Five Grappling Techniques Every Officer Should Know

Five Grappling Techniques Every Officer Should Know

In last week’s post I discussed focusing on grappling concepts vs. actual techniques, especially for cops who are just getting started with Jiu Jitsu. However, since I know most cops don't care much for philosophy and would rather just start smashing stuff, I promised to do a follow up post that lists some specific techniques every cop should know. So, in no particular order, here are five that I would recommend spending time getting really good at, along with an instructional video for each to help you learn and drill with a partner. 

#1 The Arm Drag

The arm drag might be one of my favorite techniques because it gives you so many options. Back takes, escort takedowns, single legs, double legs, rear clinch, neck restraints....All can be set up from the arm drag. It can also be used from the ground, which makes it kick even more ass. 

#2 Rear Clinch (Position and Takedown)

Suspect’s will often give us their back without the need to even work for it. A couple of common examples would include times when they turn and walk away from us, or pull away from a basic escort position. Using the rear clinch in these scenarios can be a great way to establish control, make you less susceptible to strikes and execute a couple of easy takedowns. Here are two of my favorites:


#3 Osoto Gari

Osoti Gari is a common Judo throw that’s also taught in Jiu Jitsu schools around the world. The thing I like most about this takedown is that it can allow the officer to stay on their feet, with little risk of going to the ground with the suspect. I feel like a lot of cops also naturally find themselves in a perfect position to hit this takedown when wrestling around with people on the street.


#4 Knee-On-Belly

The knee-on-belly position is one of the best places for cops to be when they have a suspect on their back. Learning how to correctly apply pressure from this position can also be extremely uncomfortable for person on bottom, which can be used to take the fight out of a suspect without the need for strikes or intermediate weapons. The officer also can remain upright and off their knees, making it a great position when fighting with people on hard surfaces like concrete. 

#5 Kimura (Arm Lock)

Of all the arm locks in Jiu Jitsu, the Kimura is probably the most universal for cops. It can be set up from multiple positions and is usually an easy way to gain control of a suspect’s arm and get it behind their back, opposed to trying to muscle it into position like the majority of our industry has been doing unsuccessfully for years. The Kimura can also be used for weapon retention and if needed, a way to incapacitate a combative person by separating their shoulder. Below are a couple of examples from different positions, showing its versatility.

From side control:

For weapon retention:

BONUS Technique: Rear Neck Restraint 

You can read our previous article for more detailed info on neck restraints and why every law enforcement agency in the world should train them. But know this; even if your agency doesn’t allow for neck restraints, understanding how to finish a rear neck restraint could one day save your life, as well as the suspect’s. We should all have a fundamental understanding of this technique and know how to render someone unconscious if and when a situation calls for it.

Jiu Jitsu is infinite and learning new techniques can sometimes feel overwhelming. Whether you’re an officer new to grappling, or a more experienced grappler/officer looking to perfect some of your fundamental skills, give these a try on the mats and ultimately, on the street. I think you’ll find them to be really effective. 

Go train. Oss.

// Jason


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