“Instrument of Attitude Adjustment”
In 1995, I had the pleasure of training and meeting with the legendary Master of the Gosoku-ryū style of karate, Soke Takayuki Kubota. He was a skillful instructor and very engaging when I had a chance to talk with him immediately after his seminar. He is most noted for inventing a self-defense weapon called a Kubaton. This tool is a small stick about one-half inch thick and six inches long; it is simple, uncomplicated, but very effective. In the world of self-defense, experts agree there is only one objective – to escape. Having said that, understanding how to use a Kubaton could mean the difference between surviving an attack or never returning home.
Modern Kubatons are made of metal, may have a pointed end piece, and are often sold as keychains. However, all of the original concepts for using what Tak Kubota called “Instrument of Attitude Adjustment” remain the same.
If you are going to have a weapon for self-defense, it has to be on you and readily available. Kubatons are great for Every Day Carry as a keychain, after all your keys are almost always with you; that also makes this weapon super easy to deploy.
There are three basic Kubaton techniques:
1. Pain Compliance
This includes techniques that apply pressure to key points of the anatomy or control locks on smaller joints. As the attacker is confused by the pain, you will have a chance to flee the situation.
2. Kubaton strikes
This is where you need to make some quick decisions from a legal standpoint. Striking with a hard object to vulnerable parts of the body could result in serious injury or death. However, lethal force could be justified if you feel your life is in danger. This is the dilemma in every self-defense scenario, but once you decide to strike you should attack soft tissue areas, for example at the chest just below the collar bone or in the fold of the elbow. Both areas will cause extreme pain giving you an opportunity to escape…..which is your single goal!
3. Flailing with your keys
Keys are small serrated blades that can inflict deep scratches and damaging cuts. Using your Kubaton as a mini “Mace” is especially effective if repeated in a rapid fashion causing not only injury, but massive confusion which again allows you a chance to escape.
It is important to keep in mind that the Kubaton is generally classified as an EDC self-defense weapon. You need to check with your local authorities and any travel destinations to determine if you are legally allowed to have a Kubaton.
The take home message is simple: Learn how to use a Kubaton and keep one with you at all times; if it is not legal in your state, remember that this tool is easily duplicated as an improvised weapon with everyday items like a pen, flashlight, or a carabiner keychain.