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Combat Ju Jutsu

The Yawarabo
Little Stick BIG Impact

By Kevin O'Hagan

The implements known as martial arts weapons today were nothing more than makeshift weapons of the past era. One weapon though has stood the test of time and has come into this present day as versatile and effective as it was centuries ago. This weapon is the Yawara-Bo. Literally translated the Yawara-Bo means 'Ju-Jutsu stick', 'Yawara' being an ancient form of Ju-Jutsu, 'Bo' meaning stick.

The original weapon was a crude piece of stick about six inches long and any shape, it gradually modified into a pencil-like stick of the same length although some vary in length and diameter.

Today the Yawara-Bo is known more as the Kubotan, a modern day prototype developed by the famous Karate Master, Tak Kubota, as an instrument of control and arrest for the police in the USA, although some security services use it here in Great Britain as well.

The Kubotan was originally a metal cylinder shape, again some six inches long, matt black with a rounded tip and grooves cut into the barrel. Spin offs now come in all shapes and sizes, normally made of hard plastic, and being claimed to be Ninja secret weapons.

Although the original wooden Yawara-Bo can be used to control and restrain, it's main purpose was to strike nerve centres and pressure points on the body, enhancing empty handed blows. The strikes can hit anywhere on the body with the greatest of effect bringing an assailant to their knees in instant agony. The compact lethality comes from the stick's basic design. The ends serve to channel and concentrate the force of a strike to one point. Simultaneous blocks/strikes to the muscles of the arms can paralyse the limb, breaking a hold or dropping a weapon. Bicep, tricep, brachial artery on the inside of bicep and the inner and lower sides of the forearm can be sickening and highly effective target strikes.

Stabbing or thrusting the stick into a leg can instantly deter any kicker. Thigh, shin and calf are all targets. Stabbing into the femoral artery high on the inner thigh near the groin can collapse a leg very quickly for a takedown. All muscle strikes can cause deep bruising and temporary loss of usage to limb. Torso - front and back - can also put paid to a frontal or rear attack. Lethal targets are the eyes, temples, throat and base of skull reserved for times of extreme danger.

Apart from strikes the Yawara-Bo can be pressed into nerve points like the Mastoid (cavity behind the ear), Philtrum (base of nose) and jugular notch (base of windpipe), there points can be attacked from front or rear with excellent effect. These are great controlling moves for security personell, doormen etc. You can easily get someone out of a chair with these techniques or escort them from the premises. Other sensitive areas are ear-lobe, sternum bone, nostrils etc.

Wrist joints can also be locked, controlling even the biggest of opponents. You clamp the Radius and Ulna bones as well as fingers and thumbs with immediate effect. Pressing the point into the back of the hand to control an opponent also works extremely well. The ultimate in pain is locking the ankle bone or shins for a takedown or control technique. These are all pain compliance holds. As long as the hold is on you have control, when released there are no lasting effects.

The beauty of this little weapon is it can be substituted for a pen, pencil, magic marker, lipstick case, plastic comb or any other such item. It can be used with great effect by ladies and the elderly as a self defence weapon. I teach all Yawara-Bo methods in the Kempo Goshin Jutsu system of Ju Jutsu which I teach here in Bristol England. I was first introduced to this weapon by one of my Ju Jutsu teachers, who was also a close quarter battle instructor for HM Forces.

I also teach the Yawara with the many takedowns and throws of Ju Jutsu. Two such methods are as follows.

Grab opponent's head from the front and get them into a hip throw position, stab Yawara into mastoid point, cheek or rip into mouth then take them over with the throw.
From the front choke opponent by clamping windpipe between Yawara and your thumb, then execute an outer leg reap, taking them down.

The Yawara-Bo is a highly versatile weapon that can administer different degrees of injury depending on the situation. Categorised as follows;

-Locks and come-along holds.
-Deterrent nerve shocking strikes and releases
-Defensive strikes
-Combined throws/takedowns/chokes
-Lethal blows

When practising techniques make sure you can apply them with either hand, so you can react instantly regardless of how you are holding the Yawara.

The modern day Kubotan comes as a key chain and a large bunch of keys on the end of the stick becomes a powerful flailing weapon. At night a small pen-like torch makes an excellent Yawara-Bo. Good brand names like 'Maglite' have some sturdy little models that can make an excellent and legal expedient weapon.

Anybody interested in the usage of the Yawara-Bo or who would like more information on this excellent little weapon can contact me or alternatively check out Fistful of Dynamite:


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