The Kubotan (sometimes erroneously spelled as Kubaton or Kobutan) self-defense key chain is a close-quarter self-defense weapon developed by Takayuki Kubota. It is typically no more than 6 inches long and about half an inch in diameter, slightly thicker or the same size as a marker pen. Attached with a key ring for convenience and concealment, the Kubotan appears as an innocuous key fob to the untrained eye. However, it may be considered an offensive weapon in some jurisdictions.
The kubotan key ring is an extremely versatile self-defense weapon that has literally, hundreds of ways it can be used to escape an attacker. Applied as a weapon, much of its usage is similar to that of the yawara stick. The principal targets in self-defense include bony, fleshy and sensitive parts such as knuckles, forearms, the bridge of the nose, shins, stomach, solar plexus, spine, temple, ribs, groin, neck and eyes. The Kubotan is usually held in either an icepick grip (for hammer fist strikes) or forward grip (for stabbing and pressure point attacks).
Common uses include hardening the fist (fist load) for punching, attacking vulnerable parts of an assailant’s body, and gaining leverage on an assailant’s wrist, fingers and joints. With keys attached, it can function as a flailing weapon. As a pressure point and pain compliance weapon it can attack any point a finger can, but with greater penetration because of the smaller surface area at the ends. For example, a law enforcement officer may wrap his arm around a citizen’s neck while simultaneously digging the end of the Kubotan into the small of his back. The officer may also reach around his victim’s neck and underarm from behind and cause pain by digging the end of the Kubotan into the top of his pectoral muscle. One typical pain compliance technique is a wrist “gasket” lock in which the attacker’s wrist is captured and sealed around with both hands and the body of the Kubotan laid across the radial bone. Downward squeezing pressure is then applied to the bone to take down the opponent.
Such techniques on the proper use of a kubotan are often taught by martial studios, local police stations and college campus safety ops. Defense Divas® highly encourages you to seek out training. Kubotan self-defense classes are usually just a few hours and often offered free of charge by local police and colleges.
A modified version of the kubotan is the Munio. The Munio operates on the same basic principles as the kutoban, with a few notable exceptions. It is not round. It is flat and hour glass shaped. Designed, to fit comfortable in the palm of your hand and provide a wider grip surface, the Munio is an excellent alternative to the traditional kubotan.