What is a Kubotan?

By Heather Potter

The kubotan is a small stick used for self-defense. Many martial arts implements are centuries old, but the kubotan was developed in the 20th century by Takayuki Kubota, who created the weapon for police forces. Proper training is essential to use it properly, and it should be employed only in cases of emergency.


The kubotan is usually the length of a pen, and about as thick as a magic marker. It is made of steel, wood, aluminum or plastic, and usually weighs less than 2 ounces. It has a key ring attached to it, to increase the element of surprise -- and to hold your keys.


One of the best ways to use the kubotan in self-defense is to attack at pressure points. This involves hitting someone in a sensitive nerve area. Other uses for the kubotan include placing it in the palm of the fist to increase punching strength. It can even be used as a nunchaku in the right hands. Although Kubota was a karate master, the kubotan is often included in Krav Maga training.

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