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Why Every Cop Should Study Judo Part 1

Up until 30 years ago, JUDO was the martial art. Then with the introduction of the more mysterious martial arts with more of a "killing" edge to them this coupled with the focus of the USJF/USJI (the leading Judo organizations in the US and the world) focus on Olympic competition and the simple fact that training in judo is painful and to this day, very difficult to get a black belt rank in it, especially if you are in a competitive area. I could probably write another 5 pages on this, but I will stay on point.

During these years EVERY major metropolitan Police Department had a Judo club. Even countries like Thailand taught Judo to there police force, NOT Muay Thai. I personally train a number of law enforcement officers and I have seen the results first hand. So why is Judo the martial art for law enforcement?

The primary purpose of non-lethal force with law enforcement is to get your target to comply. What is the most realistic way of getting someone to do something you don't want to with out seriously damaging them? How can you get someone from their feet to the ground as quickly as possible? How do you know what its going to be like for real? The answer is JUDO.

First off, when most people "resist" arrest, it's an ego thing. They are looking to be restrain, or they don't want to look like a punk and go quietly. The advantage the cop has is that the suspect knows that the officer is not trying to kill him or her. I realize this is a disadvantage in some situations, but that's what the stuff @ is for.

First, the object of judo is to throw the opponent from his feet to his back. Think about the majority of the altercations policemen get in, most of the time the skel is just kind of testing the officer. Once the suspect feels that the officer is going to be a tough customer, he'll comply. Nothing drives this point home better than taking someone from their feet to their ass with one shot. Usually, when the guy is on the ground, he'll take his medicine, since he knows the cop really isn't going to kill him, a lot of time, that's all it takes. Plus, to witnesses, it just looks like you pushed or pulled him over; mean while, they hit the deck HARD. Just ask my friend who threw guys one night with sasae tsuri komi ashi (lifting, pulling, ankle throw). These guys were fighting each other, and the guys on the scene had to get them to stop. So, he got in the fray and tossed 'em all. Well, I guess they felt that getting up and fighting again wasn't that much of a priority.

A popular argument is that most fights go to the ground. This may be true, but most people don't know what they are doing. Most people don't study judo.

One of the primary components of judo is being able to stay on your feet. You develop this skill as a by-product of the training. Just gaining the ability to stay on your feet is worth the price of admission. Especially when you are in a 'scrum' maintaining your balance is a primary concern.

The fact is, there is not better way to practice imposing your will on someone who is non compliant. Nothing gives you greater confidence than throwing a man that has 100 pounds on you. Nothing. Especially when that guy doesn't want to be thrown.

Another important component is the pinning and submissions of judo. To secure a full point in judo you need to hold him on his back for 25 seconds. Being able to hold a man down until the cavalry arrives will save your life. Plus, while this guy struggles, you are just squeezing the life out of him. Trust me, when it comes time for you to put the cuffs on him, he'll be as compliant as a wet noodle.

Strangles and arm-bars, yep, Judo has them too. If you have to put someone "out of commission" and you really want to know how to strangle someone who doesn't want to be strangled, you've come to the right place. When they wake up, you will have them cuffed and ready to go. (Uh-oh, the choke hold alarm! Hey, I am not talking about liability; I am just trying to save your life).

Lastly the overall toughening and body conditioning is second to none. If you can "randori" for 30 minutes, non- stop - you're in really good shape. So why aren't some many people, knocking down the doors of every Judo club. Because it's hard work and it hurts. There's no junior black belt, student of the month. Your gi is white and the work is hard. No secrets, just hard work.

The irony and the tragedy: the guys who train with me are only a few. Most of the guys interested in this type of training are SWAT or tactical guys. Unfortunately, these guys are the least likely to get in a roll around. That's the irony. The tragedy is the guys who are most likely to need good hand to hand fighting skills are the patrolmen doing car stops, domestic violence; and all of the first response details. By the time the SWAT shows up, the situation is intense and the reality of a hand to hand confrontation is highly unlikely if not damned near impossible.

Damian Ross is the owner of Zenshin and instructor of Tekkenryu jujutsu and Kodokan Judo. He started competing in the combative sport of wrestling in 1975 at the age of 7 and began his study of Asian martial arts with Moo Duk Kwan Tae Kwon Do at the age of 16 in 1984. In 1989, Shinan Cestari gave a seminar at Sensei Ross's dojo. Sensei Ross has trained under Shinan Cestari's direction ever since. In addition to Tekkenryu Jujutsu, Judo and Tae Kwon Do, Sensei Ross has also studied Bando. Sensei Ross continues his study of Judo under the direction of 8th degree black belt Yoshisada Yonezuka and Tekkenryu Jujutsu under it's founder, Carl Cestari. Below are is a list of some of his title ranks:

Yodan (fourth degree black belt) Tekkenryu Jujutsu under Carl Cestari
Shodan (First degree black belt) Kodokan Judo under Yoshisada Yonezuka
Varsity Wrestling Lehigh University under Thad Turner
2nd Degree Black Belt Tae Kwon Do


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