"We are facing what you fear."
Contrary to popular belief, most police and law enforcement are not martial artists. Sure, you'll get a few here and there, but overall most officers do not practice any form of subject control outside of the regulations set out in the performance goals for commissioned students and regardless of the standards. that their agency or department has in their policies. It might sound silly not to be an expert in hand-to-hand combat as a police officer, but, unfortunately, the reality of it paints an entirely different picture.
Why don't the police practice martial arts? Well, a variety of reasons. I can tell you firsthand as a former police officer, you are often exhausted after a long shift. The last thing you want to do is go get beaten up for an hour after that, or the fact that you have a service belt full of defensive tools may be enough motivation to be sedentary with your training, but it is is a double-edged sword.
Why? Well, we're going to dig deeper into that in today's article and explain why you should train if you're one of the few brave and honorable men and women who serve and protect on a daily basis.
"The sense of self-efficacy and self-confidence created by realistic training is as much a stress reducer as when muscles go on autopilot."
- Lieutenant-Colonel David Grossman
Most of what day-to-day law enforcement does is community policing, working a rhythm in the same area to build relationships with the citizens of the area, etc. It's good in terms of public relations and making sure people know help is near, however, it tends to lull an agent into a sense of complacency.
Like most things, you feel comfortable, and in this line of work, comfort can mean serious issues in terms of security and self-defense.
Wearing a service uniform and belt takes a serious commitment, but your service gear will not always be sufficient. It takes a bad call to get things going south. Martial arts can remedy this by constantly putting you in a poisonous fight-or-flight state, further acclimating you to the chaos of a violent encounter.
It is not just the act of knowing how to fight, but the mental and emotional discipline that accompanies serious study of martial arts. To put it as simple as possible, they harden your body and mind, they teach you to center yourself even in the midst of chaos in what is called in Zen Buddhism and Japanese martial arts "MushinOr "mind without a mind."
Mushin may seem trivial, the idea of not thinking and analyzing every detail of every moment. However, clearing your mind allows you to live completely in the moment. By living in the moment, you can purely react to everything that is happening in real time and stay focused even in the most dangerous moments. This state of mind only comes with years of long training, experience and meditation.
Yes, the duty belt is often filled with useful and life-saving equipment, but it can also be detrimental. If a subject is trying to grab you and you only have a few subject-control lessons under your belt, that's essentially a recipe for disaster.
Taking a martial art bridges the gap. Even if you are stripped of your belt, you are still in the fight. Taking a few arts classes such as Judo, Filipino Martial Arts, Muay Thai or any other form of combat-based martial arts is a great addition to your police skills.
If you can toss a combative subject onto their back, secure a painful joint lock, or feel comfortable doing a clinch dismount while someone tries to grab you from your belt, you can be more confident in the majority of violent encounters and the officer will cope.
It's important to stress how essential it is to train with your gear and jacket, boots, and whatever else you may wear on the shift. Reality-based training will determine which techniques work with a belt and jacket with your individual biomechanics. No one is the same, so tailor your training for you and only for you.
When I was an officer most of the leftovers we received were minimal as we luckily had a mutual aid agreement with the city linked to ours so the save was only a minute or two away.
However, the reality of this luxury is not shared with agents in rural communities or large municipalities. The backup can take ten minutes or even an hour. It is the sole responsibility of the officer to prepare for the worst and playing the pretend game is not enough.
I remember a fight call I was sent to at a local restaurant. When I arrived, I was dealing with two men arguing over a woman. My presence alone was enough to dispel one of the men, but the other at fault was extremely drunk and wouldn't back down.
We traded a few blows and ended up on the ground (which is the last place an officer wants to be). Luckily we landed in a corner so I just had to find out what was going on 90 degrees from the room. I was able to place the subject in a right arm bar to hold it there with my free arm to use my radio.
After the man was arrested and reserved, I found myself thinking,
"What if the second man doesn't back down? What if we fell to the ground and one of their buddies came up behind me and hit me on the head or hit my head on the ground? What if I never trained in judo? etc. "
You have to be aware of these things. You have to find yourself in bad situations for insightful lessons. It's better to understand these things in a gym or dojo with your pals than on a call with a maniac who will do anything to not go to jail.
This is just a taste of tactical considerations regarding police duties and martial arts. You could fill volumes with the benefits of training for a civilian, not to mention the benefits for law enforcement.
Don't allow yourself to be a victim of procrastination or a sedentary lifestyle. Practice fighting in combat and you'll be heading home when the shift is over.
“The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, the glory as well as the danger, and yet come out to meet it.
For just over 3 years I have been training in Kung Fu and Muay Thai. Learning any martial art is a physically and mentally challenging process that takes years of practice to master. Here are 4 tips I wish I had known that can improve your training and reduce the time it takes between novice and grandmaster.
Flexibility is a fundamental trait of any good martial artist. Having this early on in your training will help boost you ahead for many reasons. Firstly, the more advanced techniques in martial arts require you to be extremely flexible, it’s impossible to begin learning them without the required flexibility to do so, and thus you will be learning advanced moves earlier in your training if you’re already performing a perfect split. Secondly, you need to kick high, sometimes higher than your own head. If you’re training in a martial art that is fight orientated, such as kickboxing, being able to kick your opponent in the head is one of the best moves you have in your arsenal of attacks. If you are studying an art such as Kung Fu, flexibility will dramatically improve your technique in forms, helping you to score those extra points in competitions for your technical ability.
One of the best ways to learn, I have found, is directly from the horse’s mouth, in this case your master. Typically, in your classes, your master will demonstrate a technique that they want you to practice with a partner. If they don’t ask for volunteers before performing each technique, go ahead and tell them before the chic starts that you would like to be involved in the demonstrations. This will help you get a real feel for what they’re trying to show you, as you can miss subtle techniques that may be out of your vision. Volunteering to be demonstrated on can seem scary, but remember that they are a master of what they do, and they won’t actually be performing the move with the intent to hurt you.
Hitting pads is good for when you’re learning a new move, but you will find you begin performing the technique in a much different way when faced with something that will hit back. Simple things like remembering to cover your head when throwing a kick or punch will become second nature after being punished for dropping your guard, even for a split deuxième. You may be asked or required to participate in a fighting tournament at some point of your martial arts journey, and the best way you can prepare for this is sparring. Remember that it is for the purpose of learning, not knocking each other out as quick as you can. You will begin to learn how to spot and react to your opponent’s openings, and how to defend against different moves. Forget being stronger or faster than your opponent, being an éclairé fighter is what will give you the advantage come fight night.
Your training doesn’t begin and end when you enter and leave the doors. My Kung Fu master always told us that “practice is good, but perfect practice makes perfect”. When you train at home make sure you are performing each technique properly, as if you were in chic, bad vêtements form fast and are extremely hard to be undone. Purchasing a grande mirror is a great investment so you can l'étude yourself at home. Also watching videos of other people performing techniques will help you to see how different techniques should look when you’re not at class.
Did you set a new year resolution this year ? If so, do they happen to be martial arts related ? Do you think you will actually achieve them ?
Statistics for failed New Year’s resolutions run anywhere between 45-80%. Now that another new year is here, it’s time to focus and set our eyes back on the prize in order to not become part of this rather bleak data. tera help you, on this post, I’ll be highlighting a couple personal tips that may help make both your short-term and long-term goals stick
Focusing on small milestones, following your motivation, challenging yourself, and finding what inspires you can help you make improvements for the rest year and meet or even surpass your martial arts goals and beyond !
You’re much more likely to stay motivated and make improvements if you’re doing something you enjoy. What is your absolute favorite thing to do at your martial arts school ? If you love to spar find ways to push yourself harder. Ask your instructor for pointers. Train with higher-ranking students. Seek out tournaments in your area for a challenge.
What if you’re doing what you love, and you’re already good at it, but you don’t know how to improve ? Avoid stagnation by digging deeper into your favorite activity. Find ways to go out of your comfort zone. Ask for help and feedback even in areas where you feel you are at your best. For example, if you enjoy doing forms, ask your instructor to work with you on finer details.
Play around with timing and emphasis. Enter or at least attend a tournament to see how other martial artists practice forms and see what you can learn from them. Seek out master classes, seminars, and clinics in your area. If you want some fun and relaxation while you practice consider taking a martial arts holiday.
Alternatively, you can also work on your training from the comfort of your own home by joining an online martial arts training. As you won’t even have to step foot outside, there’s simply no excuse not to keep up your practice !
Think about your long-term goals and then break it down into small milestones. Do you want to be able to do fifty push-ups in one set, but right now you can only do ten ? Don’t burn yourself out on day one trying to do all fifty. You may injure yourself or simply become discouraged that you can’t reach your goal immediately.
Slow down. Scale back. Try adding five extra push-ups per week, and over time you’ll build up the strength and stamina you need to meet your goal.
Maybe you have transferred schools and need to relearn the particular forms or self-defense techniques practiced at your new school. I have seen this happen with black belts and higher-ranking color belts who have transferred to my dojang. For example, a fellow black belt practiced Taeguk taekwondo forms at her old dojang, but now she needs to learn the Palgwe forms that we practice.
Rather than trying to learn everything at once, which will likely feel overwhelming, start with one technique or one form. Ask an instructor or another black belt for help. Watch films online. Move on to the next technique when you are able to perform the first one without any guidance or prompts.
Sometimes you have to do things in martial arts that you don’t enjoy as much but you still have to do due to tradition, chic schedules, and keeping your practice well-rounded. Martial arts may be the hardest thing you do, but it shouldn’t feel like drudgery. Think about what you don’t enjoy as much in class or what you dread doing, and try to figure out why you avoid it. Perhaps you don’t like it because you’re not very skilled ( yet ), you don’t do it very often, you find it stressful, or you simply find it boring.
Challenge yourself. Find the “fun” in something that has simply felt like work. It’s easy to get better at something you enjoy and you’re naturally good at doing. Just think of how it will feel when you make improvements in an area where you have continuously struggled.
Leveraging your strengths can help you develop skills in areas where you struggle. For example, if sparring is particularly challenging, be mindful of other times when you use blocks or strikes such as in forms or self-defense. Make them as sharp and powerful as you would in a faster-paced sparring match. Ask your instructor to incorporate quick reaction drills into classes. Attend extra sparring classes, and if you are a black belt or higher ranking, attend lower ranking sparring classes and offer to coach or referee. Teaching a skill can help you make vast improvements in your own practice.