Pain compliance techniques - yay or nay?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Bian, Jan 11, 2021.

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  1. Bian

    Bian White Belt

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    Just for context, I am a second year policing college student. I have a background of competitive fighting, but we are also sparring in the class here frequently learning policing combatives. I'm very curious what this forum thinks about compliance versus control methods, more specifically pain compliance. Should pain compliance even be taught? What is your opinion?

    I think pain compliance definitely has it's uses, but cannot be relied on. I've had force situations I've encountered in my practicum where pain compliance tactics (ie wrist lock, collar bone hook) have very rapidly gained compliance and led to very simple detainments.

    However, I also had a situation where 6 officers and 2 students (one being me) fought with a suspect for quite an extended period of time. It was a prisoner who couldn't be controlled. He kept getting away, back on his feet, and fighting until knocked unconscious. . Multiple large doses of pepper spray, punch/kicks, baton strikes, joint locks including an armbar that traumatically hyperextended his arm, none of that worked. It ultimately came down to trying to wrestle him which didn't work, until a rear naked choke finally stopped the fight. He wasn't on any drugs either.
     
  2. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    What was the student on (drugs)?
     
  3. Bian

    Bian White Belt

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    Sorry for confusion, I am a policing student — it was a prisoner we were fighting. He tested negative for all the drugs they test for - that is cocaine, classical psychedelics, amphetamines, opiates, and some research chemicals like bath salts. Cannabis isn't tested for here.
     
  4. Monkey Turned Wolf

    Monkey Turned Wolf MT Moderator Staff Member

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    If you said it was just the pain compliance techniques that weren't working-I'd say that yeah, sometimes they don't work. When they don't you have to recognize that and move to something else. But with the pepper spray and baton strikes...yeah he was probably on something. My bet from experiencing working with ex-cons is synthetic marijuana-a lot of them used it in jail/on parole because they know it doesn't show up on tests, and it came have funky and unpredictable effects, including mimicking stuff like PCP sometimes.
     
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  5. Monkey Turned Wolf

    Monkey Turned Wolf MT Moderator Staff Member

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    To answer the actual question, yes they're worth it. If for nothing else then that it's worth going for that and a simple detainment rather than a slugfest. From how my dad's explained it to me, and what I learned in (non-LEO) classes on the subject-it's part of a continuum of force. Generally, the first step is verbal, which you should try first, but as I'm sure you know doesn't always work and needs escalation, and if the next step doesn't work, you escalate again, etc. Pain compliance, IMO, would fit as one of those early steps that can be escalated if needed.
     
  6. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    Pain compliance is very useful when you have control. By yourself it will be what allows you to handcuff a resisting suspect.
     
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  7. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    Pain compliance can work, but not reliably. In fact, no single technique reliably works. Some people have an iron jaw and resist punches, are double jointed and resist joint locks. Some have a high pain threshold or are on drugs. People take gunshots and keep going, especially if determined or high. Probably the only reliable methods of neutralizing a threat are a chokehold or a headshot, and those may be difficult to get. I mean, look how many punches don't land in a boxing match, how many take-downs are reversed in wrestling. BJJ wouldn't teach submission defense if their techniques were 100%.

    In Hapkido, we try to use a combination of everything in the same technique:
    • Pain compliance
    • Points of contact
    • Footwork
    If I go to use a V-Lock, I'm not just going to try and twist your wrist to take you down. I'm going to also contact my shoulder into your chest, my hip into your ribs, my bicep into your elbow. I'm going to create points of contact in effort to control you. And I'm not just going to twist your wrist and try to take you down. I'm going to twist your wrist and do a circular step so my full body weight is behind it.

    If I don't secure the points of contact, I've still got the wristlock and my whole weight is spent on twisting your wrist. If I don't secure the wristlock, I've still got a decent hip-check throw. And if you step around my footwork, I've still got you locked up with enough points of contact to hopefully keep you under control while I transition to a different technique.

    I think experience will also help you know when someone should be controlled with pain compliance vs. another technique. Someone who is susceptible to pain compliance, it can end a fight really quick. Probably quicker than anything else. Someone not susceptible...you're wasting your time.

    Side tangent: this is why I hate how the media demonizes police officers who hurt someone in the heat of a fight. Because everything the media says about fighting tactics is wrong. They don't have a real understanding of how quickly the threat can hurt you, or of how to stop the threat. But people who read these articles or watch these reports assume they are accurate, and follow along with demonizing the police.

    Less-lethal options like tasers and pepper spray are still dangerous, and can still fail to stop someone. An unarmed person can still bludgeon you to death, or at the very least deliver severe injuries. I just met a former police officer the other day. Someone hit him in the head with a pipe, and his doctor told him to quit the force because of how severe the concussion was.

    I'm not advocating for police violence, or saying that every encounter should be handled by shooting the aggressor. But the reality of self-defense is that you can be put into danger incredibly quickly, and if you're required to go through the less-lethal laundry list before you can properly defend yourself, you might get hurt.
     
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  8. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

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    Take my .02 cents worth as both a defensive tactics instructor and working in the field for 20+ years.

    The answer to your question is in your scenario. Pain Compliance techniques are designed for LOW levels of resistance. The fact that you were actively trying to apply them while he was actively resisting tells me there is a disconnect with either 1) how they were taught to you guys or 2) how you guys are understanding their place in use in the levels of resistance vs. control.

    Yes, they should be taught. They are a valuable tool that has worked many times for me. BUT, they need to be taught their proper place in the totality of things. That is always the biggest complaint I hear from officers telling me. "pressure points/pain compliance doesn't work". Then I have them tell me about when they were trying to use them and the majority of time, they were using less force than what was called for in the situation and weren't even matching the level of force the suspect was using. It sounds like the same situation here, using techniques out of place.
     
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  9. Bian

    Bian White Belt

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    We're trained in a 3 stage model, which is the national policing guideline here. It's contain, restrain, remove. In that first step, your either chasing/wrestling someone who's running or fighting with someone who's intent on causing harm until they can be safely restrained. When the situation is contained even if there's still severe resistance, we're taught to stop using injuring force and move to safe restraints. Safe restraints generally means the suspect is on their back, someone lays across the legs, someone lays across each arm, pressure isn't then applied to the chest or head unless to prevent self injury. Then removal is pretty self explanatory.

    How I've thought of it is physiological controls are more important in the early phase "contain" step, pain compliance is more applicable in transitioning to restrain. It's always interesting to see how different people are taught though and hear these things.

    I'm also glad I'm not doing this in America. Things are so different over there with the litigation. Our system isn't perfect either though given there's people fighting police multiple times in one week and never seeing prison - but it's better than worried about having your life ruined over justified reasonable force that doesn't look pretty.
     
  10. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    In my experience, pain compliance is best used after restraint to force someone to comply with your orders. Such as...give me your other arm, walk this way, let go of that object, give me more french fries, etc...
     
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  11. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    That's fine if you have a lot of officers. Many of these situations happen when there's only one or two officers. Even if there's two, by the time the second officer is able to help, their partner may already be useless in a fight (stabbed, KO'd, etc).

    There's a difference between a group of officers going after a criminal, vs. an officer having to deal with a situation when they see it or are ambushed. For example, you don't have a group of officers at a traffic stop.

    This is also one of the reasons why it's even more deadly for a civilian. Officers sometimes have the luxury of waiting for backup before moving in on a criminal, where a civilian is always in trouble when they're using their defense skills. For example, when an officer is pepper spraying, there are usually more officers with guns behind him.

    In that case, pain compliance is definitely higher percentage (than in my situation), because you already have control, and you have more officers as the fail-safe.

    Hapkido is about trying to physically compromise your opponent as quickly as possible to get yourself out of the fight as quickly as possible. Where the pain compliance transitions well to police use, I don't think the actual fighting strategy does.

    You are so right. Even worse, when you arrest violent criminals and then the DA or the judge decides to let them go for political reasons. So not only did you risk your life, but then the dangerous person is back on the street. (This is different than a jury finding them innocent through a fair trial).
     
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  12. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    its very much person dependent, some people have an extraordinary high level of pain thresh hold, even more if they have adrenioline or something else in their body.


    the issue is control, if you dobt have control of them, then pain compliance is usless, they will just hurt you back, these can ve the same thing lije an arm bar or may be different
    but as you found iut some peolle will take a broken arm and still come back at you, once you let go
    just rellying on, il do this ut hurts is a quick way to get hurt your self
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2021
  13. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    How exactly are you using the pain compliance? Is this thumb in the side of the neck? Or crossface?
     
  14. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    "Give me more French fires"

    LMAO
     
  15. wab25

    wab25 2nd Black Belt

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    One of the issues with things like wrist locks is that people think that is all it is. I twist your wrist like this, it hurts and you do what I want you to do. Ever watch what happens after you first teach people a wrist lock? They go home and try it on their buddy. They grab the wrist and twist it and their buddy said "eh?? nice I guess." The problem is that in order for the wrist lock to be effective, you need to compromise their structure, take their balance and isolate the joint you are locking. In this way, even if the pain does not do the trick, you still have control of the situation, as you still have their balance and their structure is still broken. You can then do any number of techniques to them if your wrist lock did not work. I submit, that even in this case, the wrist lock "worked" as it did the most important bit, it took their balance and broke their structure, giving you an advantage. The pain in the wrist is secondary. The fun part is... the better you get at the first two parts, the more pain the wrist brings when you put it on.

    At the end of the day, its another tool in the bag... trying to take a lug nut off with a screw driver is not going to be effective... but that does not mean the screw driver is useless... you just have to wait until you are screwed...
     
  16. oftheherd11

    oftheherd11 Yellow Belt

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    Six officers and 2 students? I would think it would be hard for 8 people to keep out of each other's way and do anything with a resisting prisoner.

    How long did that last? Did the prisoner give any reason as to why he was so hard to subdue?
     
  17. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    Is a force continuum not taught? Meaning you start with verbal commands and move up to lethal force as needed
    Some of my students who worked as prison guards reported that pressure points often make the prisoner freak out and they get less compliance. The exact point I am referring to is behind the ear. I chalked it up to them over applying it. There has to be a balance of force applied to not send them into an adrenaline kick. Once that happens and they are fighting back voluntary compliance is thrown out the window. At that stage you are beyond compliance and are now looking to take control
     
  18. Hanzou

    Hanzou Grandmaster

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    So you pepper sprayed, kick/punched, beat a man with sticks, and hyperextend his arm when you could have just choked him from the beginning?

    This stuff, along with the George Floyd incident tells me that law enforcement needs some better training. Some Gracie JJ training would help a lot IMO.
     
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  19. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    it seem that choking is now off the table, so thay have to beat you with sticks instead, what they need is team work, if half a dozen cant control one guy, then some thing is wrong, get a limb each, pick him up, he is going nowhere
     
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  20. Hanzou

    Hanzou Grandmaster

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    The training is wrong, that's what's wrong.

    I used to work with violent teenagers and young adults, and I had to pin some of them down and restrain them without weapons (which eventually led me to quit because I was tired of being a glorified bouncer when I'm supposed to be teaching). Some of those individuals were a lot bigger than myself. I never had any problem doing it, and I never had to kick, punch, or beat them with batons (I probably would have lost my job if I had).

    There's many pins and holds you can use. Some of the holds police use (like the knee on the neck) is extreme and unnecessary.123
     
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