Saturday, 27 March 2010

The dreaded kubotan

The Kubotan is an effective & simple impact tool. Unfortunately for Darren Day it's also got him in trouble with the law.

Darren Day apparantly had a Kubotan in his possession when searched by the police, & the constable searching him had a martial arts background & charged him with possession of an offensive weapon.

I am generally a huge supporter of the police. They have a difficult job to do which is often thankless, & much of what they do goes unreported & is done without fanfare leading people to think they're 'not doing anything' at times. In this instance I think they've made an error in judgement for a number of reasons.

One thing that British Police have always had, & in the past used to great effect was 'Discretion'. Unlike some countries they wouldn't just rack up a huge list of small charges on anyone & everyone just for the hell of it. If you were obviously a decent person & not a local scally they would often let you off with small misdemeanors with just a warning. They'd save their time & effort for people more deserving. This seems to be something that is sadly changing.

The newspapers have as usual hyped the Kubotan up to be some evil form of deadly ninja fang of death, & this does no-one ANY favors. The reality is that Tak Kubota originally marketed the Kubotan as a NON LETHAL SELF DEFENCE TOOL......not a 'weapon that is lethal with the right training' as one of the papers reported. The Kubotan training manuals I have entirely consist of control & restraint methods, with escape techniques added in for civilian use. Can the Kubotan be used to apply lethal force? Of course it can, but so could a sturdy pen, or short piece of wooden dowel, or cigar holder, or flashlight........anything shaped like a short stick. The Yawara used in some Japanese Bujutsu systems has both non-lethal & lethal applications; but lets be honest & realistic, if a bad guy wants to cause serious harm to people there are MUCH easier ways to do it than with a Kubotan.

I personally think that the officer who charged him is being a little over-zealous. The Kubotan is singularly ill conceived as an 'offensive' weapon, it would be ineffective as a muggers tool. If I wanted to mug someone I'd rather have a pool ball in a sock, or a proper baton, or a knife! The police officer could quite rightly point out that under UK law there are no provisions for 'defensive weapons' & thus all weapons are offensive, so he was simply applying the law. I just think that a bit of discretion should have been employed, & a simple 5" plastic rod on a keyring should have been overlooked or a warning given. It wasn't like they were dealing with a local chav with a long history of muggings & violent crimes.

I think its time that the government in the UK realises that the decent law abiding people in the UK should have the right under law to carry something to defend themselves with. It seems to me that politicians find it difficult to use logic, & have no knowledge of the real world. In the real world criminals & societies predators are very often armed, & they hunt in packs. An impliment like a kubotan is a 'force multiplier' that allows someone with a small amount of training to have at least a small chance of avoiding injury & escaping from predators. In the real world it is unreasonable to tell the public to just hand over their valuables in the hope that the bad guy just goes away, because often they don't! Your capitulation leads to an escalation, & turns into a beating, rape or murder anyway. In the real world you don't have your own personal policeman to look after you, & when you're attacked & you call 999 you're going to take a hammering while waiting for the cavalry. In the real world we need to wake up & give the decent law abiding people the right to carry something simple & suited to defensive use like kubotans, stingers, DTL's etc.

Remember though, its the mindset & training that is important- NOT THE TOOL. So as much as you can be charged for posession of a Kubotan (my god, that piece of plastic rod on your keyring looks SO frightening, better ban them before there's a kubotan massicre somewhere) remember that you can use a good sturdy pen, flashlight, piece of wood.....or a zillion other things in the same way.

Please though, if anyone from 'the powers that be' reads this- lets have some sanity. Lets look at modern society in the UK realistically & give the decent folks here the right to carry something to protect themselves with without the fear of arrest.

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