The Ju-jo: Part Two


Next to the Koppo Stick Article on my site, I have received the most positive, informative and wonderful responses from the original Ju-jo Article.

Some folks have sent me the most wonderful things you can imagine and I truly appreciate it.

For example, this longtime Ju-jo Owner E-mailed me about the Article and took the time to photocopy the original manual for the Ju-jo and mail it to me. This was incredibly generous of him. I asked him if he would write something short about his experience with the Ju-jo and here was his response:

"I have always respected the Ju-jo and the maker for a long time. I purchased mine back in the 80's and learn about the item as I grow in my studies. I study Budo Taijutsu and find the Ju-Jo a very well designed item that adapts well for my art. I have trained with the Ju-Jo in our Kihon Happo patterns and it adds a great deal to these fundamental movements. An item like the Ju-Jo is a great addition to any martial system because it allows grappling and striking components in a unique package, it can be used as a eda koppo, kubaton, and kusari fundo. I would recommend that people work with the Ju-Jo very slowly so that they can see doorways and possibilities within the movements between tori and uke. Applying the uses of the flexible and impact qualities when it is warranted will aid any system.

It is a nice equalizer to be used against would be attackers because of the versatility contained within it's design. I find that in conjunction with awareness and training (understanding the weapon) the Ju-Jo is a very effective item for self-protection."

Ninpo Ikkan,

Take care,

Jim Klipfer

Two people who studied under Dr. Lewis in ParaCombatives Ju-Jutsu had E-mailed me and told me of their experiences. Unfortunately, on America Online, sometimes when you save mail to the Personal Filing Cabinet, it is either lost or you get the message, "That message is no longer available."

I lost them over time because I wanted to keep them fresh in the E-mail and then cut and paste them into this article. I’ve long wanted to do this article but needed to assemble more information about the Ju-jo in order to do so. Regrettably, I cannot find their E-mail addresses or anything. The E-mails were positive about everything involved and had a unique insight as well. I’m sad they have been lost and I have been unable to make further contact with them.

Another Gentleman, just a few weeks ago now, sent me a goldmine of material with regard to the Ju-jo and the whole intense and in-depth amount of thought that Dr. Lewis put into the Ju-jo and the Ju-jo’s place within ParaCombatives Ju-Jutsu.

This fellow, a Federal Agent who wishes to remain anonymous, sent me not only a Ju-jo, but the original manual and the original packet of information Dr. Lewis would send out to certain individuals which contained magazine articles and advertisements. He also sent the complete Program of Instruction for Instructor Certification for the Ju-jo, which adds further to The Big Picture.

Perhaps most important, I was able to see some of the personal insight of Dr. Lewis as this Gentleman also gave me personal correspondence from Dr. Lewis. Letters, when you actually had to write them and E-mail was unheard of. What a generous fellow.

He also sent me a wonderful Safariland/Kel-Lite Yawara Stick. What a find. All he wanted to do was E-mail about the Ju-jo and Koppo Stick Articles and things developed from there. He has a titanium JSP Koppo Stick coming from me.

I asked this Gent to write a little piece about the Ju-jo and possibly from the Law Enforcement angle as well. Here are his thoughts on the matter.

"While I was assigned to the [deleted] Agency, [deleted] CA (circa 1985-1987) as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge, I had the good fortune of associating with one of the most accomplished martial artists I've ever met: Special Agent [deleted]. To give you some idea of his abilities, he was (when I knew him) a nidan of Prof. Wally Jay (of Small Circle Jujitsu fame). No one (and I really mean no one) was ever able to choke him out. As his legend grew, people from all over tried, but none were successful. Conversely, he could put you out in about 7 seconds with a neck strangle. You could hit him anywhere – no effect. I recall it was kind of like hitting a fire plug – same overall effect. He did have two weaknesses though – toe locks and "shark bites" (where you grab the skin of the inner thigh or stomach between your fingers and pinch hard. He'd jump away if you'd try these on him. 'Course you'd only get one chance and then he'd clean your clock....

Anyway, he and I would work out at the base gym virtually every day- we'd either do free randori on the mats, practice locks or throws or fence. Occasionally we'd toy with new hand weapons as we were both Unarmed Self-Defense (CQB) instructors for the agency. Since we were federal law enforcement the issue of the excessive use of force and scaleable control were of great consequence to us. We did the kubotan thing, the telescoping baton (ASP), various other weird little things, until I came across an article on the Ju-jo. It looked sufficiently intriguing that I called the inventor, John Lewis, and explained what type of device I was after. He opined that the Ju-jo would probably fill the void that we needed and agreed to send me a demo tape and a device.

As it turned out he sent a whole lot more (all of which you have, save the tape which I returned to him after viewing it with my training partner). After it arrived he and I played around with it on the mats for a couple of workouts. We both felt that while it had potential, in actual practice it took too much finesse to really be effective. I should add here that both he and I felt (and still feel) that for any marital art or device to work, it had to be effective on Hawaiians or Samoans. That was always the real test of a technique for us (I suspect this was a holdover from Prof. Jay's influence!) After a while we continued in our search for something else. Ironically, the Kerambit is pretty much what we thought of as the ideal weapon – you can do all sorts of neat stuff with it (to include finger locks), but it can be employed quickly and it *hurts*! It's also pretty intuitive once you've played with it for a while. The agency took one look at the strangulation aspect of the Ju-jo and wanted nothing further to do with it. I suppose in retrospect they were right – the legal liability of the choke holds pretty much doomed any device of this type from being considered a "viable" police-type weapon." [end]

I think this more or less agrees with what I stated in the first Ju-jo Article. Here is the quote:

"The thing is constructed like a tank. It is idiot proof; there are no buttons or anything. Yet, for all its’ simplicity…it would take a firm understanding of Flexible Weapons to get the most of it. It is truly a weapon for those who understand it and less than useless for anyone who does not understand it."

In my opinion, Flexible Weapons, that entire category, are the most difficult to learn and to be really proficient at. Hand a person a CaneMasters Cane and spend 30 minutes with them. You have armed them for a lifetime as long as they keep their cool on the street and they actually learn what you taught them that day. Will they be able to defeat anyone they come in contact with? No, there are no guarantees with anything, but they will have a much better chance on the street. Hand them a knife and spend about 16 hours with them and they will have a firm grasp of the hit-and-run use of the Edged Weapon to counter grappling and whatnot on the street… And they should have a firm understanding of the basic dynamics in knife to knife confrontations. No guarantees…just a grounding in the basics.

With the Ju-jo, in that same amount of time, you would have a great understanding of the use of a Yawara and it would take many, many more hours to truly understand the Flexible Weapons aspect(s) of it. In other words, you could get the Atemi-waza, the striking, as well as Shime-waza, the choking, down in that amount of time with an intense program. But all of the deflections and other things would take many hours for the student to become anywhere near "viable" in a violent altercation.

Dr. John Lewis would obviously disagree as I have read the material. I still believe it would take some serious dedication and time to understand the flexible weapons portion of the Ju-jo Program.

I think this is what doomed the Ju-jo in the Law Enforcement Arena. Even more than the choking aspects of the Ju-jo which some Administrators ran from in terror from this particular Agency. It would simply take a long time to learn how to use the device well and the refresher instruction would have to be yearly and more intense than a Baton refresher during In-Service. I don’t see any other way. Then, there are so many things people in Law Enforcement have to intimately know and they have to be able to perform. The Ju-jo would have not been cost-effective and it would have been rather time-consuming to teach Officers to the degree they should be taught.

Mr. John Lewis, however, is still to be commended for this design and for attempting to do something that was interesting, innovative, and it was effective if you were willing to put the time into it. In the grand scheme of things, there have been many implements sold as "Self-defense" weapons and the vast majority of them are absolute garbage.

Perhaps the Ju-jo was something that was more advanced than even Mr. Lewis realized.

This leads us into a small discussion on some of the Ju-jo methods in the Owner’s Manual…

ParaCombatives Ju-jo Methods

One of the beautiful things about the Ju-jo Manual is, you get a really good Yawara Manual as well! In the striking section of the Manual, you get a rundown of basic strikes:

To save some space, I’m not going to create an illustration for this. Just listen carefully. The two strikes you might have a problem envisioning are simple to describe. Uraken is almost a spear-throwing position. It is designed to hit someone in the head or face that is standing behind you and slightly to your right. Almost as if you were drawing the arm back to throw a spear. But you hit with the Stick.

Reverse Uraken is a rearward strike to hit the torso or groin with the Stick. Imagine just reaching back and hammerfisting someone in the stomach or groin. That’s how easy it is.

On the next page, it covers hammerfist strikes, vertical punches with the Ju-jo as a fistload. And a good deal more. But the strikes above are the distilled basics. Like I said before, it is a very good manual and a lot of it applies to any Pocket Stick or small flashlight, etc.

In the pages that follow, we see the squeezing and pinching techniques of pain compliance, which will work on some people, but in cases of extremely combative attackers…I think you know my opinion on pain compliance techniques.

Throat Constriction, choking, blocking, throwing and locking…all of these things are covered quite well and the reader is then introduced, in the section on blocks…to some of the flexible weapons aspects of the Ju-jo.

Deceptive Power

A lot of people do not realize how powerful something so simple like a belt or a bandana, when properly used, can be. Truly…someone can throw you all around a room with a short length of rope if they know what they are doing. The flexible weapon has some power and if you are unlucky enough to get one of your punches snagged by someone who knows how to use a short piece of rope or some other flexible weapon…you will find out quickly.

In one of James Keating’s Fighting Bandana videotapes, he shows a simple pull with the bandana, snagging a punch and then giving a pull that works extremely well. It is basically an Arm Drag in wrestling but the bandana gives it so much more, effortless power, it’s all a matter of leverage. People do not understand that at all. A lot of people are prejudiced against that sort of thing. They just cannot imagine something so simple being so strong.

The blocking movements that Mr. Lewis demonstrates in the Ju-jo Manual would have more power than many people think. A block with a flexible, if you know what you are doing, has an effect almost like that of a trampoline. It can repel the attacking limb to a great degree. As James Keating points out in the aforementioned material, this can also cause the attacker’s upper body –the head– to be impelled into another strike, etc.

This is excellent, basic material in the Ju-jo Manual. The advanced material can be found in Filipino and some Japanese Arts as well. Use of the sarong in Pentjak Silat is also applicable, obviously.

The Manual then goes on to outline some techniques geared specifically towards women because sometimes women are attacked in specific ways…mostly grappling types of attacks. The use of walls and other structures is also included, how to smash the attacker into walls, chairs etc. Self-defense scenarios while seated… When you consider this Manual is all of 20 pages, it gives a great idea as to the depth of the System Mr. Lewis created. I wish it were 100 pages.

Personal correspondence from Mr. Lewis

As I said before, the Gentleman who sent me the Ju-jo and Safariland Yawara also sent me the packet of information regarding the Ju-jo.

This is one portion of what Mr. Lewis wrote back to him and it is quite interesting:

"As to your comment on the joint-locking (kensetsu waza), your impression is somewhat correct in that the use of joint-locking, without Ju-jutsu breaking, is merely designed as a temporary control measure to cuff or otherwise control an assailant who has generally given up. My experience has shown that unless the user of the Ju-jo or unaided using only the hands is skilled that kensetsu waza in the control mode will not be effective against a powerful, resisting individual. If, on the other hand, a break or trauma to the joint is added once the lock is secured then the technique is highly effective against even the most severe resistance. Simply, I train on the lock because law enforcement wants it to assist in passive resistance situations or for cuffing. I do not bother to teach it to civilians with the Ju-jo in my regular courses.

Your analysis of the tape in terms of cord employment and immediate response techniques is on the mark. The original taped session was two hours, eighteen minutes long. Much of what you commented on was deleted in order to fit the material onto a standard video cassette. There is no question that the cord is the key to the system, however, there was only so much I could do on a single tape designed for the ‘general’ public. This is why I tell various agencies that I can produce a specific tape tailored to their individual needs and training…"

Interesting, huh? It’s gold.

The Instructor’s Program of Instruction

This gives a more in-depth look at this whole System that was devised, using Ju-Jutsu to power the Ju-jo Methods. You also see another side of Mr. Lewis and the multiple tasks he wanted the Ju-jo to be able to perform in a military context.

Part I.

"History and introduction to Ju-jutsu. Principles of Self-defense. Discussion of human anatomy as relevant to biomechanical aspects of force, motion and stress… Efficacy of the Ju-jo in personal defense, law enforcement, unconventional warfare, military (SERE) and marine (SCUBA) special operations, private security and in conjunction with martial arts training and cross comparison to seventeen other self-defense devices. The Ju-jo as an expedient first aid tourniquet, splint and in rescue operations. Construction of a field expedient Ju-jo. HANDS-ON training in modes of carry, types of grip, draw, stances and twenty-five forms of striking."

It is that one line, the thought…

"Construction of a field expedient Ju-jo…"

This set me on a path of thought that perhaps Mr. Lewis was exposed to the Te no uchi, especially since he was exposed heavily to Judo and Ju-jutsu…

I am not saying that I am correct, I simply do not know. Perhaps Mr. Lewis knew of the Te no uchi and improved it and when making a field expedient for garrotting, etc., one would basically make a Te no uchi as described later in this article. I just don’t know. God rest his Soul, he is gone now and I cannot ask him.

In any event, if he did in fact get the idea from the Te no uchi, the Ju-jo and the techniques that drive it are much more realistic for street application than most of the Te no uchi movements that I have watched on the videotape. It is simply a no-brainer; combative people will not allow you to do certain things…

Another thing that sort of points to this, or something similar to this is found in this passage:

"…cross comparison to seventeen other self-defense devices…"

Perhaps one of those devices was the Te no uchi…

Where did the Concept come from?

I used to just think, as many others have, that the Ju-jo was simply a combination between the Yawara Stick and something like the Manrikigusari/Kusarifundo weighted chains. And maybe it was. But I have found something very interesting indeed…

Thanks to my buddy Ray, I have been able to view some terrific Japanese Martial Arts Videotapes. One covered Koryu Jujutsu; some were Aikijujutsu…some on the Jo. Three of the most interesting were videos from "BAB" in Japan and covered the Kusarifundo, the weighted fighting chain; another covered the Suntetsu, a close cousin of the Koppo Stick and covered in Koppo II on this site.

The third videotape was on the Tenouchi or Te no uchi. " Te no uchi," from what I gather, means "hidden in the hand." While it is hard to "hide" a Te no uchi in the hand…like most things Japanese, there is a deeper meaning to it. Something can get lost in the translation as well.

If you look closely at the picture, you will see a Te no uchi in the middle.

The Te no uchi consists of a Pocket Stick, a Yawara if you will, that has one hole drilled through it at the center of the stick. Through that hole is a length of cordage. It is tied in a specific way. If you tie the cord correctly, and you were to lay it flat on the floor and spread it out, it would resemble a Figure Eight ( 8 or ¥ - the infinity symbol ).

The Figure 8 is formed by two loops. In one of those loops is attached this Yawara Stick for the Te no uchi.

I cut a very simple Pocket Stick out of rattan and drilled the hole in the center just to try out some of the techniques on the video. This picture should clearly illustrate how the cord is tied and its relationship with the Stick.

[insert pic of homemade te no uchi here]

The Te no uchi movements

The videos are in Japanese, I do not speak Japanese but having been involved with various Martial Arts for quite some time and with a basic understanding of the terms in Japanese, viewing the videos from BAB has been no sweat. A careful attention to detail proves to be very rewarding.

Let me first say, rather bluntly, that a lot of the techniques shown could never be performed on a resisting attacker. It would simply prove impossible to be able to perform some of the intricate trapping and tying movements with the Figure 8 cordage on a resisting opponent.

There are, however, some very interesting movements involved with this weapon and there is some definite food for thought when you examine the Kusarifundo, Suntetsu and Te no uchi material one after another.

I am not saying anyone could pull off some of these movements for real. Some of them are simply impossible to do no matter what your skill level. This is a truism because no matter what your skill level, you cannot guarantee that the attacker will stand still for it. I know this is an unpopular opinion to many people in traditional Martial Arts, but I’ve been in enough confrontations to know that when people are combative, it’s hard to do intricate things to them.

Even in the video, body shifting is used, footwork, to avoid a knife thrust and the hand is struck with the Pocket Stick portion of the device. Then a loop is dragged over the hand after the knife has fallen to the floor and then the loop is tightened through another maneuver.

This is simply not going to happen in real life. There is no way that someone who has a knife and they are combative and want to stick it in you…there is no way they are going to stand there after you knock the knife out of their hand, with their arm outstretched, while you perform this. It is fantasy. As skilled as the practitioners were on the videotape, there was approximately one half dozen minor fumbles of the cord when securing it on a limb. That’s a hint as to what we are dealing with here…if there is a fumble on a compliant subject, just what exactly do you think will happen when someone is not only being non-compliant, but they are being combative?

The only way these things would work, the standing techniques performed on the arm is if the attacker’s arm did not have to be ensnared in the manner shown. There are other ways to quickly ensnare limbs with flexible weapons. It is the fact you have to drag a loop over the limb via the fist or open hand…that is the problem. No one is going to stand still for that sort of thing on the street. They would have to be knocked unconscious or nearly so in order for that to happen and if that happens, they are in the process of falling straight down or backward or they have already done so. They do not stand there and let you do these things.

Added to the frantic nature of combat is the unpredictable nature of the cord flying all around. This appeared to be a part of the fumbling on the videotape along with the Pocket Stick being long enough to get caught up on some of the movements as the snare was pulled taut around the attacker’s limb.

At this point, some of the techniques become superfluous in the extreme and I am being very kind with that assessment.


So, I made this Te no uchi out of a slim piece of rattan and some 550 ParaCord. I have been using this weapon in some training and I have to say, making the Stick portion of the device shorter has helped to slick up some of the movements/techniques portrayed on videotape.

Has this made me a believer in this weapon? No, not really, but it did give me another view as to how the Ju-jo and other flexible weapons and garrottes could be employed.

The Te no uchi’s strength is in the fact it is half Yawara Stick. Pocket Sticks of all types are incredibly powerful hand weapons.

Shortening the length of the Stick has made quite a difference when pulling the "noose" taut using the Stick. It has made some movements, shall we say, more viable in that the Stick does not "hang up" within the noose during the tightening of the noose.

Think of the Te no uchi as half of a garrotte (compared to a garrotte with two handles, one on each end of the cord). There is a lot of potential for this to be a very powerful garrotting device. Much along the lines of the Thugee Garrotte like Colonel Rex Applegate wrote about in "Kill or get Killed."

It is quite apparent that if this weapon was used to any measurable degree, it was probably by someone in a law enforcement capacity, the Feudal equivalent of a police officer. There has to be some preparation of the device. The arm has to be placed through one of the loops, not a "Quick-draw" device at all, remembering that this is basically a Yawara Stick anyway, it could always serve instantly in that capacity.

The Snaring Position of the Te no uchi

There are two loops of cord. The cord of one loop runs through the Yawara portion of the Te no uchi. This is done by taking a length of ParaCord, you run the cordage through the Yawara with the drilled hole in the center, and then you tie the ends off. This makes one, large loop of cord that is tied off.

Now, two form two loops, simply tie a knot in the center of the loop, using both strands of cordage. You now have two loops with the Yawara contained in one of them.

You place your hand through the loop that does not have the Stick as a part of it. That would be the loop farthest away from the Stick. You then place the cord almost at the inside of the elbow joint and you grasp the Stick in your hand. You now have a large piece of cordage that is hanging off of your arm.

The cord directly attached to the Yawara portion of the Te no uchi exits the hand hold the Yawara from between the index and middle fingers, the hand is in a clenched fist position.

Against a straight thrust with the knife, as depicted in the videotape, you use body positioning to evade, strike down with the Yawara and immediately drag the loop over the attacking arm.

You then check the attacking arm with your other hand, this stabilizes it to a degree and you then pull the Stick rearward and this snares the limb. You can then simply backpedal and drag the person to the ground.

That’s the way it works on the video anyway…but we already discussed the virtual impossibility of ever being able to pull this off against someone who is really combative.

But there are some gold nuggets in there…here are some of the variations that are very valuable…

Variations of the Snaring Movement above

In one variation, the defender uses body positioning (tai sabaki) to evade and strike against a knife thrust. The knife hand of the attacker is struck with the Yawara (hammerfist) and the knife arm is checked slightly above the elbow. The Yawara is then used in a straight thrusting manner to the face/head of the attacker. This movement of dragging the loop over the extended knife arm leads to the strike in the face with the Yawara and then the cord pulled taut via the Yawara.

In another variation, when the snare is pulled taut, the defender steps back out of range and pulls the Yawara low and then using the foot on the other side of the body, steps on the cord and slams the attacker face first into the ground.

All of the techniques are fueled off of proper body positioning (tai sabaki) as well as Atemi waza. Striking vital points.

There is a heavy emphasis on Atemi waza.

There is an equally heavy emphasis on finishing blows to incapacitate the attacker.

The Snaring Movement on a Choke

Where the snaring of the limb could flail on the street, you could stun someone with the Stick portion of the Te no uchi and then as you move by them, snare the neck and pull everything taut. That could work. It is a different movement altogether.

If you strike someone in the hand with a Yawara Stick hard enough to disarm them, it is almost a certainty that their hand will not be there when you attempt to snare it by pulling the loop over the hand.

The head is altogether different. The hands might rush up to the face when the face is struck, this is a window of opportunity to act and snare the head, move behind the attacker, pull the cord taut and drag them to the ground backwards, etc.

Second Position

The second position is basically the same way one could grasp the cord for the Ju-jo.

The loop of cord is placed over the index finger and the cord lies across the palm and then you make a fist, securing the cord in place. This is illustrated in the Ju-jo Manual as well as the Patent Document.

This is also a much faster position to get into on the street.

On the Te no uchi videotape, the hand that does not hold the Yawara is placed through the far loop and then the cord goes through the hand and a fist is made…or the hand can be open and a shuto (edge of hand) strike can be performed.

Sometimes, the hand that is through the far loop also holds the Yawara Stick. In another variation, the Yawara is thrown into the facial area (eyes), which is Metsubushi and this is mentioned by name on the video. This is the segue, the entry, to then come in and strike with a hammerfist or shuto to the knife hand, then the attacker can be finished in a number of other ways, primarily hammerfist strikes using the Yawara.

The hand holding the cord and not the Yawara, is sometimes the first hand to strike. This is where the video material is excellent, in my opinion. Using tai sabaki, the thrust is avoided and the shuto or hammerfist, using the other hand holding the cord, is used to strike the knife hand as the Yawara Stick strikes the attacker’s facial area or throat.

What does work with the Te no uchi?

Deflections and then snaring, that works! As long as you do not rely on the fine motor skill and the compliance of the attacker and you use the Te no uchi like a bandana or belt, it would work well. It is the intricate nature of this double loop and the over-complication of the movements where they do not have to be that would make a lot of the Te no uchi movements unrealistic and ineffective, if not dangerous, to perform on the street.

Some of the movements are very street-real and viable.

If you stick with the concept that you have a Yawara Stick in your hand and the added benefit of the cordage to exert more leverage and power on the attacker, then the Te no uchi is as impressive as it is simple.

Just leave the most intricate of movements requiring compliance in the attacker and fine motor skills to the folks in the Dojo who are keeping the tradition of it alive.

I have just attempted to describe that which cannot really be described. I hope that the text along with a few illustrations will give you a firm idea of what I have been writing about. I have no program to "capture" video into still shots. A few digital camera pics in sequence must suffice to give you a few ideas…

Thugee Garrotte, Kusarifundo and the Ju-jo?

If you have not read all of the articles on my site, you are probably wondering what I am babbling about Thugee Garrotting for now in a Ju-jo Article…

Well, read The Garrotte and Flexible Weapons on this site, perhaps you will see some connection here as well.

The Thugees of India were rumored to have placed a Rupee in their Rumal strangling scarves. Just another way of getting the Rumal over the head and around the neck. Or simply project it around the neck for the choke. The other hand would be waiting and would grab the weighted end of the Rumal and the choked would be executed.

In the BAB video for the Kusarifundo, we see the same movement with the chain.

In the BAB video on the Te no uchi, we see Metsubushi. Projecting the Yawara Stick at the eyes, striking them, and then the Yawara Stick (weighted end, like the Rupee in a Rumal or the weight on a Kusarifundo) is swung via the cord retained in the hand, around the neck of the attacker. The neck is then controlled and the attacker taken to the ground and finished.

(The pictures above are blurred. The throw to the eyes, metsubushi, followed by throwing the Stick around and catching it...then finishing...)

There are only so many ways to do something correctly and effectively. This should be viewed as a large puzzle and these are pieces. The assembled puzzle is effectiveness and realism. Leave the other pieces out that do not work for you.

These same movements could be performed with keys attached to the Ju-jo, the keys would provide enough weight to propel the cord around the neck so that these movements could be executed.

This is one way the Yo-yo (tapon-tapon) is used in Filipino Martial Arts, as per my understanding.

Patent Search and Various Self-defense Weapons

The Patented version of the Japanese Suntetsu was found thanks to the search for the Ju-jo online as well as another "Self-defense Keychain."

Below is the Patented "Suntetsu" type of device and then below that picture follows a Key Flail Self-defense device as well…and an interesting little drawing from the Patent showing a woman striking a "mugger" armed with a knife with the keys. She’s attacked by a mugger and casually slaps at his gut with the keys…he looks down at his midsection…yeah…OK. Lots of realistic thought put into that…although the device is sort of neat and looks to be easily improvised…

More on Keating

I always like to cite Keating when speaking of Flexible Weapons. The reason is simple. His material is simply excellent. With the Keating-COMTECH Bandana Material…let’s just say that the Ju-jo then becomes incredibly effective. The movements are quite a bit different from the original movements designed for using the Ju-jo. Keating puts forth movements that are simply fluid destruction, in that, the deflection happens with the flexible, then using a hammerfist (both hands will be clenched because both hands are grasping the bandana, etc.), the hammerfist comes down to blast the arm. The hammerfists, clenched fist, forearms, and elbows along with low-line kicking all become an intrinsic part of the method.

With the Ju-jo in your hand, you have the power of the Stick, the concentration of force, in one hand, which will make it even more effective. You have to purchase the Keating material if you are really interested in these things. It’s impossible to describe how fluid the movements are…how fast and powerful. Also going into chokes, etc.


Most people pop the cap with the keys on it when they want to deploy the cord from the Ju-jo. Even I thought that was the way it was done when I first got one. Even after reading the Patent!

But the cord is deployed from the bottom, quite easily. And if you are practiced, it could be done under stress. It is no more of a complicated movement or fine motor skill than opening a folding knife.

You can place your index finger through the loop and pull then make a fist with the cord across your palm as is depicted in the Patent Document. Or, you can place the entire hand through the loop if it is large enough…and then the cord goes through the hand and a fist is made…

The Ju-jo’s dark side, the spike plug

I have been unable to obtain one of these, so far, for my Ju-jos. There is basically nothing written about this portion of the System. But I have a pretty good idea how it came about and what purpose it would serve.

Of course, you could just use it to hammer on someone! And in doing just that…the Ju-jo would be transferred into another category, into the edged weapons category. The wounds would not have been very deep at all because the spike is not large. There would have been little to no cutting capability at all…just a thrusting implement.

But I think this spike device was originally aimed at the Military Sector. The reason is painfully obvious.

Mr. John Lewis spoke repeatedly about wanting this device to be adopted within U.S. Army Special Forces as well as by other Special Operations Units.

Using the Sentry Removal Section of the now defunct U.S. Army Combatives Manual, FM 21-150 (1992), I have altered another illustration from that manual to attempt to explain what I believe could have been an application. Remember what Mr. Lewis wrote, he wanted this device in the hands of SERE Instructors, SERE being, "Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape."

There are a few different ways that the Ju-jo could have been utilized as a garrotte, obviously, but with the addition of the spike…more techniques could have been possible.

Remember that people who are trained in SERE are taught to kill the enemy by any means at hand, if that enemy stands between them and continuing to E & E, Escape and Evade. Mr. Lewis also wanted it to have multiple uses to increase the versatility and to justify the injection of another piece of equipment in the already burdened Soldier’s Kit.

The Ju-jo could have been used as a Yawara to stun the enemy like the pommel of a knife…using the end of the Ju-jo where the cord is deployed. The cord could be deployed beforehand in anticipation of having to eliminate a Sentry, etc. The stunning shot using the Ju-jo as a Yawara, striking the temple, then the thrusting of the spike to ground the Ju-jo into the enemy…and then the cord looped over the head and the enemy garrotted…is a very real scenario for the use of this tool.

The Ju-jo could be used to perform this task with or without the Zytel spike.

The enemy could have been stunned with one end of the Ju-jo and with the spike attached. The spike could have been plunged repeatedly into the side of the neck, more to the front, in an attempt to puncture the external and internal jugular veins as well as the carotid arteries. Then the cord could have been used to secure the enemy until expiration.

For more on the Army’s Sentry Removal Concepts from that Manual, see the Articles on Garrottes and Flexible Weapons. All of those techniques could have been performed with the Ju-jo.

What was wrong with the Ju-jo?

First of all…it is most certainly very tough. It’s just a big piece of DuPont ZytelÔ after all. What could be more indestructible than a thick-walled tube that is closed off on one end…constructed with Zytel?

We all want things that are built extremely well because we don’t want things to break. We want more bang for the buck. The Ju-jo is overbuilt in the extreme…really. This thing is just about indestructible. Everyone that I have discussed the Ju-jo with that actually owned one and every single person that has examined mine has stated the same thing. It should have been made a bit thinner because it is not as convenient to carry in the waistband or pocket like a regular Kubotan is.

It is a valid criticism because it could have been made thinner and it would have probably still been more than strong enough for the task at hand. The outside diameter could have been shaved down a bit and made thinner and then the interior space where the ParaCord is stored could have been a bit smaller. This would have possibly helped the popularity of the Ju-jo even more. It is a slight flaw, but it is one that possibly caused the Ju-jo to never really catch on with the general public.

Other than that, I really don’t see a "negative" to the Ju-jo except that it would take a good deal of training to get the most of the flexible aspect(s) of the tool.

If you examine a small Mini-MagLite Flashlight from MagLite, you would see how strong aluminum can be. Perhaps instead of injection-molded Zytel, the Ju-jo should have been made from thick-walled, aircraft-grade aluminum. It would have weighed approximately five ounces or so…a best guess…but it would have been more than strong enough to get the job done.

The Ju-jo’s walls could have had a thickness much greater than the Mini-MagLite from MagLite and it would have been incredibly strong like that. It would have still been very light and would have been almost half as big in diameter. This would have helped the Ju-jo immensely I think. But in the end, I don’t really know why it did not catch on, especially when you examine other things that have caught on that were stupid. If it were made from aircraft-grade aluminum, it would have been about as thick as a fat Kubotan instead of being the huge device it is. I still like it though.

Random concepts...

I hope you enjoyed the article.

Don Rearic


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