Is it ok to think that Martial Arts is none of "their" business.

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kcast

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the problem i run into is the techniques are considered "violent", now I have used a front ball kick on a drunk that was coming at me and it didn't look bad on video, but for the most part, they're going to want to use something that is graceful and not so violent...
 

MJS

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the problem i run into is the techniques are considered "violent", now I have used a front ball kick on a drunk that was coming at me and it didn't look bad on video, but for the most part, they're going to want to use something that is graceful and not so violent...

Agreed, and no, they're not going to want you to gouge the eyes. But, if you can take something, even if it was some joint manipulation, takedown/controlling methods, etc., its better than nothing. Again, your dept. has a policy in place that you need to follow, but there may be some things you can add in. :)

Mike
 

tellner

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As a cop you're probably limited to following your department's SOP unless they've specifically stated "Do what you have to". It's typical CYA, stay covered by liability insurance stuff. So leave the "violent techniques" at home. But unless they have a stated policy that says "No officer may take up the hobby of martial arts outside of department-sponsored training" there's no reason to stop.

There's also no reason to tell them about it.

There's every reason not to lie to them if they ask.
 
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agree tellner, if they ask, I have to tell, but I definately won't be volunteering that information
 

jks9199

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I'm new here (obviously) and I just wanted to know if others felt the same way I do. I've recently started training in Shaolin Kempo, currently I'm training under a 6th degree black belt and I LOVE IT! I'm still new to the martial arts world and have a few techniques from my LEO training. BUT, I was wondering if some of you feel like your training or rank or type of MA isn't anyone else's business. Its not that I'm hiding that I'm training, its just that I don't really want anyone knowing (other then family, and friends that don't have BIG mouths). I would rather no one know then that one BIG mouthed friend that pulls that famous line "oh he is a karate guy and can kick your @ss", next thing you know I have some meat head challenging me. Sorry for the rant....what 'cha think?

It's your business. Do you feel that everyone has to know what books you read or what tv shows you watch? This is just a new hobby for you; tell or don't tell as you wish. One way to handle that "he's into karate" crap is to say something like "Yep. Sure am. But I'm just a beginner; I don't know anything except how to get beat up yet!"

thats the other dilema, I don't need the administration knowing, b/c they'll be fussing at me for getting "extra unauthorized training", and god forbid if I use one of the moves on the road and they don't like it!

Your brass is opposed to people seeking training and maintaining fitness on their own?! Use of force is all about ARTICULATION, not where the technique came from. If you can justify why you did it -- it shouldn't matter. Don't skimp detail -- but the report doesn't have to say where you learned the technique. Describe & define the resistance you encountered, and then the force you used, and why it was appropriate.

And if they were to fuss about it... It's "just a hobby and exercise class!" It's not "police training!" One caveat, though... If you're still in the academy -- hold off and concentrate on what they're teaching. Basic academy DT grading is often very particular, and doing the wrong thing (even if it works and would be perfectly acceptable on the street) can fail you.
 

jks9199

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As a cop you're probably limited to following your department's SOP unless they've specifically stated "Do what you have to". It's typical CYA, stay covered by liability insurance stuff. So leave the "violent techniques" at home. But unless they have a stated policy that says "No officer may take up the hobby of martial arts outside of department-sponsored training" there's no reason to stop.

There's also no reason to tell them about it.

There's every reason not to lie to them if they ask.

Hopefully, there are very few departments that have such a strict use of force policy as to define the techniques an officer may use, other than excluding some (like the carotid restraint or sleeper hold) that have too great a potential to cause inappropriate and unreasonable harm. The officer's defensive response has to be appropriate to the threat; you can't body slam a 90 lb granny, nor should you try to sweet talk a gang banger with a machete... (And, yes, sometimes that "defensive" response is to get your offense off before they get thiers in!)

It should come down to the officer's ability to articulate why they did what they did; what was the threat, and why did they respond that way. Unfortunately, I've read enough reports from officers that don't articulate what they need to; even though they did nothing wrong, when they try to make it sound "neat & professional" with phrasing like "took him to the ground", they end up sounding like they're hiding something.

Oh... Guess what? The same idea applies to civilian use of force in self-defense! If you use force that is inappropriate to the threat presented -- you'll be in trouble. And if you don't explain why what you did to the other guy is reasonable, you'll be in trouble...
 

tellner

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Articulation. Yep. Yep. Yep.
Know what you're doing and why you're doing it!

I've heard of departments in some larger cities or ones that have had to dig into their insurance policy a few too many times get as pissy as that about technique. It's not about criminal liability. It's CYA. You can't go wrong by robotically doing what you're told :cuss:
 

CuongNhuka

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It could be a good way to get of having to deal with stupid questions. But on the other hand, you may meat some one who does martial arts also. Anouther story (only slightly off topic). I have a book called "The Complete Idiots Guide to Martial Arts (my mom got it for me 2 years ago for xmas). I was thumbing through it, looking for something. In it, in the back it had a section titled Dynastys. It listed the dynastys of a few places, including Veitnam. Cuong Nhu is from Veitnam, so I took a quick glance and it listed from 225 - 400 the Tran Dyansty. I know a girl from school named Tran. So I took the book to school and showed it to her. She has a big mouth, so if you were in my position, you wouldn't have told her. But it was worth it. Atleast I think it was.
 

Drac

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Your brass is opposed to people seeking training and maintaining fitness on their own?! Use of force is all about ARTICULATION, not where the technique came from. If you can justify why you did it -- it shouldn't matter. Don't skimp detail -- but the report doesn't have to say where you learned the technique. Describe & define the resistance you encountered, and then the force you used, and why it was appropriate

Gospel Truth there...
 

IcemanSK

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If you played piano & didn't want to tell anyone, that would be ok. MA is no different. It's your life, it's your call.
 

funnytiger

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We have several military and LEOs training with us. As a matter of fact I thin kfor the military folks it's encouraged because the hand to hand suppliments their other training and there isn't the budget for that type of training.

But...

I'm a father, a husband, a Christian, a musician, a martial artist, a computer programmer....24-7. I don't stop being any of those because of where I am and who I am with. My martial arts training comes up as natural part of conversation when talking about plans for the weekend and what not. I don't brag, but I don't keep it a secret.

It's a good thing in my life and I probably tend to share it because I want others to find the same thing.

I'm with you 100%. Kung fu is such a big part of my life, I don't know how I could NOT tell people. When people at work as me what I am doing for the weekend I have no qualms telling them "training" or "doing a lion dance performance". If I made an effort to not say anything about it, I think everyone would think I'm some sort of serial killer or something. lol

- ft
 

jks9199

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I'm with you 100%. Kung fu is such a big part of my life, I don't know how I could NOT tell people. When people at work as me what I am doing for the weekend I have no qualms telling them "training" or "doing a lion dance performance". If I made an effort to not say anything about it, I think everyone would think I'm some sort of serial killer or something. lol

- ft
And that's your perfectly acceptable choice.

But it can have consequences... If it hasn't happened yet, I guarantee it will; you'll be minding your own business and one of your buddies will decide to "mess around" with you and throw a punch at you. Or someone'll decide that they just gotta prove how tough they by squaring off with you... Or some other form of idiocy.

I don't make a secret that I train in martial arts. I don't advertise that I teach much, either, though. And it's not something I typically volunteer unless somehow it happens to come up in a conversation. There are people that have known me for years, and don't know -- or barely know. And there are others who learned within the first hours we knew each other.

Also -- I know that if my professional use of force is ever called into question in a civil court, my martial arts training is likely to come out. And it's likely to be a hurdle for my defense.
 

funnytiger

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And that's your perfectly acceptable choice.

But it can have consequences... If it hasn't happened yet, I guarantee it will; you'll be minding your own business and one of your buddies will decide to "mess around" with you and throw a punch at you. Or someone'll decide that they just gotta prove how tough they by squaring off with you... Or some other form of idiocy.

I don't make a secret that I train in martial arts. I don't advertise that I teach much, either, though. And it's not something I typically volunteer unless somehow it happens to come up in a conversation. There are people that have known me for years, and don't know -- or barely know. And there are others who learned within the first hours we knew each other.

Also -- I know that if my professional use of force is ever called into question in a civil court, my martial arts training is likely to come out. And it's likely to be a hurdle for my defense.

I've been taking kung fu for 4 years now, and pretty much had the same attitude since the beginning and haven't had any kind of negative reaction to someone finding out I take an MA.

Besides, I think that is more of a guy thing than a girl thing. We generally aren't into proving how big our testicles are, mainly because we don't have any. :wink1:
 

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Do yourself a big favor, ask your department/supervisor what the policy is for off duty training. Understand, that in law enforcement, your private life is not so private. There are lots of things that can come into conflict with the term "conduct unbecoming". Whatever the response from your department, you will at least know where you stand. If they say OK, then your covered to an extent and if they so no, then you know your on your own. I realize it's a lousy position to be put in, but remember who's behind policy making (Lawyers). I always did find it ironic.......no stupid, that policy(s) dictate the use of a weapon is approved, but if you should use physical force in the same situation, your butt can get hung out to dry.

The problem with training in the arts, is that you develop muscle memory and that will come into play in an altercation, regardless of police procedures. Most departments have very limited H2H/arrest training and most if not all is just about worthless.

Stay safe out there and remember to CYA...........
 

jks9199

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Do yourself a big favor, ask your department/supervisor what the policy is for off duty training. Understand, that in law enforcement, your private life is not so private. There are lots of things that can come into conflict with the term "conduct unbecoming". Whatever the response from your department, you will at least know where you stand. If they say OK, then your covered to an extent and if they so no, then you know your on your own. I realize it's a lousy position to be put in, but remember who's behind policy making (Lawyers). I always did find it ironic.......no stupid, that policy(s) dictate the use of a weapon is approved, but if you should use physical force in the same situation, your butt can get hung out to dry.

The problem with training in the arts, is that you develop muscle memory and that will come into play in an altercation, regardless of police procedures. Most departments have very limited H2H/arrest training and most if not all is just about worthless.

Stay safe out there and remember to CYA...........
I can't see where a reasonable and legitimate martial arts class is going to brush up against any sort of conduct unbecoming charge. Some of the flakier and weird stuff out there might... but most of those are borderline (if not actual) cults, anyway.

If the department has some sort of restriction on off duty training, or if he's ordered not to train at such & such a school, there could be problems. Or if, in training, he's associating with criminals -- but most cops aren't going to train in a place like that to begin with!

Most agencies that I'm aware of (and they range from large metropolitan PDs to small rural sheriff's departments) either activiely encourage or at least don't discourage officers from a variety of activities that would improve their effectiveness at work. These include fitness activities and martial arts, as well as reading court cases, advanced study in specialized areas, sharing information within appropriate networking areas (including some message boards) and more. The training budget is limited; duty time is often filled with work. Individual efforts serve to allow that budget to be maximized.

As to the effectiveness of the basic DT taught -- that all depends on the agency and its instructors. Most (again, within my knowledge) have moved away from ineffective and inefficient focuses on "martial arts" techniques to simple, gross muscle movements tailored to the needs of the officer. These movements often have their basis in martial arts, it's true. But they're greatly simplified as a general rule. And the basic DT taught at my agency's academy (as well as similar programs at several other agencies I'm aware of) is effective, and deliberately taught in an AGGRESSIVE manner, to control a situation BEFORE it escalates.
 

Andy Moynihan

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I'm new here (obviously) and I just wanted to know if others felt the same way I do. I've recently started training in Shaolin Kempo, currently I'm training under a 6th degree black belt and I LOVE IT! I'm still new to the martial arts world and have a few techniques from my LEO training. BUT, I was wondering if some of you feel like your training or rank or type of MA isn't anyone else's business. Its not that I'm hiding that I'm training, its just that I don't really want anyone knowing (other then family, and friends that don't have BIG mouths). I would rather no one know then that one BIG mouthed friend that pulls that famous line "oh he is a karate guy and can kick your @ss", next thing you know I have some meat head challenging me. Sorry for the rant....what 'cha think?


Absolutely, this day and age being what it is, secrecy is the only sane option.
 
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I can't see where a reasonable and legitimate martial arts class is going to brush up against any sort of conduct unbecoming charge. Some of the flakier and weird stuff out there might... but most of those are borderline (if not actual) cults, anyway.

I think what he is talking about is what was touched base on further up the page, where someone would be developing muscle memory, and using an "unauthorized" technique such as raking someones face, or a front ball kick to the bladder.

With that being said, I understand what others were saying about articulation, I've been on 2 1/2 years now and I've done more than my share of articulation, and have never had a problem with a use of force, however, I'm just not so sure how they're gonna take it if they see me use a technique on the street that isn't PC. <---those of you who come from departments that are very strict and run tighter then a drum will understand that comment
 

Brad Dunne

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kcast understood the meaning of the post, but for other's I'll expound a little.

I can't see where a reasonable and legitimate martial arts class is going to brush up against any sort of conduct unbecoming charge.

This wasen't addressing martial arts but rather the entire spectrum of an officers private off duty life. An officer in many, if not all departments, is subject to duty 24/7, not just during a particular shift. So with this requirement comes additional restrictions/policy procedures, that if done incorrectly, could fall under conduct unbecoming. That phrase unto itself is a "catch all", which offers management a wide range of interpertations in dealing with conduct of officers.

Or if, in training, he's associating with criminals -- but most cops aren't going to train in a place like that to begin with!

Even though MA's training was not the issue, this statement begs for a rebuttal. I don't know of any school that has the latitude or even the means to do background checks of prospective students. Depending upon the school location, one may be very surprised as to who they are sharing the mats with.

Most agencies that I'm aware of (and they range from large metropolitan PDs to small rural sheriff's departments) either activiely encourage or at least don't discourage officers from a variety of activities that would improve their effectiveness at work.

For the venues that were listed with one exception, I concur, but MA's training is not one. This is the crux of the debate as to tell or don't tell. Thus my reasoning for stating to ask the department their positioning. Most if not all departments do not condone MA's training because it can be in direct conflict with their use of force matrix.

As to the effectiveness of the basic DT taught -- that all depends on the agency and its instructors.

True to an extent. They still will only teach what is applicable to policy guidelines. They may have expounded to a degree, the interpertation of specific techniques (beefed them up), but they still fall within the realm of policy. But we must face one ever truthfull position, (Use it or lose it). That's where the initial DT training falls on it's face, for nobody, to my knowledge, has mandatory DT retraining/refreshing. Thusly, if you now train in a MA, you will at least be up to speed in your muscle memory, but most likely at the cost of going against policy. The catch 22 to police work is that your taught/expected to use backup and established tools.
 
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i actually like the direction this discussion is goin...do we have a LEO section on the forums??
 
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