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Thread: Police Perspectives on Jiujitsu

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    Default Police Perspectives on Jiujitsu

    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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    When I came to the dojo I have been with for 30 years now I came from a strong grappling background.

    In this dojo of many of my seniors and my sensei were cops. ( State, County, City, etc.... various different doeartments) I would work with them on grappling and ground controls but they probably taught me more than I taught them.

    They had some solid Judo and wrestling skills in the dojo also. Plus our line of Goju Ryu comes from teachers who had thrown in a lot of judo concepts. Miyazato Sensei and Chinen Sensei both had done Judo. It wasn't like these Karate-Ka were complete grappling novices. In Illinois if you are a jock and you didn't play basketball you wrestled. More importantly they were good minded cops. It was great. I would show what I liked and what I used and they would tweaked it for me or tell why something was no good. My background for grappling was that I did it because it was fun.

    One of my goto ground control was Kami Shiho Gatame or what wrestlers or BJJ guys will call North-South or 69. I loved the control and I had a bunch of submissions and transition through the postion. But I couldn't control the hands. I couldn't see the hands. In Judo it didn't really matter. In Judo slapping the ears is illegal. The cops set me straight on why my Kami Shiho Gatame sucked.

    Keeping your sidearm in a secure postion when holestered and grappling was another awakening. I'm always very suspicious when non-cops think they can teach cops how to police.
    Last edited by CEB; 22nd August 2016 at 19:54.
    Ed Boyd

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    I think ground work of some sort is a must but I'm not sure a sole focus on BJJ is the way to go in your tactical training. As I study budo and as I gain ever more experience as an LEO I am making a mental divide in my training between the tactical arrest, control, dominate the scene training and the oh %$&*%^$ I have to fight or die sort of training. BJJ doesn't work for either of those situations. Most arrest situations I find myself in are able to be taken care of with minimal use of force, little more than commands. The might get the passive resistance where they don't want to stand or walk when I need them to. Extensive training in BJJ offers me little there. Even the active resistance stuff I am not interested in rolling with them. On the other hand the oh $%#@ situation I feel like the art fails for many of the reasons in the 2nd article, or at least the art alone. It needs something more, outside of the standard training paradigm to make it useful.

    I think knowledge of the ground and how to work on it is a must. Even Jikishinkage-ryu teaches how to deal with when you fall or trip and how to maintain dominance over a better equipped opponent in that situation. I think a basic newaza understanding and the occasional free rolling is all the LEO really needs. Much more and bad training habits can be ingrained and the time could be better spent elsewhere. BTW I also feel the same about arts like Krav Maga. Over reliance of their methods will get you in hemmed up in my opinion (knees and elbows aren't a good compliance method when you're on video, even if the department backs you up). This is just my opinion though. The other side of the coin is that cops don't train in anything. If an art like BJJ or Krav can inspire a cop to get on the mat and train it is still much better than nothing (what the usual officer does). I'd rather see a cop do TKD or strip mall karate than nothing.
    Christopher Covington

    Daito-ryu aikijujutsu
    Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage-ryu heiho

    All views expressed here are my own and don't necessarily represent the views of the arts I practice, the teachers and people I train with or any dojo I train in.

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    Hey! Chris Lives!!


    Quote Originally Posted by Kendoguy9 View Post
    I think ground work of some sort is a must but I'm not sure a sole focus on BJJ is the way to go in your tactical training. As I study budo and as I gain ever more experience as an LEO I am making a mental divide in my training between the tactical arrest, control, dominate the scene training and the oh %$&*%^$ I have to fight or die sort of training. BJJ doesn't work for either of those situations.
    Too true - BJJ taught as competition or reacreational BJJ does not - there are elements of it that are applicable. The pieces are there they just aren't put together in the way that is needed. Rarely is the distinction made in the training community these days.

    I think a level of skill higher than simple awareness or occasional rolling is crucial for officers, both in officer survival situations and to avoid having to resort to lethal force in some situations. This training only comes from drilling under increasing amount of actual pressure - that means actually wrestling with someone trying to best you.

    Of course this is never done in in-service LE training. Go figure.



    Quote Originally Posted by Kendoguy9 View Post
    It needs something more, outside of the standard training paradigm to make it useful.
    Yep - there is plenty of stuff within the standard curriculum - the problem is willingly going to the ground on your butt or back, and fighting for submissions versus takedown and control position - is where BJJ is increasingy going. I realize this is basically being critical of BJJ because it isn't judo, but in my experience in both arts I think that BJJ, trained and conducted as if it was still judo, is better.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kendoguy9 View Post
    I think knowledge of the ground and how to work on it is a must. Even Jikishinkage-ryu teaches how to deal with when you fall or trip and how to maintain dominance over a better equipped opponent in that situation.
    Fascinating.
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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    One of the biggest problem in my opinion is the officer´s equipment. Not only, the officers do not work in gi and on padded floors but also carry themselves a belt with some weapons around. I think of the gun, the ASP baton, the spray and so on.

    Deliberately going to the ground with all that stuff around your waist is a very dangerous option since the belt hinders the movements one might be trying to do and what is even worse, is that some of the weapons on the belt could be used against the officer while struggling on the ground. While it is hard to steal the gun thanks to the holster´s securities, grabing the spray or the baton is much easier and could be devastating especially at such a short range of combat.

    Some techniques are also very hard to perform while wearing an uniform especially in the cold seasons when th eofficers wear sometimes several layers of clothes plus their bulletproof jackets. Actually officers should train this way: outside, with their full equipment whatever the weather and then analyze what happened and if possible why it happened. This is not exactly the most common training among the police forces those days.

    BJJ is very popular within Police trainees with no or little field experience but their perspective tend to change after a little while in the force. May be this is what we call "experience".
    Deception is one of Kenpo´s best technique.

    Väck ej björnen som sover


    Raphael Deutsch

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raff View Post
    One of the biggest problem in my opinion is the officer´s equipment. Not only, the officers do not work in gi and on padded floors but also carry themselves a belt with some weapons around. I think of the gun, the ASP baton, the spray and so on.
    ....
    Exactly.

    BJJ isn't really popular with police officers. Basically NO training is popular, and most don't train other than their mandated few hours a years. This is a far more problematic state of affairs, but it is what it is.

    In that sense BJJ offers something, at least, that is better than the ineffective tactical soup of JKD-based kali and aikido and krav maga - none of it done against real resistance - that is overwhelmingly popular in the defensive tactics community now.

    BJJ is popular with many police trainers, which is a problem for varied reasons - one being exactly as you suggest: Armor, a heavy gun belt, radio, weapons, etc. coupled with the fact that officers will be training very little means that even basic movements can be compromised. Trainers then default to teaching the common sutemi-waza styled takedowns that BJJ has focussed, or somewhat complicated (from a novice standpoint) sweeps and submissions from the bottom, that no one who doesn't practice regularly will gain much grasp on. Never mind that most police trainers generally don't have high levels of skill and do not critically analyze the stuff they are doing.

    When it comes to the job, I have a love-hate relationship with Judo and Brazilian jiujitsu.... some of it is great, some it is meh, and some of it has no place in tactical applications...though it is probably the best stuff to be training in for a number of reasons.

    You do WANT to take most suspects to the ground. What you don't want is to go their FIRST, while pulling them on top of you, or to go to the bottom at all, if possible. That is a different way of groundfighting than what BJJ inculcates in the majority of its practice.


    Weapon retention is also an issue but a complex subject. Not everyone has Level III holsters, and so the weapon is NOT as secure as you might think. Relying on the holster is a problem, for starters, but happens because of the low level of training received.

    There are many variables regarding the ASP, spray, and let's not forget Taser and retention at grappling range that gets even more nuanced.
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hissho View Post
    Weapon retention is also an issue but a complex subject. Not everyone has Level III holsters, and so the weapon is NOT as secure as you might think. Relying on the holster is a problem, for starters, but happens because of the low level of training received.

    There are many variables regarding the ASP, spray, and let's not forget Taser and retention at grappling range that gets even more nuanced.
    Hello Kit,

    I was reading "la gazzetta di Parma" my hometown´s newspaper today and I read an interesting article about just that subject. Two guys were "visiting" an appartment when the Police intervened. One of the guy did escape by jumping out of the balcony!!!! but the second one suceeded in stealing one of the policemen´s weapon and tried to shoot him. Luckily, the policeman has been able to regain control of the situation and arrest the guy before it was too late. This could have been dramatic. That kind of violence in Parma and around (it actually happened in Reggio nell´Emilia, a town very close to Parma (our best ennemy if you want to know) with whom we share the famous parmigiano reggiano cheese.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parmigiano-Reggiano

    So, you were indeed right about the holster even though the ones we have in my unit (both the one to wear while wearing uniform and the one for civilian clothes missions) are very hard to "crack" open (there must be a better word for that). Yet, it is still a major problem especially since criminals (the guy had a fake greek passeport by the way) do not hesitate to open fire on officers anymore.
    Deception is one of Kenpo´s best technique.

    Väck ej björnen som sover


    Raphael Deutsch

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    Raff-

    Hey brother - sorry I didn't realize you were LE!

    What kind of holster are you running? Like this?

    http://johnnyjet.wpengine.netdna-cdn...y-2012-081.jpg
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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    Hello Kit,

    I really love the international LE´s brotherhood. Solidarity and support are great.

    Here is a picture of the holsters in use. There is a button under the "arch" which is almost impossible to reach for somebody coming from the front. The system is good as it provides security and an easy/quick access to the weapon.


    Stay safe!!!!

    Deception is one of Kenpo´s best technique.

    Väck ej björnen som sover


    Raphael Deutsch

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    Ok good - I shudder at those holsters in the other pic - that hood is pretty standard, with additional finger release or without. I am transitioning to a red dot sight and the holster is open top, with an internal retention. Its faster, but haven't put it through the paces with any retention work yet.
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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