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Fight for Your Life (From Patrol Response to Contemporary Problems: Enhancing Performance of First Responders Through Knowledge and Experience, P 27-36, 2006, John A. Kolman, ed. -- See NCJ-215624)

NCJ Number
John McCarthy
Date Published
10 pages
This chapter explains the importance and features of law enforcement officer training that enable officers to win in hand-to-hand combat, which can carry the risk of serious injury or death.
Although officers may have an entire career without any physical fights with individuals they encounter in their work, officers do not want to spend their careers fearing that call or that traffic stop that will involve a violent, close-contact confrontation, because they know they are not prepared to prevail in such a situation. From their initial academy and field training and throughout their careers, officers must learn and maintain the skills, mindset, and physical fitness required to counter and subdue any type of physical attack. One of the types of physical skills required to be proficient in hand-to-hand combat is the techniques of western boxing. Boxers know how to use their hands and position their bodies to counter the blows of an opponent while launching damaging blows to vulnerable parts of the opponent's body. Training in western boxing should be a feature of police training in self-defense. Not only hand-delivered blows, but also foot-delivered blows are useful in repelling and launching an attack. Muay Thai is an art that features the use of feet, knees, elbows, and hands in delivering efficient, powerful, and precise blows. When both combatants are on the ground, the techniques of freestyle/Greco-Roman wrestling are useful, so this should be included in police training. All of these techniques of self-defense require physical conditioning and mental preparation if they are to be used effectively, so these areas of personal training must also be pursued.