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View Full Version : Classical Aikido (and Neijia) in Police Work


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Ellis Amdur
03-18-2018, 01:22 AM
Some time ago, I mentioned that I have been curious to hear from police who have used classical aikido technique (not just the mindset, but actual techniques). Here, I LINK (http://kogenbudo.org/my-use-of-classical-martial-techniques-while-working-as-a-police-officer-by-bill-fettes/) to an essay on my kogenbudo site, by Bill Fettes, an recently retired Australian police officer, which discusses this directly.

Michael Hackett
03-18-2018, 07:25 PM
Hi Ellis Sensei,

As you know, most American police defensive tactics have a foundation in aikido, thanks to the work of the late Bob Koga Sensei. Koga Sensei was a sergeant with the Los Angeles Police Department in the late 1950s and was really concerned with both the type of training officers were receiving and the action out in the field. He knew that aikido was too complex for LAPD officers to really become competent with, so he created "Practical Aikido" in which he simplified a number of aikido techniques so they were easy to remember and perform. Remember, even today, most police officers receive less than eight hours of defensive tactics training annually. Ultimately Sergeant Koga's program was adopted by LAPD with great success and subsequently a good number of other agencies followed suit.

After a few years the California POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training) Commission adopted a major portion of Koga Sensei's program and made those techniques required training. No aikido name is used, but a crude version of the technique is taught. For example, the "Single Arm Takedown" is nothing more than an ikkyo, and so forth. Today the majority of the states have similar programs and required training.

Over the years as a peace officer in California I've used a number of aikido techniques when dealing with violent offenders. Ikkyo, iriminage, and kotogaeshi were occasionally used. One of my favorites, and the one that originally got me interested in aikido (thanks Sergeant Mike Visser of Rialto Police Department) was using sankyo to remove a drunk driver from behind the wheel of his car.

It isn't uncommon to have a DUI suspect refuse to step out of his vehicle and he will often keep a death grip on his steering wheel and plant his feet on the floorboard and push back against the seat. It becomes very difficult to remove him and the officer may have to resort to chemical spray or even a TASER device if necessary. Instead, the officer can simply slap the driver on his forehead (atemi) and grasp his left hand at the same time, sliding into a sankyo position. It is amazing how quickly the individual will release his grip and posture and slide right out of the vehicle and submit to arrest.

Today with the all the cameras out on the street, police techniques related to aikido not only are successful physically, but tend to demonstrate quality and reasonable police functions to the community the officers are serving.

sorokod
03-19-2018, 11:04 AM
Surprised to see Tiger ( kubi nage?) in the list. It's a killing technique with a very small margin for error.

Ellis Amdur
03-19-2018, 11:27 AM
David - that's an interesting point. At the same time, one could, conceivably, kill someone with several other of the techniques there, were one to drop the person on their head and have them hit a curbstone or what have you.

I think the take-away is that these were not the official defensive tactics curriculum of the Adelaide Police Force. Rather, these were techniques Fettes used when in arrest/fighting situations as a cop. And they were 'up to code' in that they 1) got the job done 2) did not severely injure the arrestee.

On the other hand, if, for example, that 'tiger' technique resulted in the individual getting a broken neck, all holy hell would have rained down upon him, because that was not in the lesson plan.

Ellis Amdur

MrIggy
03-19-2018, 04:18 PM
Surprised to see Tiger ( kubi nage?) in the list. It's a killing technique with a very small margin for error.

Depends on how you do it and on the agility of the person you are doing it on. A buddy of mine and I have been practicing with this version (https://youtu.be/cY05h1uPyfQ?t=18s) of the head throw. There has to be correct posture, hip movement but above all balance breaking at the beginning. If there isn't there is a tendency of using strength to twist the head more then needed as to have a sense of control that can lead to unfortunate circumstances. Of course if you have all the above you can just break his neck like that of a chicken but that's another thing.

In this particular case I think it was mostly the agility of the street dweller that prevented a more fatal outcome.

sorokod
03-19-2018, 05:20 PM
Depends on how you do it and on the agility of the person you are doing it on. A buddy of mine and I have been practicing with this version (https://youtu.be/cY05h1uPyfQ?t=18s) of the head throw. There has to be correct posture, hip movement but above all balance breaking at the beginning. If there isn't there is a tendency of using strength to twist the head more then needed as to have a sense of control that can lead to unfortunate circumstances. Of course if you have all the above you can just break his neck like that of a chicken but that's another thing.

In this particular case I think it was mostly the agility of the street dweller that prevented a more fatal outcome.

Don't disagree with what you are saying except for "that's another thing" - I think that that is the thing

Here is my favorite (I posted it before) kubi nage video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIJDj7rPDoM .

MrIggy
03-20-2018, 12:48 PM
Don't disagree with what you are saying except for "that's another thing" - I think that that is the thing

After remembering my instructor showing me one of the variations of Iriminage where you actually break the spine I stand corrected.

Here is my favorite (I posted it before) kubi nage video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIJDj7rPDoM .

Nice one.

Demetrio Cereijo
03-20-2018, 01:25 PM
It's a killing technique with a very small margin for error.

I don't buy that.

Lots of things have to go wrong (or right, depending one's point of view) to kill someone with kubi nage.

sorokod
03-20-2018, 02:00 PM
I don't buy that.

Lots of things have to go wrong (or right, depending one's point of view) to kill someone with kubi nage.

Not selling anything but always interested to learn something new, please explain.