The “palm stick” has a long and rich multi-cultural history. The Filipino Dulo-Dulo or Dos Puntas is small stick with points on each end, often made of ironwood or an animal horn. The Japanese Yawara was allegedly used by monks as a less-lethal form of defense using techniques from Tanto Jutsu. The Okinawan Chizikunbo is a small stick with a cord or ring in the center to wrap around the finger for retention. Modern day renditions of the pocket stick are just as popular today as ever with tactical pens and impact flashlights. Enter the Alpha Innovations Kubaton and Koppo Stick. Those of you who follow Black Sheep Warrior probably read my review of Alpha Innovation’s Jaw Jacker & Tactical Dog Leash knuckle devices a little while back. Well, their innovation does not stop there (yes, this is a play on the name of the company). Alpha Innovations also has a line of palm sticks that are a force to be reckoned with.
The original Kubotan (commonly spelled Kubaton as is the case with Alpha Innovation’s version) was invented by Takayuki Kubota in the 1960s. Kubotan is a registered trademark of Takayuki Kubota, but it has become a genericized trademark for any similar device. The popularity of the Kubotan grew in the 1970s when Kubota introduced the device to the Las Angeles Police Department and began training their female officers in its application. Much like its predecessor, the Alpha Innovations Kubaton is a six-inch long stick with a key ring at the top; however, this light-weight, reinforced polymer rendition is virtually indestructible and adds very little weight to one’s key ring. The Alpha Innovations Kubaton is a perfect companion to your everyday carry (EDC) kit. As a key chain, it can always be in hand and makes a great first layer of defense. Plus, I don’t know of a single location where this device is not legal to carry.
The Alpha Innovations Koppo Stick is a modern rendition of the Chizikunbo mentioned earlier. (The term Koppo Stick is another generalized term which is derived from the Japanese art of Koppo Jutsu, an art focused on attacking the skeletal structure of an opponent.) It is basically their Kubaton with a retention cord loop in the center. There is even a key ring hole at one end, so it can be used as a key chain as well. The cord loop ensures positive retention when worn around the middle and ring fingers. This makes it a great device to carry while out running or walking.
Palm sticks are such effective weapons that I have built a complete palm stick fighting system called Palm Stick Integrations (PSI) for those who really wish to delve into the vast martial applications of the palm stick; however, a palm stick is simple to use as a self-defense tool and requires little to no training to be used effectively. With a basic understanding of the mechanics involved, you can have a devastating self-defense option in the palm of your hand. Basic forehand and backhand hammering strikes will do the trick. You can also perform flailing strikes with the keys or thrusts with the head of either device.
Be sure to check your state, county, and city laws before purchasing or carrying these devices. As I stated before, I don’t know of any states or municipalities that have laws prohibiting either the possession or carrying of these types of devices, but you should always make sure just to be safe. The Kubaton and Koppo Stick are available at the Alpha Innovations website. If you would like to do some live partner training with your Kubaton, Alpha Innovations also offers a Rubber Training Kubaton. Also, be sure to Like Alpha Innovations on Facebook so you can stay up to date on special offers and new products.
Photo Credits: Chad McBroom