What Is A Kubotan? (And should you use one?)

With constant news of increasing crime rates, it is easy to feel more vulnerable than usual, especially if you live in a more dangerous area or are part of a more at-risk demographic.

What Is A Kubotan?

This is why new and old methods of self-defense are gaining more traction and coming into popularity for how they can empower people to feel safer when they usually would not.

You are not always going to have someone around to be able to help you feel safe so having good self-defense tools has started to feel like a necessity.

A kubotan (also known as a kubaton and a kobutan) is one of the more popular forms of self-defense that has started to gain traction.

It was named after the person who designed and developed the tool – Takayuki Kubotan – and was mainly designed for use by law enforcers. 

This self-defense tool is typically around 5 or 6 inches long and will be made out of steel, but can occasionally be found in a strong plastic or wood.

It is interpreted as a modern equivalent or evolution of a Yawara stick that is also intended for police officers but also martial arts.

This tool is intended to amplify your force as well as concentrate it to make it possible to do more damage than the average person can achieve with just their body.

It has gained so much popularity due to its simple appearance and design, how accessible they are, and the ease of use.

Compared to other martial arts tools and force amplifiers, very little training and guidance are needed to learn how to use one.

Because of the simplicity of its design, many people assume that there is not much depth to this tool and that simply owning one is enough to feel protected.

However, there is more to this tool than people tend to assume and there is some advice that should be taken to make sure you get the best protection out of this tool that you can. 

This guide will cover some key aspects of Kubotan’s that are worth considering before purchasing one and some advice on how and when to use it if you already own one. If you want to know more about Kubotans keep reading!

What Different Types Of Kubotan Are Available?

Since Kubotans have skyrocketed in popularity, there is now even more choice in what kind of Kubotan is a good choice for personal use.

As previously mentioned they come in steel, wood, and plastic and these all have their pros and cons but largely depend on preference. 

There are the standard Kubotans with blunt flat ends, but there are also those with spikes on the end too. However, make sure to look up the laws of your area on carrying spiked or bladed weapons before choosing this.

There are also Kubotans that are used to carry pepper spray or mace, and while this can work to save time, it can also compromise the utility of the Kubotan itself for the sake of carrying something else.

When choosing a Kubotan there are lots of factors that should definitely be considered, but make sure to properly research the brand you are investing in as well as thoroughly contemplating which type of Kubotan you will feel most comfortable using and carrying.

The best thing you can do to help with this decision is to buy a Kubotan, or at least browse for one in person to be able to get a feel for which material, design, and functionality of Kubotan feels best for you!

How Should You Be Holding A Kubotan?

Before understanding how you should be using the Kubotan, learning how to hold it is a fundamental skill that should not be skipped. The most commonly used and simple way to hold a Kubotan is holding it in your fist in a forward grip.

This is an effective way to hold the Kubotan if you are planning to use it in the typical stabbing motion or with hammer strikes. This is how Kubotans are most often used and will get you good results. 

If you are using the Kubotan against an attacker the best way to use it is to aim for bony areas or areas that are nerve centers.

How Do You Use Your Kubotan?

A Kubotan will be most effective at a closer range, this means when an attacker is attempting to grab or push you.

In this situation the best thing to do is to quickly strike with the Kubotan on the attacker’s hand or arm to disable the limb and hurt or stun them.

If you are not confident that you will be able to block or catch the attacker’s attacking limb with a strike from the Kubotan, quickly avoiding and then attacking the Kubotan will also get good results.

As previously mentioned, aim for pressure points, nerve centers, or bony areas as these spots will inflict enough damage to at least temporarily stop your attacker so you can get away safely.

The strength and rigidity of the Kubotan is what helps enhance the damaging force of your strikes moreso than possible through just using your body without any equipment. 

If you find your movement restricted when being attacked the Kubotan can be used as a good tool to counterattack and potentially get free.

Make sure to aim for pain-inducing areas with as much force as possible and hopefully this will stun your attacker for long enough to be able to escape.

Since Kubotans have gained such popularity in recent years there are plenty of online guides and videos that go more in depth on strategies for using Kubotans, but this basic advice is good for beginners.


So this is all the basic information you need to know about Kubotans.

Do you think this tool will help you feel more confident and less vulnerable and do you think you will find it helpful? This tool is very accessible so trying it is definitely worth doing.

Christopher Anderson
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