Traditional grappling arts and Law Enforcement

CNida

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Like I usually do, I would like to preface this question with the following statement: I have very little clue of what I am talking about here. I am asking because I want to know...

As far as traditional grappling arts go... Do any of them have any applicability in the field of Law Enforcement?

I know its a very broad question. But take for example: Aikido. Several years back, Aikido was growing somewhat in popularity around here. Law enforcement agencies were learning Aikido as part of their defensive tactics programs and as a way to subdue criminals while on the street.

This seems to have decayed. Why is that? Is Aikido just not practical in the field of law enforcement? Is there perhaps another art that would suffice?


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ballen0351

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The thing with "law enforcement" is its just a job. You have most cops that do zero training at all, you have some cops that only hit the gym you have even less that train in a fighting art. So something like teaching Aikido to cops in general wouldn't work because most cops would go to the mandatory class once a year for a few hours andnever practice again. Now tthat's true for all arts. We had free BJJ classes paid for by the department out of the 150 officers at my department 4 of us showed up. I arranged free Judo classes for my department me and 1 other guy attend. So there is no art known to man that you can teach a few hours a year never practice and have it be effective.
 

seasoned

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You need something in real time and it can be agreed that arts like Aikido take a long time to be effective. I have a buddy that trained before becoming an LEO and it served him well as a supplement. It serves no one well to go hands on in a prolonged situation with the chance of getting over powered. There are better tools that can be deployed and work well in conjunction with getting control of someone.....It has been said many times in other threads, to know enough to get control quickly or get back on your feet. The use of force continuum spells out next step options that need to be used.
 

Kong Soo Do

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The thing with "law enforcement" is its just a job. You have most cops that do zero training at all, you have some cops that only hit the gym you have even less that train in a fighting art. So something like teaching Aikido to cops in general wouldn't work because most cops would go to the mandatory class once a year for a few hours andnever practice again. Now tthat's true for all arts. We had free BJJ classes paid for by the department out of the 150 officers at my department 4 of us showed up. I arranged free Judo classes for my department me and 1 other guy attend. So there is no art known to man that you can teach a few hours a year never practice and have it be effective.

This is a valid post. Most Officers/Deputies/Troopers don't go beyond the mandatory annual (or semi-annual) classes. And that is a shame and strictly speaking not something that is in their best interest (or for that matter, the public they serve). Very few will train with their side arm and long gun beyond re-qualification either. So one cannot really incorporate an art, in it's entirety, into a typical Officer's training time because an art takes time that most aren't willing to commit to.

That doesn't mean that there aren't specific principles that can't be learned in a short amount of time and retained in longer term memory. WWII combatives taught us that simple, gross motor skilled principles learned by rote in a short amount of time can be useable many months and often years after the initial training. Boatman's edged weapon defense training also verifies the same thing.

However, in line with the OP, traditional grappling arts such as Jujutsu, Aikijujutsu, Hapkido, Chin Na etc...IF taught correctly (read non-sport training methodology) can be extremely effective for the Officer in real world altercations. As I've mentioned many times before, I honestly don't know how many uses-of-force I've had over the years. Probably in the area of a thousand with my last one being last Wednesday. Now to be clear, I've de-esculated far more incidents than I've been in. Of the times I've been forced to use force, simple gross motor skill strikes have played a part as well as simple grapple principles i.e. locks, throws, sweeps etc. I've used far more Hapkido/Aikijujutsu/Chin Na principles than striking. The overly complicated movements some arts teach are worse than useless as they take too much time, too much room and provide too much opportunity to defeat. But time-tested principles are worth their weight in gold for those that have taken it upon themselves to invest the required time (which doesn't have to be that extensive) to learn properly.
 

punisher73

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It's a mixed bag.

Yes, traditional arts can benefit LEO's. BUT, I would say that it is on a one on one basis with the officer signing up and taking regular classes. As a whole, they don't really do anything if the only exposure to the art is that the officer will get a 4-8 block of training once a year. That can be said of any defensive tactic program or art though.

There are lots of applicable techniques in traditional arts. I learned a technique from my training (very similiar to ikkyu in aikido) called a "bent armbar takedown". I learned it in my TMA class before seeing it in PPCT. I have used it many times very successfully when the situation presented itself. But, I had the hours and repetitions to have it come out in a situation. Most officers resort to whatever training they had the most of in a stress situation. For most, that is just plain schoolyard fighting and then they try to tack on something they learned in class.
 

skribs

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I would definitely say a grappling art is a good thing to have in your toolset if you want to be able to control violent or even resistant criminals. I'd argue that arts that focus on getting the assailant to the ground with you still standing (aikido, hapkido) are probably the best for this, as it puts you in a position to slap on the cuffs.

This is the opinion of a white belt in Hapkido with no real-world law-enforcement experience.
 

oftheherd1

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The thing with "law enforcement" is its just a job. You have most cops that do zero training at all, you have some cops that only hit the gym you have even less that train in a fighting art. So something like teaching Aikido to cops in general wouldn't work because most cops would go to the mandatory class once a year for a few hours andnever practice again. Now tthat's true for all arts. We had free BJJ classes paid for by the department out of the 150 officers at my department 4 of us showed up. I arranged free Judo classes for my department me and 1 other guy attend. So there is no art known to man that you can teach a few hours a year never practice and have it be effective.

This and the comments of Kong Soo Do, are I think, right on the point. A few years ago I assisted my GM in some teaching he was doing with our LEO. The first thing was that we made sure to let them know we weren't going to damage them, be would stop before they were damaged. To them, that meant the techniques were useless. Go figure.

We taught several uses of the expandable baton and some empty hand techniques. They came away with the idea the techniques were useless. We even made a training video for them to use to practice. But as Balen0351 mentioned, most cops train only if they are paid to do it. And even then only to the point they have to to satisfy the current training requirements. That if they are lucky, will do them no good as they will forget how to do them, or that they are available. If they are unlucky, they will try to use them, do it incorrectly, and perhaps be hurt or killed. That I see as partly a fault of the police departments, but also the LEO who decides to rely on other knowledge or skills.

Recently, one of those officers asked me about it again. I learned he had been a wrestler, and that two of his 'signature' techniques were easily defendable; a full nelson and a side headlock. He first didn't want to believe what happened with the full nelson, because I stopped before breaking his finger, wrist, or neck. After I explained what had happened, he reluctantly agreed if he wasn't ready for that, it would have hurt him and gotten me loose. Again with the side head lock, he thought there was a defense against my defense. I then explained what would happen when he tried to defend. He now has more questions in his mind. I may be able to work with him.

More to the point of the OP's question, I believe MA, properly taught, can help an LEO in apprehending and/or protecting himself. I think all MA, even sport oriented, have a chance to do that, but especially those that are not sport oriented. It depends on the level of training, and the student learning something and realizing what he has just learned will or will not help in his LEO job for offense or defense. If those that he thinks will are practised more, and with the intent these are things he will add to his LEO tool box, they will in fact, probably help.

Some MA are probably more advantageous than others; Hapkido and Aikido that I am familiar with. I am sure there are others.
 

chinto

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like with military, many will do the minimum they can get away with physically and will not train in any art. But, some will go that extra mile. I would say that judo, aikido and jujitsu are of great use if they train in it diligently. Striking arts are not as good a choice as they are looking to subdue and then cuff the suspect WITH MINIMUM DAMAGE TO SAID SUSPECT. However if they train diligently and long enough in many striking systems they will find that there are locks, sweeps and throws as well as brakes and things taught by most systems. If you know an LEO I would say encourage them to learn an art, any art, as it may if nothing else give them a better feel for what some suspect is perhaps preparing to do that they would not notice other wise.
 

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