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

Solidman82

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It's as much their business as you want it to be. But if you do keep it a secret you run the risk of looking shut in or guilty for one reason or another. I just tell people that it'll take too long to share my entire background since I don't have a rank and that I've been training in various places for 6 years. If they want to know more they have to buy the beer.:asian:
 

funnytiger

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I find it interesting that there seems to be a lot of secrecy from people who are LEO's. My Sifu, who owns and operates the school, is a cop himself. There have been several articles written about him in local papers calling him, "Kung Fu Cop!" I get the impression that some of you fear some sort of backlash from the department if this were to happen in your departments. My Sifu seems to get more accolades because of his MA training and involvement. One of his superiors (I don't know ranks) came to one of our lion dance performances last Chinese New Years!

- ft
 

Drac

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I get the impression that some of you fear some sort of backlash from the department if this were to happen in your departments.

Yes, because it has happened...A friend of mine was a "Karate Kop in his dept.He got involved into an altercation off duty, 2 punks tried to steal his car..When he surprized them they attacked and were defeated, BUT they sued anyway..The only fact they semed to concentrate on was the fact that he was a 4th Dan and beat these 2 punks..
 

funnytiger

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Yes, because it has happened...A friend of mine was a "Karate Kop in his dept.He got involved into an altercation off duty, 2 punks tried to steal his car..When he surprized them they attacked and were defeated, BUT they sued anyway..The only fact they semed to concentrate on was the fact that he was a 4th Dan and beat these 2 punks..

Wow... so the fact that a lot of MA studios promote specials for LEOs is kind of backwards?
 

TraditionalTKD

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I very seldom tell anyone outside of members of our organization that I practice Tae Kwon Do. Many non-practitioners have stereotypical notions of what martial arts are, and they would not undestand. Come to think of it, I seldom tell practitioners of other styles either. It would depend greatly on their mindset and how mature they seem to be about things in general. I would never just say "By the way, I practice Tae Kwon Do". If they ask, and they seem to be level headed, I will tell. If they ask, and it's pretty obvious they haven't a clue, I just minimize my involvement in it.
Many of my wife's clients at her business know, but she deals with professional and very mature people. MMA and Bruce Lee are not typical topics of their conversations.
 

Solidman82

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Many practicioners have stereotypical notions of what non-practicioner's notions are. I try not to presume I know how somebody else sees the world, especially when I generalize.
 

jks9199

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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.

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.

But to make that point, you've moved pretty far out of the original question, which amounted to "I'm doing a martial art; do I have to or should I tell anyone, including my superiors." An officer is absolutely held to a higher standard (many politicians can't meet the same standards cops are held to), and most agencies do have GOs that say that officers are always subject to duty. But, generally, conduct unbecoming takes something a lot more than simply attending a martial arts class -- or even being in the same place as criminals. And, while being subject to duty, officers are not required to directly intervene while off duty. They're generally expected to show sound judgement in light of the totality of the circumstances as to how to react to an off-duty situation. Sometimes, that is indeed taking direct action. Other times, it's being a good witness and making a phone call. (This has been discussed at length recently in other threads, both under this sub-forum and on the Self Defense forums on MT.)

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.

If an officer who's out of field training doesn't have some idea of the people who are around him -- he needs some guidance. No matter how many times we try, or how nicely we ask, we just can't get the bad guys to agree to wear the nice, black t-shirts that say "BAD GUY" in white letters on it. Development of that "sixth sense" or trained hunch is a vital aspect of an officer's early career development. Few cops I know or work with would choose to hang out in a martial arts school filled with criminals...

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.

Perhaps the agencies you are aware of don't encourage martial arts training. I know of none that prohibit it -- and several where the instructors actively encourage it. More or different training does not remove the responsibility of the officer to justify their actions.

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.

Perhaps in another day... While I won't say that my experience is all encompassing, I'm currently working on a task force with more than a dozen other agencies, and I've got friends and colleagues across the nation. Most current defensive tactics instruction is more flexible than you imply, and several agencies I'm aware of do have mandatory in-service DT. It's a simple issue of liability meeting practicality. It's impossible to describe ahead every possible situation; that's why they've moved away from the "stair step" approach and "force levels" to talking about the "force continuum" or "use of force matrix." And I hope you're not meaning to suggest that there's something bad about using backup and numbers to minimize the force required while maximizing everyone's safety!

I find it interesting that there seems to be a lot of secrecy from people who are LEO's. My Sifu, who owns and operates the school, is a cop himself. There have been several articles written about him in local papers calling him, "Kung Fu Cop!" I get the impression that some of you fear some sort of backlash from the department if this were to happen in your departments. My Sifu seems to get more accolades because of his MA training and involvement. One of his superiors (I don't know ranks) came to one of our lion dance performances last Chinese New Years!

- ft

Professionally, I don't go out of my way to advertise my martial arts training. Several people in my agency are aware of it; most think it's just a hobby and a way to try to keep fit. But that "karate cop" reputation can be a problem... It opens up avenues for excessive force complaints unless you've documented why you did what you did well, as well as sometimes encouraging the stupid challenges.

Yes, because it has happened...A friend of mine was a "Karate Kop in his dept.He got involved into an altercation off duty, 2 punks tried to steal his car..When he surprized them they attacked and were defeated, BUT they sued anyway..The only fact they semed to concentrate on was the fact that he was a 4th Dan and beat these 2 punks..

Note that it wasn't his police work that produced the problem -- but the reputation he had coupled with his use of force. This is something that could happen to any martial artist, whatever their profession.
 

Drac

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Yes, because it has happened...A friend of mine was a "Karate Kop in his dept.He got involved into an altercation off duty, 2 punks tried to steal his car..When he surprized them they attacked and were defeated, BUT they sued anyway..The only fact they semed to concentrate on was the fact that he was a 4th Dan and beat these 2 punks..

jks9199 said:
Note that it wasn't his police work that produced the problem -- but the reputation he had coupled with his use of force. This is something that could happen to any martial artist, whatever their profession.

Very very true...
 

Brad Dunne

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When folks subjectively read into what they want to in order to promote their viewpoint, rebuttal become a moote point. We'll just leave it at that and hope my fellow officers don't ever get jammed up because they weren't aware of their position vs department policy.
 

Drac

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and hope my fellow officers don't ever get jammed up because they weren't aware of their position vs department policy.

Thanks for the wishes..Departmental Policy can be a royal pain in the butt..
 

funnytiger

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Professionally, I don't go out of my way to advertise my martial arts training. Several people in my agency are aware of it; most think it's just a hobby and a way to try to keep fit. But that "karate cop" reputation can be a problem... It opens up avenues for excessive force complaints unless you've documented why you did what you did well, as well as sometimes encouraging the stupid challenges.

I think it all boils down to where you are and what position you hold. What I have seen with my Sifu and his interaction with his peers (as well as superiors) in the police department is the complete opposite of what some of you are saying. He never makes any qualms about expressing who he is and what he does. *shrug* I guess he lucked out...

- ft
 
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kcast

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Thanks for the wishes..Departmental Policy can be a royal pain in the butt..

I think that you mean Departmental Policy IS a royal pain in the butt
 

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