When teaching cops anything related to control and defense techniques, there’s one question you’re guaranteed to hear; “What if (insert one of an infinite number of hypothetical scenarios here).” Don’t get me wrong. Some questions are great and I never discourage anyone from asking them, IF they’re asking the question to actually learn something or provide some value. The problem I find with most of these questions is that they’re usually being asked as a way to write off training as useless and validate their own belief that training is a waste of time.
Common 'What If' Questions May Include:
- What if that technique doesn’t work?
- What if they get out of that control hold?
- What if they pull out a knife and start stabbing you with it?
- What if they grab your gun and start shooting you with it?
- What if the person is a professional MMA fighter?
- What if they bite you?
- What if they lean down and bite your penis?
Ok, the last one has never been asked. I stole that from a hilarious comment from one of our Instagram followers, but you get the point.
The answer to every one of these questions, and the cure for the 'What If' Syndrome is this: GO TRAIN.
The reality is that fights can be very dynamic, where a number of things may or may not happen. Unfortunately, most law enforcement agencies refuse to admit this, and continue buying into the idea that there is a magical package of approved techniques their officers can use to flawlessly end every physical encounter, without injuring themselves or the suspect. While that’s the ideal outcome, fights are physical and someone may, and probably will, get hurt. At least to some degree. However, consistent Jiu Jitsu training will help minimize these risks because you’re not just learning random techniques that look cool on YouTube. You’re also learning fundamental concepts, proper movement and the principles of leverage and base. If this makes no sense, think of it this way; Jiu Jitsu gives you lots of options when fighting with someone. If one thing isn’t working, you can modify it or transition to something else. The beauty of Jiu Jitsu is that all of these things are interconnected, opposed to being stand alone techniques that have a 50/50 chance of working.
Here’s a great video example that displays this. The fight goes from standing, to a rear clinch takedown, to a second takedown when the first one failed, to mount control, to a near reversal by the suspect, to a hip bump sweep by the officer, back to top mount control with a head and arm triangle.The officer did a great job of maintaining control throughout, not by using a single technique, but through the fundamentals of Jiu Jitsu.
At the end of the day, we can “what if” the hell out of every possible situation, or we can start training and have an answer for almost every one of them. Training eight hours per year, or focusing all of our training on a few pre-packaged techniques is not a good long term solution. We need to train for real and train consistently, primarily in Jiu Jitsu.
But, what if no one reads this? I'll get over it. Go train.