A Kubotan is a weapon used in many different styles of martial arts. It is often practiced in styles of Kobudo, Modern Arnis, Jiu Jitsu and in many self defense schools. The Kubotan is a approx. 15-20cm short stick made from plastics, aluminium or wood. It should be slightly longer than the width of the user's hand. The Kubotan is used as an intensifier for stricking techniques and attacks against pressure points. Some Kubotans have a creased surface or applied rills for better handling. Some exemplars are rounded or pointed at their ends. Nearly all Kubotans have a hole and a keyring at one end and can therefore used as a keyring pendant. The origin of this weapon is contentious, some assume Japan others the philippines.
The Kubotan was first mentioned in 1185 as a japanese fist weapon made from wood. The weapon was used to support and intensify striking techniques. Another application was to attack nerve points. Used mainly by Ninja's in the beginning (also as a kind of Shuriken) the Kubotan found it's way into many martial arts over the years. The japanese grandmaster Kubota Takayuki (8. Dan Karate, 6. Dan Giyakute Jitsu, 3. Dan Judo, Kendo master) rediscovered the little stick weapon and introduced the system to japan's secret police and other special units.
The Kubotan is easy to use and can be applied virtually to all kinds of martial arts. Kubotan can inherently not be seen as an independent system. It is an instrument to support techniques rather. KFC made a grading system and titles for Kubotan.
The Kubotan is known under different names:
Kubotan - Ninjutsu, Karate, Kobudo
Yawara - Jiu Jitsu
Palm, Dulo - Escrima
pocket stick, short stick, ...