For years, the BJJ community have been saying ad nauseam that police officers need BJJ training. Unfortunately, after the tragic death of George Floyd this issue has been coming up again.
Being a police officer is one of the most difficult jobs out there. They are put in stressful situations every day and not knowing if each day will be their last. This fact alone should be enough reason to why police officers should be well equipped in their training. In this guide, we go through the importance of BJJ Training for Police Officers and why it should be a mandatory requirement.
Now, we won’t be getting into the heated debates of whether cops are bad or if the people protesting are just. What we’re going to talk about is proper police training. If more police officers gets trained in Jiu Jitsu, they would be better prepared to control situations and use less lethal force.
Police Brutality and The Death of George Floyd
Before we get into why police officers need to train Jiu Jitsu, let's break down the situation that started this tension. For years, citizens have been harping on the issue of police brutality. And it has for some time. But much more recently, it has come up yet again!
George Floyd, a middle-aged Black American male, was being detained by some police officers in Minneapolis for allegedly using a counterfeit bill. Floyd was on his stomach, with his hands behind his back, handcuffed, and essentially neutralized as a threat.
But the arresting officer used more force and placed his knee on Floyd’s neck. The arresting officer had his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. This horrible act led to a tragic death that sparked an anger in many that led to violence across the country.
Anyone that has spent any bit of time with Jiu Jitsu or any grappling sport knows just how bad a knee to the neck can do to a man. It is usually an unspoken rule in training not to do that move to teammates in training. It can severely hurt or injure your training partner!
If that officer was properly trained in Jiu Jitsu, Floyd would still be alive today. His death showed that law enforcement is in dire need of better training and a better selection process for officers.
What are the Problems in Law Enforcement Training?
The problems in training for police officers were perfectly laid out in the latest JRE podcast. He had Navy Seal and Jiu Jitsu black belt Jocko Willink to talk about this along with numerous other issues.
Here is a clip where they specifically talk about solutions for better police training.
Of all of the problems with police training, we’ll take a look at 2 problems in particular:
Police Academy Training
Since there is a desperate need for more police in the country some police academies have streamlined the process. Some academies have their students become police officers with a badge and gun on the street within 10 weeks. (This article from CBS News goes into more details on this.)
With everything involved in being an officer and the training it requires a 10 week training course is insane. That is like going right into the UFC when you’ve only been training for 10 weeks.
You are not even close to being prepared for what the job entails. In the JRE clip, Jocko said Seals would train 18 months for a 3 month mission.
This length of time training is to prepare you for anything that happens on the mission. Police academies need to have longer in-depth courses, where the training takes at least a year.
Officers need to be prepared and trained for whatever situation arises on the job. If the standards and quality of training increase, we will have better officers and probably see less unnecessary violent incidents.
Law Enforcement Combatives Training
Another ridiculous stat that Jocko laid out was the standard combatives training classes police officers do. On average, they do 4 classes of combative training a year. A YEAR.
That means the average police officer does not know how to properly defend themselves and are left more vulnerable. Not knowing something like basic Jiu Jitsu skills makes them unprepared and more likely to use lethal force to stop a situation.
It needs to be mandatory that police officers go through weekly combatives training classes. Including a huge focus on training BJJ and going through various scenarios to be better prepared for whatever could happen.
What are the Benefits of BJJ Training for Police Officers?
The benefits of BJJ training for police officers include being better trained, confident, calmer, and healthier.
It is the duty of a police officer to train and become the best officer possible. This includes constantly working on their self-defense skills, which should include Jiu Jitsu.
When officers have to apprehend suspects, they sometimes put up a fight. By constantly doing Jiu Jitsu training, they will be better prepared to handle situations with suspects if they get physical.
They will know how to control a suspect, while using less lethal force. It will also cut the risks of them getting hurt.
This is because they gain confidence through Jiu Jitsu by constantly being put in bad situations. By having to work out of bad positions, you learn to stay calm and control the problem.
Officers that constantly train will have the confidence to be able to control suspects, while staying calm. An officer who is calm and keeps their emotions in check is one that will make better decisions.
Another benefit of BJJ Training for police officers is the health benefits that come with training. Police officers should always be in shape for their job, but this unfortunately isn’t the case. There isn’t a national health standard for officers, so you have many that are overweight, undertrained, or both.
An unhealthy officer is more likely to either get hurt in an altercation or end up using their gun. Officers that train in Jiu Jitsu are far more healthier than those that don’t train.
Police officers in the country are severely undertrained and not prepared for everything the job requires. Jiu Jitsu training won’t solve all of the problems that law enforcement has, but it will help a lot.
There is a distinct difference between officers that train and don’t train Jiu Jitsu. By making officers do even one grappling class a week, you’d see a huge difference in police work.
People that train Jiu Jitsu, are more confident, calmer, and healthier. For a job that is as demanding as a police officer it’s crazy not to be doing constant BJJ training. Jiu Jitsu would definitely be beneficial in law enforcement and people would see the benefits almost immediately.