|Kubotan (Photo credit: trapgosh)|
Your heroine is in danger, and she knows it! She has to protect herself. But how? Sometimes giving your character a new tool to use makes for a more interesting read. So for the next few weeks, I will be introducing self-defense tools beyond the pistol in the purse.
Let me start with some credentials. I am a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. I have trained with several hand-to-hand weapons in preparation for my second degree black belt testing.
As far as weapons go, I will offer this piece of advice, with your characters as well as in real life, if the decision is made to have a weapon handy:
1.) Know how to use it.
2.) Be willing to use it.
3.) Practice - often.
For me, as far as everyday-carry (EDC) goes? I always have a KUBOTAN handy.
Is it legal to carry a Kubotan?
Check with your local state, but in my research, I have never found a law against carrying a kubotan. I have carried it into federal buildings, airplanes, courthouses. The only place anyone ever stopped me was an event where the POTUS was speaking. The Secret Security asked me to give them my "weapon." (And it was my pretty pink one! Boo.)
Are they expensive?
Are KUBOTANS dangerous weapons?
First, let me say that almost ANYTHING can become a weapon and be used in a dangerous way (okay maybe not elbow macaroni, but you understand what I'm trying to say here.)
*My car keys can gouge out your eyes.
*My high-heel can be planted into your windpipe.
*My coat-belt can choke you out.
So dangerous is as dangerous does. If your character doesn't know how to use a kubotan or is unwilling to inflict pain/damage it is better for your character that she not carry one because it can be turned against her - though that might make a good plot twist.
Where would my character buy a KUBOTAN?
Martial arts suppliers
Are there different types of KUBOTANS?
This is a cylinder kuboton. I think of it as a boys' kuboton. I wouldn't carry it. I think it would slip out of the hand too easily. Security guards carry this a lot for pressure point pain infliction.
This is my kuboton. See how pretty it is? Everyone thinks it looks like a Christmas tree ornament. Yeah, think that.
Notice the ridges that fit nicely between my fingers. It helps me grip it tightly. Imagine holding that in a fist for a punch. The solidity helps to protect the hand bones, and the keys will fling out - double impact. For example, while landing a punch to the nose, causing a break that will take the fight out of most assailants, the keys will fling into the temple. A temple strike, for your character, can be fatal to their attacker.
(Attached you also see my LED flashlight - another EDC component that might get your heroine out of a bad situation.)
On my KUBOTAN, notice the sharp point. This, in my opinion, is key. It is for applying pressure, and makes a (hammer) strike that is much more devastating.
There are also kubotans that have a release so that a chord extends between the keys and the kubotan. This makes the kubotan ILLEAGAL in many states because it becomes a modified numchuck. Jail time slows the pace of a book. Just sayin'.
What are the basics of KUBOTAN protection?
*When I fight, my left foot is forward and my right foot behind and
to the side for stability. (This frees up my dominant leg for kicks
and allows for pivoting for running away and for back-sliding if
they are brandishing a weapon - like a knife)
* The kubotan is carried in the dominant hand; the non-dominant
arm is up to block the attacker's response.
* DO NOT aim at your target. Aim significantly past your target, so
you get the full range of motion. For further information about
how to aim and follow through go to this LINK
* Keep your motions controlled and tight. (No wide/wild swinging
around) Why? They'll take your weapon; you are left open for a
strike; it's fatiguing; you lose power in the swing...snap instead.
* Once you start striking, strike until you have cleared a path for
retreat. DO NOT STOP the defense. GO means GO - then have
the character run, or not, you know what happens next in your
After writing this article, I received a question from a writer about the helpfulness of a kubotan in two different scenarios: the blitz v. premeditation. She was also curious as to how effective a kubotan actually is. Here's my answer: