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Why Police Officers Should Train BJJ
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Why Police Officers Should Train BJJ

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Law enforcement officers (LEOs) have an incredibly difficult job, that’s a given.

From routine traffic stops to high-stakes confrontations, the boys and girls in blue face the possibility of injury or death constantly. This leaves me with one basic question: what can we do to make the job safer?

They may be equipped with firearms, tasers, and other deterrents, but what if the fight becomes closed-quarters? What will they do if the criminal closes the distance? While LEO’s learn combatives training as a part of BLET, learning jiu-jitsu can be a huge benefit for their profession, such as:


Greater Body Awareness

An underrated benefit of learning jiu-jitsu is understanding how the human body reacts to different holds and maneuvers. You know about how the carotid arteries need to be closed off to successfully finish a choke, how far the arm can extend in an armbar depending on where the thumb is pointed, and the right and wrong ways the knee can move for heel hooks.

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For a LEO who has to make a split second decision between simply disarming a criminal or make them unconscious, knowing exactly what will happen allows the perpetrator to be taken down in an appropriate and effective manner.

Knowing How to Fight Off the Back

In an ideal world, a police officer would subdue a criminal with minimal to no damage. Realistically, there’s a good chance that they will end up on their backs as a result of the scuffle. This is a dangerous place to be with someone who’s looking to harm you.

A LEO who knows how to sweep to a top position or even submit someone from their back will be more calm in those situations and safer in the long run.

Extra Fitness on the Side

It goes without saying that police officers need to be in proper shape in order to do the job successfully. Why not better those odds with extra exercise? Adding BJJ into their fitness routines can help them get into shape a lot quicker without needing free weights or machines. Drills and technique can build strength and flexibility while live rolls can help with that much-needed cardio to chase down criminals.

Understanding the Community Better

Avoiding any political commentary, the interactions between citizens and officers have been strained in recent years. When tensions like these begin to boil to the surface, one of the easiest ways to start the healing process is to find something in common and build from that.

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That common thing can be, naturally, jiu-jitsu. This martial art requires training partners to put their trust in each other as they drill moves that are intended to cause discomfort and pain, so officers and civilians can share in that experience. In addition, the social aspect of BJJ can foster healthy discussions outside of the gym and even build friendships. Officers can put themselves in the shoes of the people they serve and protect, while civilians can see the person behind the uniform a little more clearly.


Jiu-jitsu can be a humbling experience for anyone, no matter if you are an average joe or a police officer. Yet if you are a LEO, learning BJJ can boost your body awareness, safety, fitness, and connection with the community. Take those first few steps on the mat and soon you’ll be a part of something that everyone can enjoy.

If you or anyone you know is involved in Law Enforcement share this simple technique with them. Training can lead to higher confidence levels for all individuals but Law Enforcement across the nation should be getting involved with Jiu-Jitsu.


Jay Wadsworth is a BJJ Black Belt and leading mind in Law Enforcement influenced self defense. Check out his work here at BJJ Fanatics and learn from a Fight To Win vet!

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