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Old 01-17-2008, 11:02 AM   #40
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
Location: Oceanside, California
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,237
Re: Is Aikido effective for police?

Hi David,

First, I'll recap the "21 Foot Rule".....

If an individual is within 21 feet from the officer, even if the officer has his gun pointed at the suspect, the suspect can close the distance and stab or otherwise injure the officer before he can shoot and stop the attacker. This doctrine is taught much like a religion in basic police academies and is the basis for the concept of shooting center mass. The belief is that unless the officer manages a fatal, man-stopping shot, the suspect inside of 21 feet will still get him.

What the GRAPLE Course teaches is for the officer to fall backwards and extend his legs towards the suspect while firing his weapon. We've all seen a Gracie in the ring holding off an opponent with just this movement. Frankly I was sceptical until we practiced it a number of times. We were attacked by a couple of different assistant instructors who were real jocks, incredibly fit and very, very fast. They were armed with training knives and the students were armed with red guns. Using a modified Weaver stance, I was able to get off one shot before I was blitzed and repeatedly stabbed. A few folks didn't get off the first shot!

By using the GRAPLE technique, I received cuts or slashes to my legs most of the time, but was able to keep my attacker far enough away to prevent any attack to my groin, torso or head and I was able to "fire" multiple rounds into his torso at close range. Not an absolute prescription for self-defense, but a pretty good tool for officer survival.

As I said earlier, I don't like grappling and ground fighting as a sport or martial art, but this GRAPLE stuff is worth looking into. The weapons take-aways are very similar to what you'd see in Krav Maga and there is a strong Aikido flavor as well.

Hope this helps explain what they are teaching. Oh yeah, since you're in California, this is POST Certified too.

"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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