The origins of the kubaton go back to impact self-defense tool such as a stick or club, which is why it is referred to sometimes as the mini-baton. In about 1200 AD, a fighting and healing system called Yawara used various types of sticks. The fighting and healing elements eventually went their separate ways, Jujitsu and Shiatsu. Sometimes the kubaton is spelled kobutan.
The kubaton is a variation of the Yawara stick. The Yawara stick differs from the kubaton in that it is wider with rounded edges, and thumb groves. The kubaton was designed by Shihan Kubota as a six-inch metal or plastic pole that is about a half-inch in diameter and usually attaches to a key chain at one end. There are different designs in the kubaton such as diameter, material, weight, grooves, pointed or blunt ended, and finger indentations. Some Kubatons double as a pepper spray canister or as a mini-flashlight.
The kubaton, usually made from plastic or metal, can attach to a key chain that may conceal much of its length within one’s fist while providing some concealment to be used in surprise as a self-defense tool.
SD-1 as a Self-Defense Device
Robert Koga developed the “SD-1” the which is a modification of the yawara stick and can also be used as a kubaton with variations but without the perceived injurious pointed end. Blunt force trauma can still be delivered but the SD-1 has a more subtle or less intimidating appearance than the kubaton and yawara stick.
With training, the SD-1 may be an ideal law enforcement tool officers.
The Koga Institute “SD-2” has more pointed ends. This version can cause more blunt force trauma at either tip, and also looks more weaponized than the SD-1, the standard kubaton, and the Key.
Neither the SD-1 or SD-2 allow for keys to be attached to the device. Product pictures are shown at the bottom of this page as well as convenience links to purchase the item.
The “Key” as a Self-Defense Device
The Key is an ergonomic shaped design that allows for application similar to the Kubaton, Yawara stick or SD-1.
The Key is a key-chain improvised self-defense devise that does not attract undue attention. Product pictures are shown at the bottom of this page as well as convenience links to purchase the item. Click here to read more about The Key.
The kubaton may not be that practical for women as a self-protection or self-defense tool. The kubaton can be used to inflict greater injury when using it to strike vulnerable areas such as the eyes, throat, and groin. But learning to break holds and hit pressure points may be unrealistic for street fighting. Numerous strikes with the kubaton may be required to stop the assailant, which could limit physical options. A user might be concentrating on using the kubaton rather than using other personal weapons (kicks, elbows, fingers, etc.).
Manufacturers and advocates of the kubaton do not take into account that women will unlikely have to place the kubaton in their hands when attacked, because over 80% of all assaults are committed by someone the victim knows. These acquaintances will commonly use the con or surprise approaches. Additionally a woman will not be able to use it during most blitz approaches.
Just buying a kubaton along with a self-use booklet or kubaton video showing basic strikes and movement may be idea generating for a martial artist but may be impractical for most women. Some supporters of kubatons would lead people into believing that by just purchasing this item, the kubaton will automatically save you from an assailant.
Many advocates do not take into consideration that to use the kubaton effectively. The average user will need proper, adequate, and consistent training in its application, and you will also need to practice using it in a stressful environment. A proficient martial artist will likely be able to pick it up and apply it without much additional training because they have trained with many other items and weapons.
The biggest challenge with the kubaton is that unless you practice with it under stress, you will not remember what or how to effectively use this self-defense tool in a real life attack: provided you were ready for the attack and had it with you.
Through proper training in its use, the kubaton can be a very effective self-defense tool against an assailant. But women first need proper lessons specifically relevant to how women are assaulted. A short kubaton instructional class does not address this issue. A martial art application of “how” to use the kubaton or similar object will also be impractical and unrealistic for most women. Most instructors of the kubaton do not show women how to use it while fighting on the ground. The ground is where women will quickly end up in a real attack. Other times the kubaton may be dropped making reliance on the tool precarious.
Similar to all other weapons, you need the kubaton in your hands when attacked to be ready for the assailant. Assailants prefer that their victims are not ready when they attack no matter what weapon or gadget you might intend to use if in danger.
If you have taken an effective fighting course, such as Model Mugging Basic self-defense course, you do not need to rely on the kubaton. Instead you have enhanced options you may apply toward your advantage when feeling threatened. The kubaton may be used as one of those options.
The kubaton or Yawara stick may be illegal in some states and countries. The reasoning is that the Yawara stick or kubaton may be considered a martial arts weapon, akin to nunchuku, shurikan, sai, etc. Possession of any of these items may be felonies for civilians to carry in some states. Similar to a kubaton, consider carrying a mini-flashlight or mini-torch.
Plastic Kubaton with Key Chain and Idea Pamphlet
Metal Kubaton with Key Chain
SD-1 developed by Koga Institute
SD-2 developed by Koga Institute
The Key developed by Key Self Defense