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Defensive Tactics / Martial Arts


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  • Defensive Tactics / Martial Arts

    Would it be useful if I would take a martial art (I'm interested in Aikido and Ju-jitsu) prior to becoming a LEO? I'm wondering because it seems that lots of agencies don't like it if you use techniques that they didn't teach you in the academy (except maybe if you are fighting for your life).

    I bought a book recently from Loren Christensen: Defensive Tactics: Modern Arrest & Control Techniques for Today's Police Warrior

    Would it be better if I'd master techniques described in his book (For those not familiar with the book: he says that techniques he presents in his book are commonly taught in police departments across US, but include subtle nuances that make them effective when s**t hits the fan)?

    I'm asking because I'm trying to be as good a cop as possible and don't want to "waste time" on learning techniques that I won't be able to use so I'd greatly appreciate your input.


  • #2
    I had a boxing/bjj background before I got on and have never used either on the job. With that being said, I would suggest getting involved with them now. It's a fun/healthy/useful hobby and hands on experience is good. We had people in the academy (controlled situations) that were very timid when it came to going hands on because they had never been in a fight or really done anything physical. Having prior experience should help with that.


    • #3
      I'm in the middle of SSGT defensive tactics. It's vanguard level 2 course. It's a specialized program offered from my department for POST certification. In this program, there a techniques which are departmental standard. It's these techniques which are used in order to get subjects to comply. Now, I have also been through 12 years of karate and Jiu Jitsu pre law enforcement. When asked what would happen if I was in a fight and I ended up breaking an assailants arm in a conflict using my grappling techniques. I was told we are to use only what they showed us. BUT, if those tactics aren't working, and a person did whatever they needed to in order to go home at the end of tour, then that is what we have to do. Is it a liability to me? I suppose. But the old adage applies as does to a CCW holder shooting an assailant: Better to be judged by 12 then carried by 6. At the end of the day, martial arts training or any type of fight training is beneficial as a back up to your departmental use of force training. Just as my pistol is a back up to my freeze. Redundancy.


      • #4
        As already mentioned, a martial arts background is great to have. You will still be required to conform to policy, but you will be able to read body language better, anticipate aggression, undersrand body mechanics, know critical distances instinctively, know what types of techniques work best for you, and react faster. There are many benefits.

        You cannot learn any type of defensive tactic or martial art from a book. Finding a good instructor is important. Do what interests you.
        "Respect is earned. Honesty is appreciated. Trust is gained. Loyalty is returned."


        • #5
          I have taken several years of tae kwon do. The benefits of martial arts go far beyond self defense. It is good for your physical well being, your self discipline, and it is a great way to burn off stress. You will be a better person and better officer for the time you invest in this area.
          In God We Trust
          Everyone else we run local and NCIC


          • #6
            "Lady Blue" nailed it perfectly. While many depts. DO restrict youto what they "authorize" I've seen alot more situations where the Officer could articulate what & why he did something "unauthorized" & due to the nature of the situation go undisciplined for it. That being said, I would strongly suggest you follow your "gut" & study aikido or a similiar grappling art. The reason is simple--- in this day & age it's far easier to defend a throw, armlock or holddown than a kick or punch. The argument is simple. The suspect would have to have his hands on you to do whatever it is you did & THAT is in itself a crime (technically). I will advise you against Krav Maga, however. While I personally like it & see nothing wrong with it, its very nature may be frowned upon by your dept. Here LEOs are explicitly prohibited from it & if your agency became aware of that they could instill a similiar policy & hold you to it.


            • #7
              Just dont go out and think your Chuck " Super Ranger " Norris.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Lady Blue View Post
                I have taken several years of tae kwon do. The benefits of martial arts go far beyond self defense. It is good for your physical well being, your self discipline, and it is a great way to burn off stress. You will be a better person and better officer for the time you invest in this area.
                This... plus the experience of hitting someone and being hit is invaluable, as mentioned above.

                At my department we use PPCT. I was trained in a modified Krav style at my academy, and have several years of Akido practice in my somewhat-distant past. If I'm justified in applying a wrist lock or punching someone, where I learned the wrist lock or punch is pretty much irrelevant.

                Akido, judo and the like are good styles to study because as mentioned above being able to resolve an incident with a "lower" level of force than authorized is always useful. I recently went hands-on with an inmate. I would have been able to justify punches, baton strikes or OC/Taser... but was able to handle the situation with some re-direction and an arm/wrist lock... two levels of force below what I could have used.

                Made the incident review a piece of cake, and the inmate's grievance against me for excessive force was laughed at.
                Last edited by tanksoldier; 07-15-2014, 11:03 PM.
                "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

                "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet


                • #9
         it. Train, workout, eat right. You should prepare yourself physically and mentally for this career. Bjj!
                  "Let's walk down there and F!$#@ 'em all"....Hodges (Colors)


                  • #10
                    There's more to learning a martial art/fighting sport than simply learning techniques. I've done boxing, Kenpo (Kung Fu) and Jui-Jutsu, and these types of training teach you how to understand body mechanics, develop fast reflexes, be aware of your own body, and learn how to read people's body language. A trained boxer will see a shift in the feet and the subject's collar bone lurch forward before the punch extends outward; someone with academy training alone probably wouldn't notice. Even if your department has a super strict use of force policy that outlines specific techniques (which most don't), these intangible lessons will majorly pay off in the field when you're dealing with some noncompliant a**hole who's thinking about how to take you down.

                    I say learn whatever you can. I'm personally particular to boxing - you need to learn how to take a punch .

                    With all that being said, learning martial arts from a book will not be easy (and possibly be a waste of time). Get a real instructor or go to a school.


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