These weapons are usually constructed of metal alloy, wood, or polymer composite. They can be used as a last ditch self defense platform used to strike and manipulate pressure points of assailants. They can have pointed, rounded, or flat tips. Many of them can be carried unassumingly on a keychain and outfitted with a lanyard. The ideal target zones in self defense include bony, fleshy and sensitive parts such as knuckles, forearms, the bridge of the nose, shins, stomach, solar plexus, spine, temple, ribs, groin, neck and eyes.

The kubotan was developed by Sōke Takayuki Kubota in the late 1960’s and first adopted by the LAPD in the 1970’s as a less lethal tool utilized by female officers. Since that time most law enforcement agencies have dropped the kubotan and picked up the telescopic or tactical baton as a less lethal striking weapon. However, many consumers still carry the kubotan as a self defense option due to it’s light weight and ease of concealment even in plain sight.

A fairly recent adaptation of the kubotan device has been seen in the creation of new age tactical pens that provide the utility of a standard pen with the added benefit of being used as a self defense tool. Consumers can find these readily available through a variety of online vendors and through websites such as Amazon. There are also a wide variety of manufacturers that produce these types of pens including Smith & Wesson, Gerber, Schrade, Boker, and dozens of others.

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