A self-defense weapon. It is a short bar, made from hard plastic or aluminium, about 6 inches long. It is ribbed and has a tapered point on one end, and usually a keyhole on the other. The kubotan has various ways of inflicting pain on an attacker and convince him to leave without using a potentially dangerous weapon, such as mace or a stun gun. The most useful aspect of a kubotan is its ability to reach nerves to inflict large amounts of pain, due to its tapered point and the ribbed texture of the bar.

For example, if someone grabs your shirt, you can lay the kubotan across the top of their wrist. Using both hands, roll it toward your chest. The pain should force the assailant down to his knees, where you can knee him in the chin before escaping.

It is also an excellent jabbing weapon to discourage attackers. Jabbing the point into the softer areas of the body where there are nerves causes a lot of pain, sometimes enough to stun him, and giving you time to escape. Points to aim for include the the soft area under the jaw, the base of the neck, the back of the hand in between the ridges and the joint between the shoulder bone and the collar bone. Stabbing the kubotan into those areas is very painful.

If you don't have one, a pointy alternative is usually available, such as a ballpoint pen. For countries that ban mace and stun guns, the kubotan baton is a perfectly legal weapon and is very flexible.

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