It would seem that police officers wouldn’t need to look for martial arts training, considering the fact that they have their own police tactics programs. And yet, many LEO know that what they are learning as police tactics is only a part of the training they need.
For many different reasons, law enforcement officer defensive tactics training is falling short in meeting the needs of today’s front line officers, causing many to seek out martial arts training programs. The question then becomes…
“Which martial art is best for LEO’s?
The truth is that, while all martial arts have their strong and weak points, a huge part of this equation is actually centered on the instructor teaching the particular system. And, while many systems themselves do not lend themselves well to training for police officers – especially street cops – almost every style has something to offer.
I’ll talk about the “instructor-factor” in another article. For now, I want to focus on what a particular style must be able to offer the competent and prepared LEO, if he or she is to be ready and able to deal with today’s suspects, perpetrators, and even the injured victim who lashes out from a state of panic or confusion.
There are 2 primary considerations that LEOs must take into account when considering any type of training. Again, this article does not address the “instructor-factor,” which would add a 3rd consideration.
These two primary considerations, where the “style” of martial art is concerned, include:
1) Liability and adherence to use-of-force doctrine, and…
2) Strategic and tactical control of as many types of situations and attack scenarios as possible
The first consideration – use of force and legal liability cannot be overlooked by today’s professional police officer. Because, even in the face of spitting and physically violent rioters, the LEO and his or her actions must stand the most intense scrutiny – both from within, as-well-as outside the department they work for.
In this light, a police officer must be very careful so as to not delude themselves into believing that he she might be able to get away with the brutality and techniques used in the MMA sport arena, or those suggested and favored by many of the “harder” forms of martial arts.
However, that being said; the police officer who is serious about the safety of themselves, their partners, and the people they are trying to protect, cannot afford to lean toward the systems which are too passive, take too long to “master,” or those which leave gaps in the training and fail to deal with necessary and commonplace scenarios that are dealt with on a regular basis.
It is this “completeness” that puts the martial art of Ninjutsu ahead of the pack. And, while many people, including those training in the art today, believe that Ninjutsu – the armed and unarmed self-protection system of Japan’s ancient Ninja families – is anything like what is portrayed in the movies, the art is actually a very comprehensive system that can be adapted to any group needing specific skills, or operating in a specific field.
Again, this does not suggest that any other system could not be used to assist an officer in attaining certain skills for the street. But, if LEO’s are looking for skills, techniques, strategies, and tactics for…
1) Using psychological control techniques for de-escalating a situation and preventing it from “going physical”
2) Control, restraint, and the subduing of violent individuals quickly and effortlessly
3) Use of and defense against the perpetrator armed with a firearm
4) Defenses against clubbing attacks, as-well-as increased proficiency with a police baton
5) Teamwork skills and controlling and apprehending a dangerous person
6) Defending against a grabbing, wrestling, or tackling-type attack
7) Using pressure points to control the aggressive person
8) Unarmed defense against an assailant armed with a knife or other weapon
9) Multiple attacker defenses for situations where backup has yet to arrive
10) and others…
All while maintaining a professional bearing and presence…
Then Ninjutsu is the best choice because it has all of this to offer the professional law enforcement officer in the 21st century.