martial arts for law enforcement

Martial Arts for Law Enforcement

There’s no shortage of writing about what is the best or most effective martial art, and in particular which is the best martial art for law enforcement. If I were writing this in 1993, I’d probably say that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is best based on Royce Gracie’s performance at the first UFC. However, things aren’t always so clear.

Generally, many bouncers will say that Judo and other grappling based arts work best for subduing attackers. Also, utilizing strikes can potentially expose you to legal issues. That said, there are clearly times when strikes are the only way to successfully subdue someone. Also, it can be helpful to have training in striking in order to be able to defend against potential punches and kicks.

Krav Maga is an excellent system which borrows from many different martial arts styles and its essentials can be taught very quickly. That said, it may not be the most appropriate for every encounter or even for every community. Some extremely useful benefits to Krav Maga is the focus on situational awareness, its concept that anything can be used as a weapon, the concept of attacking while simultaneously defending, dealing with multiple attackers, and the focus on ending the conflict quickly. While these concepts may not be as useful when dealing with subduing a potential DUI, they can be lifesaving skills to have for those working in corrections. Again, it all depends upon the community you serve.

martial arts for law enforcement

As someone who regularly trains in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, I’m a big fan of the tools that BJJ offers for law enforcement to use. In its original form, BJJ was more heavily focused on the self defense aspect of the sport, and it is this focus which I believe makes it one of the most beneficial martial arts for law enforcement. I love going down the rabbit holes of strategy and complicated submissions that occupy a lot of room in sport Jiu Jitsu, but inverted triangles and berimbolos probably aren’t much use on the street for any professional whose life is dependent on these skills. The aspect of BJJ that’s best suited for law enforcement is the Gracie Combatives curriculum which focuses solely on the self defense aspect of the discipline. In fact, when I met Royce Gracie at a recent SHOT Show and mentioned to him that I train with Vitor Shaolin Ribeiro, the first thing that Royce mentioned was how enthused he is that Shaolin offers the combatives training in his academy. 

The Gracie Combatives offer solutions to most, if not all, situations one is likely to encounter on the street including takedowns, distance management, defense from strikes, gun and knife disarms, submissions, and more. That said, it’s best when paired with a healthy dose of intense sparring, preferably involving competition in order to simulate real world intensity. It also offers excellent holds for subduing an attacker which can be effectively translated into methods for handcuffing and/or guiding someone into a patrol car.

I would argue that the main drawbacks of the Gracie Combatives would be the lack of striking and the lack of focus on multiple attackers. That said, these elements can be obtained from some training in western boxing or Muay Thai combined with some Krav Maga. Not necessarily enough to make a world champion, but enough to develop some practical skills as well as enough to be able to anticipate a potential attack. 

Uniform Tactical Supply is pleased to announce that we will soon be partnering with Vitor Shaolin Ribeiro to offer Brazilian Jiu Jitsu based combatives training for law enforcement, security, and Fire/EMS agencies. A black belt under Andre Pederneiras (Nova Uniao), Shaolin is a world champion in BJJ and MMA, having competed in Strikeforce, Shooto, DREAM, Cage Rage, Cage Force, World Fighting Alliance, and K-1Heros. He has won and/or placed in multiple ADCC and CBJJ events and continues to compete in exhibition matches for ADCC and Polaris with notable wins against Daisuke Nakamura and Kenny Florian.

If your agency would like to book a custom tailored seminar in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu combatives techniques with Vitor Shaolin Ribeiro, please contact us and we’ll be glad to assist.

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