.

How to Use a Kubotan

A Kubotan is used in several ways as a self-defense weapon. The weapon is usually held in the clenched fist in an ice-pick grip. It is then used to jab an assailant, targeting pressure points or bony, sensitive parts of the body. Kubotans are sometimes used in a forward grip and used in a stabbing motion. If attached to a heavy bunch of keys, a kubotan provides a handle to turn the keys into an effective flailing weapon.

When used as stabbing or jabbing weapon, a kubotan concentrates the pressure applied a small area. That’s what makes the weapon so effective. A sharp jab in the ribs with one of these weapons is painful enough to make an assailant pull back. If someone were to grab round the neck from behind, you could jab their hand with one to make them release their grip. The weapon can also be used to force fingers apart, and as a fist-load to make a punch more effective. Here’s a short video that explains how to use a kubotan.

Are Kubotans Legal?

Kubutans are legal to own and carry in the United States. You cannot take them in carry-on luggage on airlines though. In some parts of the world, sharp ended stick weapons are considered offensive weapons. A flat ended kubotan is essentially a hard rod. So, defining it as a weapon is difficult. In countries where there are restrictions, how and why you used the weapon is likely to be more relevant than simply possessing one. If you were carrying one with the intent to harm someone, that could lead to prosecution. If you were to launch an unprovoked attack with a kuboatan, it would be a felonious assault.

The Benefits of a Kubotan for Self-defense

The benefit of this type of self-defense weapon is its simplicity. There are no batteries to change, no cannisters to replace, and you can carry it with you all the time. The only time you would have to take your kubotan off your keys would be if you flew on a commercial airline. They are also inconspicuous. They look like they are a normal key ring attachment.

A kubotan is a close quarter self-defense weapon. You need to be up close for it to work. It would make an effective last resort self-defense weapon. If, for example, your pepper spray failed, or your personal alarm didn’t scare off an attacker, you’d have the kubotan to fight off the assailant. For that reason, if you are going to have anything at all attached to your keys, why not have a kubotan?


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