Re: Aikido in a street situation
The Leblanc article concerning the Dorsey study was interesting, but still somewhat misleading to a member of the public. Officers are trained specifically to take individuals to the ground in a use of force situation in order to control them for handcuffing. While the UOF reports show that the "fight" went to the ground, it really isn't in the context of grappling or Gracie Jujutsu, but rather a pinning technique. LAPD is the home of "The Koga Method" which is still being taught in their academy and in-service training. For those not familiar with Koga, Bob Koga is an aikidoka who first brought aikido to LAPD and continues to train LEOs all over the country. Here in California one will see the bar arm takedown frequently as it is taught to all officers by standards set by POST (California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training). That particular takedown technique would be recognized by any aikido practitioner as an Ikkyo, however crude it may be by comparison.
Some agencies are also including additional training in what I would term as groundfighting, with the Gracie GRAPLE (Gracie Resisting Attack Procedures for Law Enforcement) being one of the most popular courses.
While these two studies are moving in the right direction, they still don't capture the most salient issue to LEOs, that of officers being taken to the ground and using groundfighting techniques to defend themselves and overcome resistance. The data, so far at least, is simply not available for capture and analysis. For example, the LA Sheriff's Department has a comprehensive UOF reporting system that requires a supervisory level investigation of any force event that goes beyond a simple handcuffing. Those reports are reviewed by both the Internal Affairs Bureau and the Training Bureau, as well as the officer's chain of command. There is a data entry component to these reports, but the most information is found in a narrative portion of the report. The data entry information would show that the officer used "personal weapons" (hands, feet) if he entered into a BJJ scenario.
I think that the mythical 90% is correct in that virtually every struggle in police work does go to the ground in the sense that the officer forced the suspect down to pin him and handcuff him. While I've never conducted a study myself, my own anecdotal experience shows me that actually very few confrontations result in groundfighting/grappling/BJJ as most of us would know it. Regardless of what the actual percentage is, I remain convinced that having ground skills in addition to other defensive tactics would be valuable to LEOs anywhere. I have to admit to a bias here though in that I have trained in the GRAPLE program as well as Koga based Defensive Tactics and my son, a third generation cop, is also a Gracie BJJ instructor with his own school. To paraphrase "The Most Interesting Man in the World", I don't always end up on my back, but when I do, I prefer to have grappling training.