Over the years I’ve written extensively on the self-defense utility of the pocket stick or yawara, a simple dowel used for pressure-point compliance and striking. The pocket stick works because it concentrates the force of your blow into a much smaller area. It is rigid and stronger than the bones of your hand; it does not feel pain; it will hit harder and dig deeper than your knuckles or fingers alone. Any cylindrical object made of rigid material can be a pocket stick, to include Sharpie markers, metal pens, wooden dowels, and handheld flashlights. The concept is extremely simple and the methods for use need not be complicated.
How, then, does one set oneself apart in the world of pocket sticks? The only way to do it is to innovate design details or focus on materials quality. One company that manages to do both is Ti Rod Tactical, a one-man shop producing titanium pocket sticks that feature a variety of welcome design refinements.
Ti Rod Tactical has a Facebook page and a surprisingly extensive product line of pocket- and palm-sticks. The company’s sticks are rods of Aerospace Grade 5 Titanium (tempered 6AL-4V alloy) that is stronger and harder than wood, aluminum, or polymer. It won’t rust like ferrous metals, nor will it corrode like aluminum (and yes, aluminum will corrode, as anyone who’s carried an airweight revolver against bare skin well knows).
The other thing Ti Rod’s titanium sticks includes is the trademarked “Fist Lock” rubber grip. This is not just extremely comfortable; it also makes the stick extremely secure in the hand. It fills the palm while not bulking up the stick any more than absolutely necessary — a design feature specifically called out on the company’s website.
“Frankly, some currently available Yawara Sticks in the marketplace are absolutely MONSTROUS in size and impossible to carry discretely,” reads the site. “A self defense stick left at home most times because it is too cumbersome to carry every day will do you NO good should there come a time you really NEED it…”
“The innovative raised central reinforced rubber grip nestles nicely into the small ‘pocket’ created where the fingers meet the hand when it is cupped,” the site continues. “The use of this grip design ALSO ‘mechanically locks’ the stick between the first and pinky fingers within a closed fist, with the middle and ring fingers contributing substantial additional gripping forces.”
The narrow profile of these palm sticks can be tailored to your desires. The company sent out a variety of diameters and lengths ranging from .375 inches to fully half an inch across, in lengths from five inches to over six. I could happily make do with any of them, but my favorite is probably the one equipped with a rubber palm swell end cap. Not only does it make a shorter stick more effective by bracing it in the hand, but it provides a nice brace for the thumb.
I’m extremely impressed with how handy and well made these pocket sticks are. They’re absolutely gorgeous, with no sharp edges and great attention to fit and finish. They’re easy to carry, comfortable to hold, secure to wield, and extremely strong. This makes them a great choice if you choose to carry a pocket stick for self-defense.