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Jiu Jitsu for Police: Why BJJ is it the best martial arts option

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Police Officers, Fireman, and Emergency Medical personnel form the backbone of our society. It is a calling that is answered by both men and women from all walks of life.

The realities of working as a public servant can be harsh, even in the fields where police aren’t there to apprehend a suspect, subjects may be hostile regardless of the circumstances.

Often, these public servants respond to calls where people are having the worst days of their lives, so it can leave circumstances unpredictable.

What can police officers and first responders do to remedy this?

Sometimes restraints, calming behavior, and even firearms aren’t enough. This is where Jiu Jitsu for police and first responders come into the picture.

Jiu Jitsu for Police, is it the best martial arts option? Yes, Jiu Jitsu focuses on controlling your opponent with finesse, leverage, and technique over strikes, hard throws, and other maneuvers that may leave lasting injuries on the subject you’re interacting with. 

Remember, it is not about hurting the subject you’re interacting with on a call; it is about gaining control over them as peacefully as possible.

While Jiu Jitsu is ideal for those police officers who protect and serve, there may be some mitigating factors that could make training difficult, like class schedules, the risk of injury, and so on, but the benefits are exponential.

What Are the Benefits of Jiu Jitsu for Police Officers?

Contrary to popular belief, police officers aren’t martial arts experts by any means, if you train more than a day or two a week, you have a leg up on a majority of officers.

Most police academies only allocate a few hours of subject control training, and most officers don’t practice techniques they learned, let alone pursue further instruction after graduation and getting commissioned as an officer.

Non-Impact Martial Art

The last thing a police officer dealing with a combative subject wants to do is pummel their faces in, this is a gross motor skill which most people resort to in a violent encounter, but it is one of the worst mistakes one could make.

For one, the longer you leave your arms in front of you, you leave levers and handles for your opponents to grab on to, especially when fatigue sets in.

Also, it just doesn’t look very good when an officer brings in someone who’s bloodied up with a swollen face. That won’t leave a good public image with the department, nor to the courts and the media.

Jiu Jitsu has little to no striking techniques. 

It employs takedowns, throws, and sweeps that knock the opponent on their backs and joint locks, which allows the officer to subdue suspects quickly.

Jiu Jitsu can quickly put an end to an encounter without appearing barbaric and without harming the offender or the police officer.

Pain Compliance

Pain Compliance techniques work in most cases, with exceptions on say an offender high on anger or drugs. Still, in most cases, a simple wrist lock or armbar will be enough to submit a violent offender and get them to comply with your orders.

The beauty of pain compliance is it won’t leave any lasting damage if applied correctly. The goal isn’t to harm. Its to control and gain compliance with your orders.

Most of these techniques operate along the lines of restraining over injuring.

These techniques can indeed be dangerous if misused or out of anger. But any reasonable police officer will always exercise self-control even in the most stressful circumstances.

However, it should be said Jiu Jitsu has a lot of ground fighting, which is the last place a police officer wants to find themselves in a fight because tactical awareness goes right out the window.

Jiu Jitsu offers techniques where you stay on your feet or knees so you can maintain 360-degree security without sacrificing control of the situation.

Mental Toughness

These days, most martial arts are competition-based, which isn’t a problem, but it often leaves out the traditional aspects of martial arts, which are deeply rooted in philosophy.

The more you train, the more confident you feel. The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle.

This applies to Jiu Jitsu. Practitioners are put through the wringer in class, in uncomfortable spots often against highly skilled martial artists who have been at it for years.

This is a very humbling and enlightening experience a non-martial artist will never know.

By going to class and getting beat up, the less stressful dealing with an aggressor will be because you have already been there over and over in training once you have dedicated some time to practice and study.

This mental toughness applies to all aspects of life as well, not just in regards to combat. BJJ is an incredible outlet for aggression and stress, which is another reason why Jiu Jitsu is excellent for police.

Everything is significant in public service, so it will improve all aspects of life as well when you can walk softly knowing you can take on anything the world can throw at you calmly and effectively.

Physical Wellness

An hour of hard Jiu Jitsu training can burn up to 800 or more calories, much more than you can get on a treadmill or lifting weights.

Jiu Jitsu also increases flexibility and cardiovascular endurance, as well as dynamic, explosive strength without totaling your joints like you would lifting or running.

Jiu Jitsu trains the body as a system, encompassing all aspects of strength and endurance at once just through practice as opposed to isometric training, which focuses on teaching one part of the body at a time.

You won’t end up looking like a bodybuilder or anything like that, but you will be able to go the distance against almost anyone you may have to find yourself going toe to toe within the line of duty.

Finding A Place to Train Jiu Jitsu

Thanks to the increasing popularity of UFC and Mixed Martial Arts Promotions, Jiu Jitsu schools and fight gyms are often much closer than one may think.

With a little digging, you can find a place to train within 30 miles of most areas. Just make sure the facilities offer legitimate instructors with credentials to instruct.

Be aware of the fake gyms and dojos. Inadequate instruction and training are more of a liability than an asset, so make sure to do advance work.

The training can be relatively expensive. The beautiful part is most gyms, and Jiu Jitsu schools offer discounted rates to first responders and police officers. Just be sure to bring in proof of employment when signing up and ask for Jiu Jitsu prices for police.

Fight Gyms

Fight gyms offer a variety of martial arts with plenty of classes to choose from during the week, even private lessons depending on the size of the gym.

These Fight Gyms are often focused on MMA or competitive fighters. Still, anyone can feel free to drop in and train, it’s encouraged because not only does it benefit you, but it helps all the other fighters and martial artists as well.

Conventional Gyms

Conventional gyms are swing and miss, some offer a place to exercise, but as of late, a good bit of them offer martial arts classes with Jiu Jitsu being the most common due to its versatility and benefits for health and performance.

It may take a little searching but look hard enough, and you will find a YMCA or local gym with classes you can drop in, sometimes without memberships but just a small day fee so you can come and go at your leisure.

Always be sure it’s legitimate, some bad actors try to profit on popularity, and Jiu Jitsu is no exception.

BJJ Schools

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu schools are an ideal place to train Jiu Jitsu, often because it’s centered on the specific focus of BJJ.

Sometime Jiu Jitsu schools will offer other class options such as Muay Thai or boxing, but BJJ is taught daily at a dedicated Jiu Jitsu school.

The students in traditional BJJ schools are also very well trained and serve as instructors themselves once they gain experience.

So you get many perspectives to approach a technical aspect as opposed to the singular fight gym coach dynamic who is teaching a huge class.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu schools offer a more traditional experience where you gain the skills as well as the philosophy and camaraderie you get with in-depth one on one instruction.

Is Jiu Jitsu Good for You?

Jiu Jitsu is very physically demanding if you have any heart trouble it would be prudent to check with a doctor before starting your training.

Also, be aware there will be a lot of pressure on your limbs and joints, so it would be ideal to have a decent fitness foundation before starting.

This isn’t required, but the more in shape you are before you start, the less of a shock to the system it will be when you start, and the more likely you will be to continue your journey in Jiu Jitsu.

That’s some of the reasons we believe Jiu Jitsu is great for police and first responders.

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By Let's Roll BJJ

Let's Roll BJJ aims to be the leading source of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Grappling information and news on the web. Dorian, the owner and editor of Let's Roll BJJ is a purple belt in Jiu Jitsu and has been training and competing for over 6 years.

Apart from being a BJJ geek, Dorian is a software developer by trade, a husband, and a father of two wonderful kids who he's recently began teaching Jiu Jitsu. When he's not training, coding, or writing, you can find him hiking, camping or occasionally binging on video games.

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