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Mandating BJJ for LE would be a Disaster


BJJ is one of the best possible training when it is done repeatedly and studied appropriately for the niche application of LE.  That is something that needs to be understood before we also accept that mandatory training of BJJ, or any other serious physical requirements, for the average officer, is a very shortsighted and knee-jerk reaction to a bigger problem with overall law enforcement hiring standards.  LEOs should be encouraged to seek out advanced training, not be forced to train in something which has a lot of liability associated with it.


The above video shows two officers who are very competent in their ability to keep control of a fighting suspect who is armed, without resorting to immediate deadly force.  These types of situations should really be applauded in the application of their developed skillsets, but to imagine that this should be the norm is putting emphasis on something that cannot be implemented in any tangible way.  You may be asking yourself, surely there is some department somewhere who has done this?  The Marietta PD did this exact thing:


The above video links to this page which shows all sorts of cool statistics, many of them are actually pretty interesting, and I would like to point out two specific points from that page.  The officers "opted" into this BJJ program and each person's costs were $10 a class which clearly was a hell of a deal by a local BJJ school.  I am sure that many people will look at this and believe it is a huge success, and it may be to their standards because of the deal that they got but it's not the model, and shouldn't be expected to be.

The biggest issue here is that any martial arts, or fitness standards, set forth by any police department must be supported by the reasonable allowance of meeting such goals.  Meaning that the moment a department says that they need to set up a fitness standard, they not only have to provide time and opportunity to accomplish that goal, but they must also deal with legal issues such as contracts, union issues, and general lawsuits that will definitely be brought forward.  Some LEOs might even push to sue through age or sex discrimination.  This is a real-world issue which many departments do not want to fight, it's why some are removing age requirements for hiring at the high end.  Imagine a policy that requires all officers to run 1.5 miles in under 20 minutes.  Pretty easy to do, hell most twenty-somethings can walk that quickly.  The issue is that you may have officers towards the end of their careers who have never been held to a physical standard of any kind, now they are forced to meet this standard or be forced to retire, maybe even be fired depending on the department politics.  If you think it's just as easy to exclude them or anyone from any such standard setup, you do not know how police departments are set up with policies.  It almost always applies to everyone or no one, and if there may be such situations where it only applies to "some" people then lawsuits, union issues, and other legal issues can arise.  There is no easy answer.


Now mandate that every single officer hold a blue belt in BJJ to stay on the job, that means they set up an arbitrary standard that they need to meet in order to keep their jobs, or they make it completely optional and people won't sign up because then it puts all the liability onto the individual LEO and not the department that is asking for it.  That still sets up more issues down the line because you may have some situations where an officer will be selected for something over an officer who did not opt into this program and that will immediately cause issues in any departments.  This may end up being a huge issue down the line believe it or not.


If mandated, the department has to assume all financial and legal liability for that training, meaning that if an officer gets hurt during a BJJ class (which happens a lot) the department must accept that responsibility, and I can tell you right now that there isn't an insurance (workmanscomp) company that will accept that exposure.  Furthermore, you have a lot of different little issues which can arise.  The timing of classes, the overall cost of classes, which can be pretty costly as many schools will not accept per class payments.  There can be situations where an officer will need to go to work and then a class or the other way around and because of the volatility of the job may end up getting hurt because of BJJ classes before/after.  That's a big liability for a department to accept, to the point that most won't.  Is there a deadline for this? Does the officer have to keep going after they get their blue belt?  It's a lot of consideration and simply cannot be mandated as part of a law.  


My question is, why stop at a blue belt? Why not require everyone to be a black belt?  Why only require BJJ? Why not require someone to have some sort of other arbitrary requirements they have to meet, all of which applied after graduating from the academy.  


BJJ applied to law enforcement requires a very specific understanding and training.  I don't know that many schools even have the qualifications to offer this type of training, and that is even if you accept the premise that BJJ is the "only" type of martial art that can be applied to law enforcement, it isn't by the way.  In many academies training with firearms, and other tools are taught, they just aren't integrated within the ground fighting spectrum, that's a big mistake that many believe BJJ can fix, that may or may not be the case due to the issues I have stated, especially since many schools are competition oriented and competition BJJ is not applicable to the reality of law enforcement.   Remember that all of this, literally every single thing that is taught to an LEO which can be used on the street may end up in a courtroom or the subject of legal inquiries.  That means you have to find an instructor who has no issues about going and testifying in court about the use of force that he taught, and by doing this opening themselves up to scrutiny.  It's a big responsibility that someone somewhere will be either blindsided with or they will simply fall short on the stand causing the LEO to pay the price for it.  That's if they only end up teaching BJJ and not integrating it with some sort of tool application, which would be extremely short-sighted as that's part of a LEOs job.  Show me a lesson plan for a LEO to learn BJJ with their duty belt on and I'll show you a lesson plan not vetted for court.


The only way this works is to provide some kind of incentive for officers to either go out on their own and get a blue belt (or just training) and the department to reimburse them or provide a raise in salary if they provide proof of their results in some way.  Once a department accepts liability for this type of training it opens itself up and that's simply not something that we will see anywhere, and if there is a law passed in an area that specifically requires it per officer that will quickly end up being a big problem for that department and those officers in the long run.

EDC AIWB / IWB UPGRADES!

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