Police Officers: Training, Respect, and Martial Arts – The Self Defense Company

Police Officers: Training, Respect, and Martial Arts

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      Police Officers: Training, Respect, and Martial Arts

      Despite tremendous personal risk thousands of brave men and women join the ranks of law enforcement every year. While many claim to support men and women in uniform for the most part it is little more then talk.

      Police officers have to deal with everything from irate citizens to terrorists, and any number of strange and violent incidents which no other civilian occupation encounters. Millions are spent to train police officers, but it isn’t the expert training they need. Weapons and combat martial arts training have been cut to reduce budgets to make room for “sensitivity” training. This lack of training has resulted in an increased violence, and increased criticism of the police.

      The slogan, “don’t let your training end at the academy door,” is good advice, but few seem to heed it. Police departments have high physical standards for a new recruit, but with the exception of a few elite units, there are almost no requirements for officers once their on the job. In Japan police officers take part in combat sports like Judo, Karate, and Kendo and benefit greatly from the combat conditioning they receive. Police officers need explosive power and functional strength to win a street fight not outdated weight training exercises.

      The average street cop has more equipment at his or her disposal than ever before, but that isn’t necessarily a good thing. Combat self defense training has been watered down leaving officers to rely on technology and brute force. Just recently campus police officers used a Taser on a disruptive student, which quickly led to cries of police brutality. If the officers had been better trained in hand-to-hand close combat, they could have easily taken down the student, cuffed him, and took him away without anyone getting hurt.

      Marksmanship is another area of police training being neglected. While many officers know how to shoot, they aren’t prepared for an actual gun battle. In order to survive a firefight an officer needs to be trained for combat not competition shooting. Close combat expert Colonel Rex Applegate analyzed data from police shootings in the decades following World War II and found out that police officers were missing their intended target eighty percent of the time. According to recent studies officers are doing even worse, with criminals shooting slightly better.

      Police officers deserve our respect, but they also deserve better training but it isn’t necessary to spend millions doing research because techniques have already been developed. Over sixty years ago William E. Fairbairn and his associate Eric Anthony Sykes patrolled the streets of Shanghai, the toughest city on the planet, and in order to survive they developed their own close combat techniques for police officers. These practical, easy to learn self defense techniques were modified for the military, and in WWII they were used to train Special Forces personnel and secret agents. The methods that helped win WWII and keep the peace can help police officers again today.

      Those who put on the uniform and take the oath to become police officers are a special breed, but you don’t need to be one of them to know that things need to change. The fundamentals need to be stressed and those in leadership positions can’t just keep throwing money at the problem and hope it gets better. As police officers better understand how to do their jobs, the better their relationship will be with the community. Police officers are warriors for justice, and like all warriors their training must be continuous.

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