We're constantly using the phrase, “Train for Real.” It’s on our website, Instagram hashtags and anywhere else we promote our brand. So, what does that actually mean?
There’s a lot of bullshit in police training, especially as it relates to control and defense. I’ve seen videos of overweight, non-law enforcement “instructors,” casually teaching cops how to disarm a gunman with their bare hands. I’ve seen departments waste thousands of dollars to send someone to a three day instructor course, where that person comes back with nothing more than a certificate that says they were there. And the worst, blood boiling example, which we’re all familiar with, is the annual 8 hour training day. If you're able to teach your officers how to control uncooperative and combative suspects in one, 8 hour training day, please do share your dark arts with the rest of us.
The point is you can’t learn how to do anything in 8 hours, or three days, or even a month. To become proficient, you need to train for real.
Training for real has a few different meanings:
#1: Training for Real Means to Train Consistently
There’s a reason cops don’t need more de-escalation training. It’s because they’re already great at it. They do it every shift, every week, every year, over and over and over again. What most cops aren’t so great at is going hands-on and being able to quickly control someone in a safe, efficient manner. When a use of force incident occurs, the perception by the general public is that the situation could have been avoided had the officer had more “de-escalation” training.” In reality, the situation usually becomes escalated because the officer either A) Lacks confidence in their abilities to physically control someone or B) uses an excessive amount of force because they realize they don’t know what to do while in a physical altercation, causing them to go limbic and revert to primal forms of aggression to try and survive. My solution to this common problem is for agencies to start investing in Jiu Jitsu training for their officers, as well as the individual officer taking it upon themselves to train on their own time.
#2: Training for Real Means to Train in Things That Actually Work
One of my favorite social media accounts to follow is McDojo Life, where the creator posts hilarious videos of ridiculous martial arts videos from around the world. Sadly, some of them represent actual training styles we see police agencies buying into.
(credit: McDojo Life)
There are a lot of great martial arts, all of which offer certain benefits. However, just because something gives you a good workout or teaches you self discipline doesn’t mean it’s going to save your ass when someone is trying to kick it. Royce Gracie proved this to the world when he destroyed guys twice his size and strength during the early days of the UFC, using fundamental Jiu Jitsu against fighters who were allegedly trained in various forms of "street lethal" garbage Hollywood made us believe in when we were kids.
Additionally, some of the crazy martial arts that train to kick groins, punch throats and remove eyeballs, don't factor in the constitutional requirements surrounding police use of force. We need to focus on control and defense styles that both resemble how we actually fight AND meet our legal requirements. Jiu Jitsu is the answer. This is not to say we shouldn’t send our officers to one-off courses, but those should be supplemental to a consistent Jiu Jitsu training schedule.
#3: Training For Real Means to Train For the Real World
Jiu Jitsu is one of the few arts that can be trained against an opponent who is resisting you with 100% intensity. This is important because if your only training is against a bag or a role player who always cooperates, you won’t know what actually works and what doesn’t in a real fight. A boxer can hit mitts all day long, but stepping in the ring and sparring with someone who is trying to punch them in the face is an entirely different level. There’s no difference with police training. How can we expect our cops to quickly and safely control an uncooperative suspect on the street if all they do is show up to check a few boxes 8 hours per year? When you train Jiu Jitsu, you can put together the techniques and concepts you learn through live training or "rolling," which is the most realistic training environment there is. Many other arts sold to us involve unrealistic techniques that only work against cooperative training partners, and/or techniques that can't be trained with 100% intensity against another human...like a throat punch.
Here's a great example of fundamental Jiu Jitsu being used by a police officer to control someone one the street, by my dude @jtippbjj. No strikes, eye gouging or throat punches needed.
(video credit: @tactical_jiujitsu, @jtipbjj)
We can't be "warriors," "sheepdogs," or "wolfhunters," by leaving training without any bumps or bruises. We need to get on the mats and start training for real.