According to LE and LEKOA (Law Enforcement Officer Killed in Action) statistics that the FBI conducted over the years 2009 – 2018, there were 552.222 attacks on officers in the USA. As a result of those attacks, 510 of the officers mentioned above died. The most important lesson lies in more detailed statistics:
Out of those 510:
- 107 managed to use their weapon;
- 73 tried to do it (and at least draw the gun);
- 287 (!) didn’t even try to use it;
- 21 were killed with their weapons.
What’s the conclusion? There is an urgent deficiency in hand-to-hand combat training for law enforcement officers. We’re dangerously short in understanding the distance necessary for the correct defense reaction, and we are unable to oppose the seizure of weapons (gun retention).
It’s the hight time for a change.
For any law enforcement officers, hand-to-hand combat can’t be limited only to tactics and intervention techniques. It also needs developing defensive skills, appropriate mental attitude, and physical preparation. Those 4 factors complement each other. Only when they work together, and they’re developed with equal emphasis on quality and quantity, we may speak of a fully-trained law enforcement officer.
Such a way of thinking has its opponents, of course. They claim that in the training process, there is no time for this type of action. But how can we save up on training of those who protect not only themselves but above all others? As experienced instructors, we know that this holistic approach doesn’t require such a massive time investment. It’s always possible to introduce hand-to-hand combat training into the program.
Such training is not to prepare martial arts masters or introduce police officers to the MMA ring but to equip them with basic skills and experience. It gives them a better sense of distance & timing, a greater understanding of body language, and choosing the threat’s right reactions.
“Train with the understanding that firearms practice is 75% physical and 25% mental. however, a gunfight is 25% physical and 75% mental.”
Goals and positive effects of hand-to-hand combat training:
One of the overarching goals of hand-to-hand combat training for LE officers is to shorten the reaction time when a threat is detected. And it’s not only in the context of hand-to-hand combat itself but also in a fire exchange situation. According to FBI statistics, 73 police officers failed to fire despite trying to pull the firearm out. A sufficiently good physical training level might allow faster recognition of the attackers’ body movement to draw the weapon, thus shortening the officers’ reaction. In the end: it may affect the final result of the fight and save lives.
General motor skills:
Hand-to-hand combat training also develops general motor skills and coordination. We can’t underestimate it, as it affects every aspect of the officers’ daily duties: from driving a car, through shooting skills, intervention tactics to self-defense.
Hand-to-hand combat training not only raises self-defense skills but also has a positive effect on our mindset. And that’s the key and solution to many problems we might even don’t realize. It allows stress control and reduces aggression (which may result from the lack of skills and emergency procedures).
“For years, so many of us involved in military or law enforcement tactical training opted for the “sexier side” of our skill sets, working on deadly force, discriminative marksmanship, or defensive tactics, but rarely (if ever) factoring in the mental side and its importance to our success.”
Your skills, as a law enforcement officer, significantly affect the safety of civilians and other officers. Are you really ready to take the job? Or is there anything else you can do to take your skills to another level? Don’t fool around and get yourself a proper training!
What can you do?
Join our Civil & Law Enforcement Instructor Course. A well-trained officer (if you have martial arts experience, that’s good for you!) can become an instructor in 12 days and strongly affect your surroundings’ safety. Check our incoming course.
You’d like to join, but it’s impossible to book the flight from your place now? Don’t let the world’s crisis stop you from your growth. Get back in the game with our Get ready! Instructor Education Course – Online. More details here.
Author: Mateusz Orczykowski
Translation & edition: Kasia Maciejak
Marcus Wynne, Lt. Colonel Eduardo Jany