The kubotan was invented by shihan Takayuki Kubota. Disguised as an innocent looking key ring, it may be used quite effectively to apply submission locks by focusing power to a nerve center or pressure point, or it may simply be used as a jabbing weapon. It is generally made from aluminum, wood, plastic, or steel. Similar to the yawara in design and use, it is more effective because you will have it in your hand when in two vulnerable areas: when approaching and entering your vehicle or home.
A Karate oriented practitioner may prefer striking techniques, using the ends of the kubotan for painful blows to soft tissue areas or disabling blows to vital areas. Conversely, a Jujitsu or Aikido stylist may feel more comfortable using the kubotan with hooking, trapping, and pain compliance techniques. For those without experience in a martial art, the kubotan provides an economical and easily learned method of self-protection.
Basic applications involve striking or poking vulnerable areas of the body with the kubotan. Swinging strikes work better against bony surfaces while fleshy areas are more susceptible to pokes and jabs; strike bones and poke nerve centers and pressure points. The kubotan greatly intensifies the destructive power of any blow. Kubotan strikes are most effective at medium range such as when an assailant reaches out to grab or push his victim. The extending limb can be disabled with a quick, snapping strike; even a glancing blow will inflict enough pain to make your attacker regret his actions. When grabbed, press or poke the kubotan into whatever target presents itself. There are no wrong movements; make a technique work from the position you find yourself.