BJJ on the Street: Police Officers
Jiu Jitsu Can Truly Save Lives
Everything we do in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is just theory (based on good solid concepts though!) until you have to use it in an environment where there are unlimited factors and scenarios that can play out. Although live training, competing in tournaments, fighting in MMA, and scenario drilling is as close to these things as we can get to make our training as “realistic” as possible, Police officers take these concepts and theories on a daily basis and truly stress test them to their fullest extent. What can be a better stress test than taking somebody down on concrete in an environment that can present itself with weapons, uneven terrain, and the possibility of 3rd and even 4th party intervention? In the video below Tom DeBlass black belt and police officer Ruben Alvarez shows how the basics concepts of BJJ can be applied in a “street” scenario.
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You can see in this video how Ruben controls the suspect by maintaining a mounted position with his left arm headlocking as well as reaching through and hooking over the opposite side armpit while controlling the wrist with his other hand, keeping it extended out from the body. This gives great control as well as helping to prevent the suspect from grabbing the officers weapon.
In the next video another police officer uses core BJJ techniques to subdue and arrest a suspect who tried to run away during a pat down. After securing the takedown the suspect attempts to headlock the officer and roll him. The officer maintains mount by creating a wide base with his arms and grape vining the legs (seemed to be a little difficult to do with boots on but achieves it anyways). Next, the police officer swims through the arm on one side and applies a head lock with heavy shoulder pressure to the suspects jaw to release his grip and maintain pinning control. The suspects then explodes into a strong bridge to try rolling the officer over. Maintaining a gable grip around the neck and under the arm while pinching his knees and locking his ankles together the officer controls the bridge enough to land them on their side with the officer still in a dominant position. Using the gable grip to prop himself the officer collapses the suspects base to roll him back to the top mount. From the mount the officer now uses strikes to create an opening and secures his own taser, forcing the suspect to roll belly down all while maintaining heavy hip pressure to keep his hips controlled. Still the suspect continues to scramble and resist, switching control and locking a head and arm triangle lock the officer maintains control long enough for more reinforcement to come help him.
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At any point these officers could have caused significant damage to the suspects through striking, using a baton, or even drawing their firearm, but through the use of superior grappling they were not only able to themselves safe but also protect the life of the suspect.
Let’s change directions now. What does it look like when an officer does not know BJJ and lacks in any other grappling techniques? In the video below an officer is clinched, trying to control the back. The suspect simply shucks him off and walks away from it. Using verbal commands the officer tries to regain control of the situation. Next the officer follows the man to the entrance of the building, then we see the officer perform what I am assuming is an attempt at a double leg takedown but to no avail, he slips around and loses control. Trying again to clinch them man, the suspect has now had enough and decides to pick the officer up off of his feet and slams him down to the hard ground.
Now the last video was not included to simply point out the faults and lack of skill from the officer but to compare and contrast the ability of a cop who is skilled in grappling and one who is not. By no means do I mean to embarrass that officer but to only ask that if you are a Law Enforcement Officer please look in to furthering your training, it may mean the difference between life, injury, and possibly death.
The skills that are important to all of us are especially important to Police Officers. Officer and black belt Jay Wadsworth has created a number of great resources here at BJJ Fanatics. Check out Police Self Defense Techniques for the Streets and keep yourself safe! Check it out here!