MODERN COMBATIVE SYSTEMS - Deadly Force is Deadly Force


Police officers today have more tools at their disposal than ever before. Tazers, OC Spray, ASP Batons, and firearms are a few examples of these.

What do all of these weapons have in common? The human hand deploys every one of them. No matter how much technology lays in the future the one thing that will always remain the same in law enforcement is that sooner or later you have to take the bad guy to jail and that means going hands on.

It seems that some police officers and many police administrators want to somehow bury their head in the sand and ignore this fact. They want more Tazers, they want more computers in the cars, and they want more officers with college degrees.

None of these things that I mentioned are going to negate my statement at the beginning of this article.

Let's face it, looking at the bigger picture a pretty small percentage of arrests erupt into a fight. Even fewer into an attack or attempted disarming of a police officer. But when it does happen the officer will need open hand skills to deal with the immediate threat and depending on the circumstances either neutralize the threat or do something to create time and distance to realize other options.

The most dangerous time for a police officer is at the moment of arrest, when even the most submissive suspect can turn explosively violent. Being within arms reach is a physical reality of an arrest. At this distance it is next to impossible to deploy any tools from your Bat Belt. It is also the hardest place to retain them.

The arm bar takedown that you learned in the academy was to be used against a drunk who was resisting, not a convicted murderer trying to make you his next victim. You made a rookie mistake and took out your cuffs before you had control over him. Now with your cuffs in hand you recoil back from him spinning around and elbowing you in the face.

As the blood starts to pump from your face, you realize that for a split second you forgot where you were and did what every normal person would do. You began to bring your hands to your face. Problem is that once you realize this you also realize that he has now got his hands on your gun and is trying to get it out of your holster.

Definitely a deadly force situation but your only deadly force option is the very item he has his hands on. As you struggle, you remember that you have your cuffs in your strong hand. Have you ever thought of using your cuffs as an impact weapon? Do you know where to strike him with the cuffs to make him stop what he is doing? Do you have the stomach to take your thumb and jam it into his eye, if that is what it will take to survive?

These are not skills that you will see taught, encouraged or approved in any agency or academy. The number one reason being liability. The second reason, what I feel is the most important, is that, lets face it, the majority of officers do not have the right mindset to do these things.

It would take time, consideration, and ruthlessness. These are mental bridges that you must cross mentally before you meet them in the street. What are you willing to do to live?.
This is something I have thought of here and there. The actual act of pulling the trigger on someone. I have never been really ruthless, except on a few occasions, but sometimes I think about having to actually take a life and honestly, I pray I never have to.
I know it would be either them or me, but occasionally the gravity of that action really hits home. I daily carry, out of personal choice, but, I sure hope I never have to use it. But, I also know that I need to be prepared, mentally and physically.

Your thoughts?