Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Drills for Law Enforcement

Incorporating simple Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) drills into police training can greatly enhance an officers' control and defense skills. This post highlights a few ideas for drills that can you can use to integrate into your agency's training program. 

1. Positional Control Drills

Positional control is fundamental in BJJ, focusing on maintaining a dominant position over an opponent while minimizing the risk of harm. For law enforcement, drills that emphasize controlling an individual from the guard, side control, and mount positions are invaluable.

Drill it: Have one partner start in bottom side control, the other on top. The person on bottom needs to escape and the person on top need to control them. Do this for two minute rounds, where the only goal is to control (person on top) or defend (person on bottom). If they get out, reset. 

2. Escaping Bad Positions

Officers sometimes find themselves in situations where they must escape from a dangerous position, like having someone on their back trying to choke them. BJJ drills that focus on escaping from these positions and regaining control are crucial.

Drill it: Have both partners start on the ground, with one of them on the other's back using a "seatbelt" grip. Set a timer for two minutes. The goal of the person on the back is to either submit their partner, or control them for the full two minute round. The goal of the person defending is to escape. If any of those things happen, just reset and start in the same position. At the end of the round, have the partners switch roles.  

3. Handcuffing Technique Drills

Incorporating BJJ techniques into handcuffing procedures can significantly improve the safety and efficiency of arrests.

Drill it: Work in team of two officers with one role player. Have the role player start in prone, with the two officers on either side. Use training cuffs and have the two officers try and get the role player controlled and into cuffs. Switch roles so everyone has a chance to be the role player. Add varying levels of resistance and work the Kimura arm lock into this training so officers have a specific tool they can use for this position. 

4. Takedown and Takedown Defense Drills

Takedowns are a critical aspect of law enforcement encounters, allowing officers to safely bring a suspect to the ground where they can be controlled. BJJ offers a variety of takedown techniques that can be adapted for policing, such as single leg takedowns or judo-inspired throws.

Drill it: Pick one takedown and work in groups of two. Have the partners drill the takedown back and forth for 10 minutes or so, without resistance. Make sure they're practicing good technique. When they're comfortable, set a round timer for two minutes with the goal of taking each ear other down. If someone is taken down, both partners stand back up and start over. This also allows for the officers to work their takedown defense. 

5. Scenario-Based Training

Perhaps the most beneficial way to integrate BJJ into law enforcement training is through scenario-based drills that simulate real-life encounters. These drills can incorporate elements of verbal de-escalation with physical control techniques, allowing officers to practice transitioning from communication to physical restraint as necessary. Scenario-based training should cover a range of situations, from dealing with non-compliant but non-aggressive individuals to managing actively resistant suspects, ensuring officers are prepared for the diverse challenges they may face in the field.

Drilling and positional training is one of the safest and most efficient ways for officers to learn new techniques and concepts, while also getting to train them against fully resisting opponents to mimic real world encounters. Adding more of this training to your agency's overall program will decrease tool reliance, minimize injuries to officer's and suspects and reduce unnecessary and excessive force. 

Get video tutorials of different partner drills you can start training now as a member of the Jiu Jitsu Five-O app. 


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