How to use a Dulo-Dulo, Yawara, Kubotan

The Dulo, Yawara stick, Kubotan, which ever name you you use for it is the adaption of the martial arts. One of this small weapon's greatest strengths is it's ability to fit into virtually any style or system.  Here we are going to look at how the Dulo can be used within a Suntukan/boxing type framework. I touched upon a reference last time to Italian pugilists using short wooden rods in each fist. There is little recorded evidence for Dulo-like impact tools in western boxing arts, however it is used extensively in “Suntukan” or Filipino boxing. Many schools  interested in “reality based“ and urban combative type training have also adopted it into their boxing framework. (though not all reality based styles have adopted boxing blows, some teach it as a control or restraint tool. It depends on the school/system's target audience)


Firstly lets look at the various fist blows that can be enhanced with the Dulo. At it's most basic any solid cylindrical object held in the fist while punching will  increase the force of the blow. A more traditional yawara made of iron or brass will also add a lot of weight to the punch. While high impact plastic versions of the yawara are available and have many benefits, they lack this very useful function.


The Dulo can GREATLY enhance a hook punch. Connecting with end of the Dulo instead of the fist means all the force of the punch is concentrated into a very small area. Raking hook  punches can be thrown with the Dulo. After impact the Dulo is dragged across the face before the arm is retracted. Some Dulo designs are better suited to this  than others but the edge of a flat ended Dulo can still be used to good effect. This same technique can be applied the basic jab and cross blows but the hook  lends itself particularly well to raking techniques. Reality guys know a good solid hook punch off of the fence can be a fight stopper. Imagine that with the extra advantages a Dulo provides.


A standard uppercut blow can be reinforced simply be gripping the Dulo as mentioned before.  However, if a punch is thrown with the mechanics of the uppercut, but the hand is kept vertical the Dulo can deliver a blow up under the chin with knockout force.  Once the head is forced back other targets such as the sternum or throat present themselves.


The Dulo lends itself perfectly to the backfist blow.  This blow can follow from a hook punch or modified uppercut.  As mentioned above, slamming down into the sternum.  It can also be used as an opener, a rising hammer to the jaw can cause a knockout.  I like to throw a hammer in the same fashion as a jab, less damage to the hand and very effective when thrown with a Dulo reinforced fist.  As I mentioned earlier, all the force is concentrated into a very small area.  It is not a blow associated with Western boxing, but is used with great effect in Filipino Suntukan


Another blow common in Suntukan is the scissor hit or gunting, commonly used to destroy muscles, nerves or bones in an attacking limb.  The Dulo again greatly reinforces this hit. One very effective technique employed by the scissor hit is to trap the head between an open palm on one side and a Dulo strike on the other, normally targeted at the temple or eye socket.  Imagine, doing a double ear slap but striking with the Dulo protruding from the thumb side of the fist.


Open hand slaps are an effective self defence tool and can be seen used with great effect in Suntukan.  Some Japanese yawara have a centre ring that slips onto the index finger and allows open palm slaps to be employed with the yawara.  Others have a loop or cord secured at each end of the yawara that slips over the whole hand and can be used to effect open hand strikes.  Most Dulo designs do not incorporate such designs but Ted LucayLucay advocated gripping the Dulo with the thumb while employing slaps.  I find this method less effective than using a modified yawara but it is certainly an option.


That was the 'how', now for the 'where'.  The Dulo or Yawara can be directed at any muscle or nerve group or employed against any bony target.  However, within the context of this article that is looking mainly at fist blows, we will concentrate on mainly the bony areas of the body.


The face and head offer a variety of targets.  The nose, jaw, eye socket, cheek bone and temple are all good targets for Dulo blows.  The sternum and ribs are targets for hammerfist blows as is of course  the groin.  The ribs and knees can be struck with hook punches.  Hooks and uppercuts can also target the kidney and liver areas.


The Dulo can greatly enhance your boxing blows.  Used alongside the trapping, removal and destruction techniques or Suntukan it can make your empty hand game devastating. As I said last time I will be putting together a series of videos. 

Next month I will again cover the boxing type blows. Will then move onto striking and locking techniques associated with arts such as. Pangamot, Jui, Aiki, Tai jitsu and some reality based stuff. One aspect seldom covered is accessing and deploying the Dulo prior to deployment so will cover this area also.

About the Author:


James Stewart has trained in the martial arts for many years starting with Japanese Taijitsu and spending the last decade or so training in the Filipino martial arts (Cacoy DP, Inosanto / Lacosta blend, Barong Kalasag Kali)He has also trained in Krav Maga and other reality based systems.

James holds a 2nd dan in Hanimau JKD/Kali, Black Belt in Barong Kalasag Kali and Dan grade in Japanese Taijitsu.

He is a coach at the IBF Atemi Jitsu self defence school in Torquay which blends Aikido, Karate, & Jui Jitsu techniques. James also runs self defense seminars and workshops for community groups.


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