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Using the Kubotan Self-Defense Keychain as a Model for Using Everyday Items to Protect Yourself

Jeffrey Miller
Aug 17, 2007
One of the key elements that separates the Ninja's self-protection methods, including the study of weapons like the Kubotan self-defense keychain, from many other approaches to self-defense training is the concept of "strategic thinking." And one of the ways that this important mindset manifests is through the ability to see through the "form" to what's really going on.

In the case of weapons training, the Ninja aspirant works to see any particular weapon, not as a specific weapon limited to a certain form and function, but as a model for the use of any other weapon or object of similar shape and size. An example of this might be to see a knife, not just as a knife, but as a sword with an extremely short blade. Or to "see" a cane or short-stick weapon as a sword without an edge. This alternate "sight" allows the Ninja warrior to expand his or her knowledge and options and employ the weapon in ways that confuse and surprise their attacker. It also vastly expands the number of techniques and options at the Ninja's disposal.

Instead of making a list of all of the weapons that might be contained within a certain "style" of training, the Ninja instead employs a system by which all weapons are placed into 5 basic classifications. These classifications are:

1. Bladed - Including swords, knives, and even broken bottles. Anything that "cuts."

2. Stick - Including staffs, staves, canes, shorter sticks, and even items like rolled up magazines and umbrellas. Any item the "clubs."

3. Flexible - This class of weapons includes such weapons as chains, ropes, and everyday items like belts and even open newspapers. The idea here is anything that can be manipulated to whip, tie, and bind an opponent.

4. Projectile - Weapons that, in whole or in part, fly and allow the Ninja defender to extend his or her ability to reach the assailant across larger distances. Traditional weapon in this catagory include the bow and arrow, spears and javelins, shuriken ("throwing stars") and blowgun darts. Modern equivalants to these are the gun, certain throwing knives and blades, and even items like drink coasters, ashtrays and tea saucers, and coins.


5. Combination - The greatest thing about the Ninja mindset is that there is NO such thing as a finite or limted list. That means that a Ninja, though he may say that he has '16 Body Weapons," the list that follows will always contain an element that is open-ended. In the case of weapons, the "combination" class contains weapons that cross boundaries and bring together elements of two or more of the preceding classes.

This classification includes weapons like the spear and halberd (staff and bladed weapons), nunchaku (although NOT a Ninja weapon, is a bringing together of the stick and flexible classes), and even the secret Ninja weapon known as the Kyoketsu-shoge (a double-bladed knife connected to a metal ring by a 12 - 18 foot section of rope - combining elements of the bladed, flexibles and projectile classes.

Since this article focuses on the self-defense keychain weapon, we'll stay within the "stick" classification. In a recent seminar that I taught, focusing on the use of the Kubotan self-defense keychain, students were able to see, first-hand, how this strategy works in the real world. After learning some basic techniques with the actual Kubotan weapon, my students were shown a variety of every day items that could be used as substitutes for the actual, "official" weapon.

Students found that such common, easy-to-find items, like:

1. Rulers...

2. Pens...

3. Markers...

4. Lipstick cases...

5. Small flashlights

...and even parts of other weapons like a...

5. Knife pommel...

6. Handgun grip, and...

7. Weight of a kusari-fundo 'chain-weapon'

Could all be brought into service in many of the same ways as the little weapon they were learning to use.

It is this concept of seeing the "universality-of-technique" and application that gives the Ninja practitioner seemingly magical abilities, not just when using a weapon like the Kubotan, but in all areas, that makes them stand-apart from the conventional tactics, techniques, and strategies being used by most fighters, martial artists, and self-defense students.

The key to success, in any field, is not limited by what you know or have But, in how you apply it that makes the difference.
About the Author
Jeffrey M. Miller is the founder of Warrior Concepts Int'l. He is the author of, KUBOTAN: Self-Defense Keychain and the best selling DVD, Danger Prevention Tactics You can subscribe to his ezine, at http://www.warrior-concepts-online.com/newsletter.html
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