April 25, 2005

Return of the Yawara

I'm starting to see a renaissance in "pocket stick" weapons, particularly yawara sticks made from hard polymers. This may be in response to the post-9/11 world where metal detectors are everywhere, and non-ferrous (well, of course, they're plastic) yawaras can be carried anywhere.

First up was Kelly Worden's Impact Kerambit, which has branched out from the original plain black into a whole spectrum of vivid fashion colors:

photo of 4 Impact Kerambit weapons in various colors

Now there's Cold Steel's Koga SD1, which is more along the lines of the classic Yawara/"Judo Stick" concept from the 1940s-1950s. You can actually buy this from Amazon.com now:

photo of Koga SD1 yawara stick

The PS5 folks in the UK have a new one too, similar to the Koga in construction and overall size, but with some nasty looking points (not totally sharp, about 1mm in diameter at the tips).

I would think that most of these would have the same issues as the yawaras from fifty years ago, that a sharp blow to a sensitive spot (like the temple) could kill a person. That's true with any weapon, even an improvised one like a stout writing pen, but these are intended for control use, and if the operator isn't trained in things like the wrist pain control (promoted by Kubota and Hatsumi) they'd quickly resort to blows with the tips.

One thing about these (and any other less-lethal weapon) that really requires practice is the transition from less-lethal to lethal weapon. Let's say you're using a pain compliance hold on some jerkoff. Turns out he's impervious to the pain on his wristbone/pressure point and he pulls a knife. But your yawara is clamped in a death grip in your gun hand.

You need to drop the yawara, draw your sidearm, and give the perp some lead poisoning pronto, all without getting sliced up or shooting yourself. Simunitions would probably be the best way to practice this.

Posted by jameshom at April 25, 2005 10:16 AM | TrackBack
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