Once a student progresses far enough that he or she has a basic understanding of several of the weapon classes within the art of ninjutsu, study should be extended to other weapons – even those not considered to be “official ninja weapons.” One such weapon is the Kubotan, or self defense keychain. Although this weapon is fairly common in both the martial arts and the general self defense world – in the hands of a true ninja, it takes on a power that is not easily duplicated!
The focus of this article is to explore some of the unique “ninja” approaches to using this simple, and often overlooked weapon. And, while other systems may appear to use some of the same methods, I can assure you that, the way the technique is applied, or the reason it’s applied – is quite different for the shinobi warrior.
Here are 5 methods for using the Kubotan self defense keychain from the Ninja’s unique self protection art:
Approach #1 – Against a lapel grab, the ninja can apply grinding pressure into the small bones of the back of the hand. However, this isn’t done to break the grip, as is done in most other systems – but to use the crushing pain to pin the attacker’s hand to you. This way, you can apply your own attacks while he is busy trying to deal with, or think about anything other than the pain.
Approach #2 – Against an incoming punch, grab, or kick, the ninja practitioner can pull back at a long-range, defensive angle, while simultaneously delivering a bone-shattering strike to the extended limb – only to flow back in and drive the blunt end of the hard weapon into exposed weak areas on the assailant’s body.
Approach #3 – In the middle of, what appears to the assailant to be, an unarmed defense, the ninja can draw the weapon from a pocket, belt, or even a friend’s hand, to change the situation with a strategy of surprise. Where most martial artists, and others studying self defense, only focus on the concept of a weapon “already being out,” the ninja knows that drawing an unseen weapon in the middle of a fight, can be one of the most powerful tactics you can use!
Approach #4 – Instead of using the weapon as such, the ninja can simply show the weapon to his opponent as a means of catching his attention. In lieu of the weapon being shown, it can also be tossed, thrown, or even dropped as a means of effecting the distraction and opening the attacker’s defenses. This simple move, combined with perfect timing, can allow the ninja to deliver a strike, kick, or even another weapon attack of his own while the enemy is distracted and worried about the Kubotan!
Approach #5 – The ninja can also see beyond the “form” of the Kubotan, as a weapon in and of itself. What this means is that the “official” weapon can be seen as a model, or example. This way the ninja is free to employ anything “kubotan-like” as a weapon. Pens, markers, the handle of a knife, a metal bolt, even a cell phone or TV remote control can be pressed into use using the exact same techniques as if the Ninja were armed with an actual Kubotan weapon.
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