Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu a Must for Police

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has been recognized as the most effective self-defense system for decades by elite law enforcement trainers experienced in arresting violent suspects. As an instructor myself, I will be upfront and acknowledge there are instructors out there that don’t train BJJ and would get mauled by a female purple belt. If you interact with these instructors, they often speak as if they are an authority on all things defensive tactics. Their false sense of security is built on a fantasy that they have never tested.

Knowing police culture, the last thing an officer wants is to get tangled up in a civil rights lawsuit and be labeled a racist. I contend that the reason police are sometimes caught on camera using excessive force is not rage or racism, but a gross lack of training. Cops would prefer being on video performing a smooth takedown of a suspect seamlessly transitioning to handcuffing.

Unfortunately, in policing there is a tremendous lack of training. In my state for example (New York), a recruit in the police academy only receives 48 hours of hand-to-hand defensive tactics training. For most officers that is the only training they will receive in their entire career! Which often goes beyond twenty years.

Police officers are not robots, but regular human beings who react to stress just like everyone else. Being in a physical confrontation is one of the most stressful experiences a person can undergo, especially when armed.

Take the stress of battle. Now add in fear of the unknown. If the officer never trains how to arrest a resisting suspect, he has no reference point; it is a foreign experience. All the stress and fear of the situation will cause the officer to fall back to his lowest level of training.

If he has no training, he will react in one of three ways: (1) Officer will grossly overreact to the confrontation and fall back to a primal mode. This is what you see in videos depicting police brutality. (2) Officer will freeze. He won’t act because he hasn’t acquired the skills through training to problem solve the situation in front of him. (3) Officer will cowardly retreat, risking the safety of his colleagues and the public because he has no confidence to handle the situation due to a lack of training.

If these reactions are what we as trained officers and citizens do not want from police, then what is the answer?

All experts in the know recognize Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as the best form of self-defense. Constant training in BJJ provides the framework of techniques to control another human being and offers the repetition of physical contact which is necessary to take out the stress and fear of physical confrontation. Taking out the stress and fear through training will result in a more confident and professional police force. From my own experience, the more skilled the officer is in BJJ the more boring the arrest looks. The suspect is taken down, controlled, and handcuffed. There are rarely punches thrown. It is smooth and professional.

We need all our police to start training BJJ because it works! I would love if every cop was a blue belt at the least. It would keep the officer, his colleagues, and the public safer. Police deserve to be given every training advantage in a world turning more hostile towards them. Start training BJJ today!

Dan Habshi