Q&A: What is the best Martial Art for Law Enforcement? - So you wanna be a cop? | MassCops

Q&A: What is the best Martial Art for Law Enforcement? - So you wanna be a cop?

Discussion in 'Law Enforcement Education & Training Questions' started by the42cop, Sep 5, 2016.

  1. the42cop

    the42cop MassCops Member

  2. Pvt. Cowboy

    Pvt. Cowboy Lemme take a selfie Staff Member

    Disagree with the article.

    1. Krav - nope. Dirty karate, that's about it. I'd fight anyone who does Krav with the same amount of experience as I have with BJJ.

    2. BJJ - Absolutely. Because as the article states, cops fighting on the ground are usually fighting for their life. Wouldn't it make sense to ensure you know how to handle yourself there?

    3. MMA - makes sense, as it's a mixture of Muay Thai, Boxing, Wrestling, and Jiu Jitsu.

    4. Judo - Not known as the gentle art, article is wrong. Jiu Jitsu translates in Portuguese as "the gentle art." Judo is exceptional when trying to take someone down, however being that close puts you obviously in striking range. Before someone starts throwing punches it could be used very successfully. Nothing like getting tossed ass over tea kettle to get disoriented super fast.

    Cowboy the broken record, I know. How are those two cops from Framingham recovering? The two who got tossed around on video by someone who said to them after more cops arrived and finally hooked him, "you fucks need to learn jiu Jitsu."

    Kid in Milford triangle choked a cop out cold, I think it was last year? Bet their DT hasn't changed...

    I'm just waiting for a news article to come out with a story about a cop who got his arm broken by someone who knew what he was doing, and decided he didn't want to get arrested.
  3. the42cop

    the42cop MassCops Member

    If you're a fan of BJJ (and I am since it's primarily what I practice outside of work), you will enjoy my upcoming post specifically about BJJ and law enforcement!
  4. 9X19

    9X19 MassCops Member

    I regularly practice Judo and have done many other arts including BJJ, Kickboxing etc., Judo is "The Gentle Way" it was developed by Kano Jigoro to be a modern derivative from Jujutsu without the lethal killing techniques. I'd say BJJ and Judo along with a good striking art like Muay Thai, boxing or such is a great combination for a cop to learn.
  5. Pvt. Cowboy

    Pvt. Cowboy Lemme take a selfie Staff Member

    Good to hear you train in that. Between the throws and ground work, I'm sure you can handle yourself if caught off guard and taken to the dirt.

    I still think Krav shouldn't even make the list.
  6. TripleSeven

    TripleSeven Subscribing Member

    After transferring to MA from out of state, I continue to be horrified by the lack of department mandated training. Specifically with DT and firearms. I'm sure it's not just in MA.. But we must seek out our own training in order to have any type of advantage. I've seen a huge over-reliance on the Taser.. Plenty of people in this profession are useless without the items on their duty belt.

    It's just plain sad that's municipalities don't give a shit about their cops and won't spend money for training for this stuff.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    pahapoika, LA Copper and Pvt. Cowboy like this.
  7. the42cop

    the42cop MassCops Member

    Couldn't agree more bro. It isn't just MA. It is a problem EVERYWHERE. We get 8 hours a YEAR to train guys on DT. And that time is shared with Taser. It's one of the reasons I became an instructor in the first place. I realized the department didn't care about me or any of my coworkers. They just wanted to be able to check the liability box that says you have been trained and anything you do wrong or even the appearance of wrong to the uninformed public is ALL on you.

    It is why I babble so much for prospective recruits to start a martial art ASAP. And why I say anything is better than nothing, but ultimately you want to have the psychomotor skills learned to be as close to what is taught in DT as possible (hence Krav Maga being on the list). You want to reduce the amount of training scars, because in the end when under pressure you revert to what you know... Or don't do anything. Obviously most departments don't train enough DT for what you know to be DT when you are rolling around with someone trying to actively hurt you. What you see instead (usually on YouTube) is some obviously poorly trained cop trying to take someone into custody and either using too much force, or being so wildly ineffective to look like a bad comedy skit. It's like the two Gracie brothers say in the video I attached to my original post about cops NEEDING to train outside of DT... It isn't their fault, it's their departments. I actually disagree though. I feel if you realize your department WON'T train you, it is your responsibility to make sure you are trained somehow. It also helps that there are so many additional benefits to training like fitness, confidence in your abilities, and stress relief.

    Especially if you train something like BJJ. It is really hard to care about your job stress, bills, ex wife (or wives for some dudes lol) or just about ANYTHING else when some freakishly strong dude is kneeling on your stomach crushing the life out of you while choking you to death. After experiencing that 2-3 times a week it is really hard to get excited when the drunk idiot you're taking into custody tries to take a swing at you! Lol

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
    Hush likes this.
  8. Pvt. Cowboy

    Pvt. Cowboy Lemme take a selfie Staff Member

    At least you showed up to class... I offered another one and literally ZERO people showed interest.

    42, you're ok in my book. Glad you see the same things I do with the staggering lack of DT training in LE. I'm not in LE, but I see the holes all the time. They're also all over YouTube. Krav still sucks tho.

    Take the Eric Garner case in NY. Everyone knows what a rear naked choke looks like, but if he used a loop choke with his T-shirt, might have been able to get by the untrained eye. Maybe hip in since he had back mount, you know how much pressure that is on your lumbar spine. How about a solid neck crank instead, right across the face, under the nose?

    People don't understand how much that shit hurts. Most importantly, cops don't understand. A hip in, neck crank will get ANYONE compliant epically faster than someone raining fists.

    I'm on the mats 5 days a week. I can't get enough.
  9. the42cop

    the42cop MassCops Member

    Yep! That's another example of part of the problem. The neck crank you brought up IS taught. It's something we teach for exactly that kind of situation with a suspect who's being non compliant. The problem is how many times had they practiced that particular move? A half dozen times during in service over the years? Without regular practice it just gets lost in the soup in your head and people end up going all waterboy on someone instead of using an actual focused technique. Hell I do this stuff for fun and after breaks in training, I still find myself relearning stuff. Lol...a few months ago I was learning this really sweet technique that I really loved. It wasn't until I had been practicing it for like an hour that I realized I had seen it before. I had learned it, forgot it and learned it again... twice! I guess that's what happens when you try to cram 10 gallons of crap in a 5 gallon bag! ;)

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
  10. Patr8726

    Patr8726 MassCops Member

    An agency refusing to give officers proper training is pretty terrible. But I think what's being proposed here is a poor solution. Going off on your own time to some gym without permission from your agency, learning techniques you intend to employ in the field, sounds like a bad idea, unless that gym also sells discounted personal liability insurance.

    After your karate perfect use of force, when the IA/OIG fairy visits waving their magical wand of suspension, termination & prosecution, what are the odds that the techniques you learned without the agency's blessing will be ruled kosher? Or even worse, when you get served with a Bivens suit for that use of force, how sure are you that the agency will determine that you were acting within the scope of your duties, and provide you with an attorney?

    Taking this a little further, when you do make it to court after a high profile use of force gone viral, how well prepared is the instructor for testifying? Ability to inflict pain aside, how well does Jiu Jitsu Jimmy understand the constitutionally correct use of force by LEO? Will his background stand up to exculpatory challenges to even get his smiling face before the jury? Because if all these froggy arrestees are getting MMA training, something tells me the BI process to become a student or instructor is...expedited.

    I've seen far more officers get hemmed up for going outside the box in uses of force then I have ever seen killed in the line of duty when groundfighting a ninja warrior. Please don't think I'm writing it off as impossible, but you need to remember the environment that we work in to pay our bills. There's a lot more going on than meets the eye.

    Final note, I am positive that ground fighting is being taught in some academies, whether or not the individual officers remain proficient in it. But tactics weren't meant to be discussed on an open forum.
  11. Pvt. Cowboy

    Pvt. Cowboy Lemme take a selfie Staff Member

    Yeah, terrible idea to make yourself better, and more proficient at something that could save your life. Make sure you don't go to the range on your spare time either...

    Look, I bring up BJJ for a reason. You aren't going to be employing arm bars, or heel hooks, or calf slicers when fighting someone on the street. Kind of goes without saying... That's where you'd get jammed up with IA, and nobody is suggesting doing something that would get anyone jammed up. What you WILL do, is know how to escape mount, escape back control, learn how to use your hips to end up in a safer and more dominant position, and be able to control their body. Without raining punches in view of the camera.

    And there's no BI process to learn BJJ... This is America, ya know.
    Goose, the42cop and LawMan3 like this.
  12. patrol22

    patrol22 MassCops Member

    Do you wear a white shirt and gold by chance? ;)

    Seriously though I get what you are saying but I would rather be sued instead of being killed.
    BxDetSgt, Goose and Pvt. Cowboy like this.
  13. Kilvinsky

    Kilvinsky I think, therefore I'll never be promoted.

    Killed is over and done with. A suit can last forever. Just saying.
    Patr8726 likes this.
  14. the42cop

    the42cop MassCops Member

    This! The goal of learning ground fighting for law enforcement is so you can get OUT of the fight and transition to another tool. A fight on the ground with an opponent who is looking to hurt or kill you is a life and death situation. Law enforcement brings weapons into the fight that can be used against them. It is an incredibly dangerous situation and if nothing else, the officer needs to know how to defend against such techniques or at least hold on until help can arrive. Not adding ground work into a DT program is negligent. Though again... There ARE problems that need to be considered when conducting training. Mostly I think we as DT instructors tend to emphasize the wrong things. You aren't training guys to be MMA fighters or to roll around looking for that sweet armbar. You're teaching them to survive and disengage and to take people into custody with the LEAST amount of force necessary.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
  15. Patr8726

    Patr8726 MassCops Member

    Well that's exactly it. Going to the range on your spare time and practicing authorized techniques is obviously not a problem. But going to some shooting school and learning tactics that fly in the face of your agency policy or authorized training is the same can of worms, especially when something goes wrong. Read some recent fed court decisions on qualified immunity, respondeat superior, etc. The agency is only liable in 42 USC 1983 actions for conduct of the LEO that's within agency policy. Do something outside that, then it's 100% on the officer, he's disavowed. Same exact thing goes for your suggested pain compliance techniques...if my agency policy prohibits choking, when I wrap someone up in the suggested loop choke, it's not just a chance of liability, it's a guarantee that I have to answer for that on my own. No agency lawyer, no settlement by the admin. That's a judgement against my bank account, my house, my assets personally, with my own attorney paid for out of my pocket to defend against it. Even winning a case, you're still losing a lot.

    What you, the dojo fighter, see as life and death, is not what the courts and various policies interpret as life and death. Most are based on Graham factors, but moreso with the former than the latter. LEO's aren't getting in one struggle a career, many will use force multiple times a shift. We should train until this stuff is instinct right? So in a month, how many instances where an officer reacts as trained outside of policy will be uncovered? What you're suggesting is gambling every day when you go to work.

    I'm also aware that there's no BI needed to teach any of this stuff. That was the point that you missed: there are things that don't necessarily make you a bad person, that will absolutely prevent a jury from ever hearing your testimony in court. LE agencies generally weed out these integrity issues in BI's to make sure an LEO's testimony is admissible in court. So an LE trainer is a known entity, while with a private instructor it's Russian Roulette when it comes to Brady issues.
  16. Patr8726

    Patr8726 MassCops Member

    I absolutely agree with you. Where our paths split is the knowledge base of the teachers. Tell students to hound their agency brass for a good groundfighter to teach some solid techniques? Absolutely. Suggest to rookies or future applicants to dive headfirst into waters they have no idea how to navigate? Absolutely not. Anything an LEO does in the field that they can't effectively bring to bear in court is at best wasted time, at worst what I described above.
  17. the42cop

    the42cop MassCops Member

    The problem with your argument is that unless you work for some insane agency like NYPD that has a short list of authorized techniques, there IS no policy for like 99% of agencies out there. There is only so much bleed over in techniques. At some point almost any technique you have seen in any martial arts class has been taught in DT. At least in my state, which has one state certified DT Instructor curriculum. New techniques are explored, taught and practiced daily. We teach a few basic techniques to Academy classes, but that is by no means all they're allowed to do. We also have additional training for anyone in the Academy where we go over anything that works.

    At least where I work there is no list of "approved" techniques. If you can do a level 1 wristy twisty, you can do any technique that falls within that level of force as long as it is a reasonable level of force for the situation.

    There are also differences between CONTROL techniques and self defense. If you are being physically assaulted (instead of someone being merely non compliant or actively resistant) the world of techniques has just opened up for you. If you are wrestling with a suspect who is assaulting you and rolling around on the ground, you absolutely can (and should) be able to articulate that you were in fear for your life. How many punches to the face does it take to knock someone out? If the suspect is trying to grab equipment off your belt, you ARE in a fight for your life and can use whatever level of force you deem reasonable to defend yourself and end the threat.

    Most modern agencies don't even have a use of force continuum anymore. Instead most have gone to a single paragraph that states an officer will use whatever force is reasonable and necessary to affect the lawful purpose intended. Modern law enforcement training has realized that not all situations fit nicely into a little box and have stopped opening themselves up to lawsuits by over writing their policies. As long as the force used is reasonable, you are covered. I have never even heard of a department that has a list of "authorized" techniques in their policy. That's madness lol.

    The only technique that is questionable in my state is the LVNR. Some departments consider it a level 1 use of force, while others consider it higher. However we still teach a variety of blood chokes... Not because you are supposed to just jump on someone and choke them out, but because lethal force is lethal force. If you are justified in shooting someone you can use any technique or weapon available, including hitting them with your car, using a firearm or in the immortal words of one of my Academy instructors (and Deputy Prosecutor)... "If you can shoot a suspect, you can beat them to death with a 9 iron!"
    Pvt. Cowboy likes this.
  18. Pvt. Cowboy

    Pvt. Cowboy Lemme take a selfie Staff Member

    42 nails my point.

    Learn to fight, because if you don't, when you really need to... You'll lose and die.

    Amazing how everything has turned into a litigious scare. It's almost as if the department would RATHER you die or become seriously injured, than have to deal with any legal repercussions. Man, this job has changed.

    And again, I'm not talking about using a flying triangle to make an arrest, I'm talking about using this knowledge to save your life.
  19. TripleSeven

    TripleSeven Subscribing Member

    The whole purpose of police training in ground fighting is to avoid getting severely injured or choked out and killed. We are not fighting in the octagon. Obviously the purpose of training in this stuff would be to to to defend yourself and hopefully transition to an approved, liberal, and media approved use of force option to effect an arrest.

    Go ahead and try that arm bar take down or rear wrist lock on Pvt Cowboy.... Let me know how that works out for ya...

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  20. the42cop

    the42cop MassCops Member

    I don't think you actually read through any of the posts, because that's the exact point we have both been trying to make.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
  21. Pvt. Cowboy

    Pvt. Cowboy Lemme take a selfie Staff Member

    No no 42, Triple7 is of the same mindset as we are. He actually came to one of my classes and learned a bunch. Funniest part was "if I'm stuck in a triangle choke, I'd punch them in the nuts."

    Me: "Ok. Let's try your theory."
    Him: "Shit, I can't punch your nuts from this angle.... Tappppp!"

    Triple7, I appreciate your vote of confidence. Yeah, both of those wouldn't work on me. Those are super easy to escape, and leave the person applying same open for leg attacks. Knee bars and heel hooks.
  22. TripleSeven

    TripleSeven Subscribing Member

    Yes.. I've read the posts. It was directed at the person who was taking about liability and sticking with only department trained tactics. Patr8726 or something like that. Seeking your own training, or even better, with a group of guys and gals from your agency is all good. It's all about defending yourself and others.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2016
    the42cop likes this.
  23. the42cop

    the42cop MassCops Member

    Ha! Now I'M the one not fully reading the post lol. Triple 7 I retract my comment ;)

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
    BxDetSgt likes this.
  24. Patr8726

    Patr8726 MassCops Member

    Funny you mentioned NYPD, because the Eric Garner case was brought up earlier. That agency prohibits all chokeholds, but we just got a lesson here on how a much better choking system could have been used that wouldn't have looked as bad, which helps how exactly? My point is to know your agency policy, because every agency has something different written down. Some change often, others never get updated or don't make sense, but if you don't know them cold when using & documenting force, you're committing yourself to a lot more than you realize.

    Detailed policy also doesn't open an agency up to lawsuits. The language used in it lays out the boundaries of what they'll take responsibility for and what they won't. The anecdote about the prosecutor is great for criminal cases against officers, but prosecutors have little to do with torts, except by default in states where legally justified = civilly protected.
  25. Patr8726

    Patr8726 MassCops Member

    I don't think it's that malicious. Agencies shell out a lot in lawsuits, settlements & litigation. If they're really married to a certain policy, they'll be willing to pay to defend against constant challenges. Insurance underwriters for the agency have a lot to do with this as well, what they're willing to cover or not. That's why you see things like no pursuit policies, not authorizing off duty carry, etc. It comes down to premiums, and no one thinks or cares enough about the end result for an officer to navigate under stress on their back.

Share This Page