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Old 07-12-2008, 12:08 PM   #131
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?


You and I view this issue from two different perspectives, from two different roles. As a result we disagree in part. I think we totally agree as individuals however.

My basic premise is that Aikido is effective for American police IF they are willing to train. If they are not willing to train, then some Aikido techniques will prove effective particularly if they are supplemented with some other skills.

What I think you've been saying all along is that you are a purist and insist in drilling down to the core principles of the art and aren't willing to give of your time and effort to provide anything less to students. I applaud that and am trying to emulate it as well.

I view the issue from the perspective of a police administrator who is (or more accurately was) responsible for fielding well trained police agents in a world of conflicting priorities and limited resources. At least here in California traditional police agencies are expected to be all things to all people at all times. Obviously that is an impossible task and police leaders have to set priorities in all aspects of the agency; calls for service, training, recruitment, equipment, organization, and even personal conduct of employees.

It was my job and responsibility to provide the most efficient self-defense training possible to my subordinates in that world. As a consequence, it became apparent that it would be impossible to train every officer to the level that you attempt to achieve in your own training and in your own school. There simply isn't the money available or the buy-in from governing bodies, the public or from the officers themselves. And we have to also provide training to the least common denominator in our staff. Most of us have chosen to provide an amalgum of various "arts" in an effort to give our troops a few successful tools to work with. I think that's why Krav Maga has become so popular with some police agencies. Its like the AK-47 in that it is crude and always seems to work no matter how rusty it is or how neglected it becomes.

As I recall, you teach POST defensive tactics courses as well. POST curriculum teaches the "bar arm takedown" technique which is little more than ikkyo omote. I've seen it done hundreds of times in training and in the field and have yet to see done correctly by Aikido standards. It was effective though and looked just like what the DT instructors taught.

In my perfect world, I would provide an hour each working day for DT training and it would be based almost entirely on Aikido. I would want some of the time spent on handcuffing and other techniques and processes as well, but the bulk of the training would be Aikido. Unfortunately, I had to spend a great deal of my time defending my already inadequate training budget and never got to see my perfect world.

In addressing this to you, I realize that I am preaching to the choir and so will step down from the pulpit now.

"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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