Frequently Asked Questions
Does MUNIO really work?
To be honest, we hope you never need to use MUNIO, but heck yah it works.
Although MUNIO is uniquely attractive and innocent looking, it is an evolution of other martial arts tools that have been used successfully for self defense throughout history. Impact weapons (or force multipliers) such as the yawara stick, dan bong and kubotan are generally designed to magnify the force of striking, and MUNIO takes this one step further. Not only can you use the pointed end for striking, you can also use the opposite end to strike/whip an attacker with your keys.
Some people have the misconception that since MUNIO does not have a razor-sharp point (by intention), it will not work, or ever hurt an attacker. They are absolutely wrong. When used correctly, with true defensive force, speed and agression, MUNIO is definitely sharp enough to amplify the power of a strike and easily, puncture, tear or rip skin. This has been proven on my own body in training, where in fact, force was actually controlled... and I still bled.
In fact, when we teach MUNIO Self Defense Workshops its very easy to convince people just how much MUNIO can hurt. They simply hold MUNIO and gently press the tip into their arms, chest, hands, thighs, face... and when they imagine doing that with full force, they literally get the point. I have yet to have a single challenger of MUNIO's impact power (and pain potential) who will allow me to hit them anywhere on their body with full force. And then when we demonstrate whipping a bunch of keys across the front of someone's face, their appreciation of the damage that can be done is even greater.
Of course, I remind people that alternatively, you could carry a razor-sharp knife for self defense if you prefer. But, that is a lethal weapon with legal restrictions, and you can't carry an open knife easily in your pocket, purse etc. without potentially harming yourself (or whatever you are trying to carry it in (goodbye expensive purse). Nor should you be walking around carrying an open knife... unless you want to do a lot of explaining...
Just remember to be realistic. MUNIO will not magically repel a criminal with a gentle tap and a few kind words. It is meant to be used with your maximum force, speed and aggression. There is no self defense training, tactic or product that is absolutely guaranteed to save you from every conceivable threat. But they can give you a significant advantage that just may save your life.
Are there any age limitations/restrictions to use MUNIO?
In my experience, the question of age comes up most often in regards to young children, or the extreme opposite, the elderly.
Now, while our information states that MUNIO is for anyone aged 13 or older, please understand that is not a legal regulation. That age benchmark is only a general recommendation loosely based on physical development and maturity considerations in my martial arts teaching. In reality, the best age for someone to use MUNIO is really based on two simple, practical considerations. Any user, at whatever age, should have: 1) the basic maturity to use MUNIO responsibly and 2) the basic physical ability to use MUNIO properly with force.
The age 13 benchmark seems to cover both concerns for the majority, but is meant to be flexible, and assumes personal evaluation and choice. After all, everyone is different, develops differently, and is in different environments. In my opinion as a self defense instructor, it is critical for everyone, regardless of age, to use any possible action, option or tool to defend themselves from the potential harm of an attacker.
In summary, consider this true story, which, sadly, occurred in my hometown. It’s also a sad commentary about how predators are getting their start at such a young age.
A 7 year old school girl was being relentlessly and aggressively bullied by a couple of 11 year old boys. By coincidence, her 16 year old sister had recently attended a MUNIO Self Defense Workshop and received a MUNIO. The older sister gave her younger sister the MUNIO and showed her how simple it was to use. Literally, within days, the 7 year old girl was harassed by the bullies again. She was choked from the front (which is legally, at the very least, simple assault) and managed to get away, but was then grabbed from behind around her throat by another boy and choked again. Fortunately, she had the sense to pull her MUNIO out of her pocket and strike the attacker. He let go in shock and pain and she followed up (like quite the pro) slashing back and forth at him and the others with her keys… and they ran off!
Trust me, I am not advocating that MUNIO become an anti-bullying tool for very young children. But still, I am so happy that in her dangerous situation, she was empowered to resist her attackers successfully. Now while I hope that is the end of her bullying problems, I am so proud of her for standing up to the bullying … and fighting back with what she had at the moment.
How does MUNIO compare to pepper spray?
This is one of our favorite questions, and comes to us in all sorts of ways, so it deserves a lengthy answer. All self defense products offer you an advantage, but ironically, MUNIO was designed to overcome other products' disadvantages. Pepper spray products can be effective, but there are several concerns and limitations
Although it is not widely publicized, it is recommended that you purchase two pepper sprays so you can actually practice using it quickly and efficiently, and develop your ability to aim accurately. Pepper spray products must be sprayed in the face to work effectively, so you need good aim to properly target the attacker, which may not happen in a panic situation.
Additionally, pepper spray products:
• Are ineffective against common predatory attacks from behind or angles not directly in front of you
• Have a shelf life and will lose their effectiveness over time.
• Sometimes have no effect on attackers under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
• Are affected by wind which can cause the spray to blow back at you rather than towards an attacker.
• Are affected by rain which can lessen the effectiveness of the spray.
• Can take 3-5 seconds to be effective, and in that slight interval of time your attacker can already be upon you
and harm you.
• Are subject to mechanical failure, and, packed into high pressure canisters. This means there is the possibility of them exploding in high temperature, not to mention leaking in your purse, etc.
• Are ineffective if the attacker covers his eyes and bursts through the spray cloud.
• Are not as safe around small children
• May be ineffective If the spray is less than 2 million Scoville Heat Units (SHU)
• Are subject to legal restrictions in certain states.
• Are prohibited for airline carry-on by the TSA
We know it sounds like we're bashing pepper spray and please understand that's not our intention. Trust us, we're firm advocates of any and all means of self defense. Ultimately, its up to you to properly evaluate and choose the self defense product you think will work best for you... and the one that you will actually carry and have ready for immediate use.
Without proper self defense training, and compared to having nothing, all self defense tools have some merit. Where these tools vary is in their respective design, methodology of use, and legality.
The most obvious difference is an aesthetic one. MUNIO is hands down much more attractive looking than any kubotan or monkey fist. In fact, MUNIO's stylish, innocent looks intentionally soften its raw functionality for self defense. Now if you happen to be the tough-type, you might think you don't care how bad-ass your self defense tool looks, but that can be a critical factor for many others. Can you get your loved ones to ACTUALLY carry a self defense tool on a regular basis? That element of personal appeal is so, so important, because no self defense tool really works at its maximum if it isn't ready to use in your hand, so its gotta be something you like. That's why MUNIO's sleek shape and designer artwork were intentional from its conception, not as an afterthought.
METHODOLOGY OF USE:
All 3 tools, when held properly in a hammer-fist grip, and used for self defense, have the potential to disable, and inflict serious pain upon an attacker.
MUNIO is a stylish form of a kubotan, or force multiplier tool. In fact, with all due respect to Takayuki Kubota, the inventor of the kubotan, MUNIO has been nicknamed a "flat kubotan" for good reason. Both MUNIO and a kubotan can use both ends as defensive options, and are both held with a "hammer fist" grip with the striking end below the little finger. However, the standard rod-like shape and length of the kubotan has additional applications to submission, pain compliance and joint locking techniques typical to trained law enforcement for criminal apprehension. On the other hand, while some martial artists do use adaptive joint locking and pressure point tactics, MUNIO was specifically developed for the kubotan's basic striking and whipping motions that are instinctive to practically everyone, and do not necessarily require any specialized training. Ironically, even highly trained martial artists have confirmed that they prefer the simpler basic striking options that MUNIO provides, rather than a kubotan. Additionally, while a kubotan's blunt, domed or pointed end can be used like a MUNIO, its keyring side typically has less range than MUNIO. MUNIO's standard 3-ring configuration gives it more range and snap making it more effective for striking an attacker with your keys. Of course, anyone with a kubotan, or MUNIO, can add length or mass onto their keyring(s) at their discretion if they feel it makes it even more effective for them.
The monkey fist relies on a powerful, swinging motion to deliver its strike. While not as overall versatile, a monkey fist's metal ball can cause significant pain and damage depending on the power and speed of the swing, the size of the ball and the area struck. Depending on the chosen length of paracord connected to the metal ball, its striking range is much greater than a kubotan and MUNIO. However, that length can become problematic depending on your skill level, and unlike both the kubotan and MUNIO, a monkey fist may be extremely difficult to utilize against certain attacks, including common "abduction" grabs over the arms from behind.
MUNIO has no legal restrictions and can be carried openly everywhere. MUNIO will pass through TSA airline security checkpoints and can be carried aboard all flights. After all, its just a designer keychain, right?
Kubotans appear to be legal in most U.S. jurisdictions, but are definitely prohibited from airline carry-on by the TSA.
Monkey fists appear to be legal in most U.S. jurisdictions, and may be prohibited from airline carry-on by the TSA.
Depending on the size of the metal ball, a monkey fist can be classified as a sap or blackjack, making it illegal.
Use your best judgement. Consider putting them in your checked baggage if you are traveling by plane.
Be advised that the legal status of self defense tools is subject to the ever changing world of government interpretation and regulation, and therefore its status may change from permitted to prohibited at any time. If you have any concerns, please check with the proper authorities.
What is MUNIO made of? Will it break? I don't want something cheap.
MUNIO is made of a solid, high strength, impact resistant plastic, making MUNIO virtually unbreakable. MUNIO's strength and durability was a key factor in my engineering plans. It will not break under normal use and that's why MUNIO has a Lifetime Warranty! This material is also lightweight for your carrying convenience, and can help prevent excessive weight damage to your car ignition.
Will the design/artwork wear off of my MUNIO?
MUNIO is decorated using a process that fuses and seals the UV printed design/artwork onto the body, making the graphics virtually scratch/dent proof under normal long term wear-and-tear circumstances. Additionally, we have perfomed outdoor testing and exposed several test MUNIOs to the elements (ex. sun, rain, cold, heat) for over 2 months. The result? No fading or damage at all!
How safe is MUNIO around my children?
MUNIO is much safer around your kids than other self-defense alternatives.
(1) MUNIO is considered a non-lethal self defense tool. That means, in comparison to lethal alternatives such as a gun or knife, the obvious, and lethal possibilities are simply non-existent. There are no bullets/projectiles or razor sharp edges/points. While MUNIO does have a point, it is intentionally pointed just enough to do damage when used with force, yet will not puncture skin without pressure, nor tear the lining of pockets /purses, etc, when being transported. (2) In direct comparison to pepper spray and stun guns, MUNIO does not produce any chemical or electrical discharge that may accidentally cause injury to your child, yourself or other children playing with those items. (3) The smooth shape and structure of MUNIO make it safe for even young kids to play with (much like an infant/toddler play key set). We have even taught a MUNIO workshop while a young baby sat in his wheelchair merrily slobbering away on a MUNIO. And speaking of that, (4) MUNIO successfully passed laboratory testing to ensure that it meets government safety guidelines required by the CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act) for specific harmful chemicals ( lead and phalates ). So, although we don't typically walk around sucking on our MUNIOs, don't worry about that slobbering...
Now all that being said, please use your common-sense judgement, care and attention. Unfortunately, there is always some degree of potential injury that may occur with practically any item left in the hands of an unattended child.
Why are there 3 keyrings. Can I just use one?
MUNIO is most effective for whipping with about 5 to 6 inches of keys/accessories dangling from the looped end. That means just about anything, and that little bit of extra length helps to maximize MUNIO's potential. However, MUNIO is your personal keychain, so you can add, or subtract whatever you wish. If you want just one key ring, that's fine. In fact, MUNIO can work with only one keyring and only one key! If your keychain is loaded up with keys, rings, trinkets, shopping cards, etc., like so many we see, you're really gonna wallop your attacker!
Can MUNIO go through airport security?
YES! Currently the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) DOES NOT restrict MUNIO as a security violation, and it will pass through security screening and can be taken aboard a plane in your pocket, purse or carry-on bag. However, MUNIO's unrestricted status is determined by U.S. government security qualifications (which we honor and respect), and may change at any time without notice or warning. So, use your discretion. If you have any concern with your MUNIO being taken away from you permanently by the TSA, we recommend you pack it with you checked baggage. That way you will always have it available at your destination.
Can MUNIO protect me if a rapist has a gun? a knife? a missile? is a meat-eating crazed gorilla with the rest of his hungry, jungle buddies?
Hmmm. Here's where things get very interesting. We get asked all kinds of questions about self defense situations, ranging from the very realistic, to the remotely possible but far-fetched.
Now to the specifics of the question –
1) Missile beats all. Despite it not being your typical street or domestic violence weapon, the missile could take out an entire pack of deranged gorillas – even if they are all holding guns and knives.
2) Gun beats knife. Usually.
3) Gun and knife beat MUNIO. In fact, gun and knife will typically beat all non-lethal self defense products.
Putting humor aside, you simply have to be realistic. Lets start with the bad news. It would be great if there were a one-size-fits-all solution to self defense. But, there is NO perfect self defense style, technique, training or product that is absolutely guaranteed to save you from any kind of assault. However, the good news is that all those self defense styles, techniques, training and products can give you a great advantage so you can at least try to fight back and escape. And that is the goal. For instance, in the case of an attempted rape, statistics prove that fighting back against the attacker can improve your odds of escaping unharmed by 86%! Fortunately, other statistics show that the vast majority of sexual assaults occur without the use of a weapon!
Now while no self defense tool is perfect in every situation, in most cases MUNIO is an extremely effective, and legal, self defense option. However, without dedicated, long term, specialized self defense training, no one is properly prepared to defend themself against a gun or knife. Even those with that training are certainly not invincible, and, like myself, would rather not have to test our skills against them in a lethal situation.
In the case of a robbery with a gun or knife (whether you are holding MUNIO or not) you should be compliant and give the criminal your money and hope they will take it and leave you unharmed. Your life is way more valuable than your wallet or purse.
Of course, I'd love to end this with a funny line or two, but sadly, thats just not appropriate. Unfortunately, if any situation escalates to where you will be physically harmed or feel your life is in danger, then you really have no other option than to try your absolute best to fight back... some how, some way. It may be the only action that could ultimately save your life.