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Old 06-17-2010, 08:56 AM   #1
Buck
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Why The Seattle Cop Needed Aikido

There is a viral and controversial video that is getting people's attention, probably not as much as the new dancing baby video, of late. The video shows a cop punching with a closed fist a very aggressive young women in the face, who is interfering with an arrest.

Should of he had more control? Should he have had exercised better control than punching was there other options? That is the obvious question. It was clear the cop was trying to gain control over an out of control situation. It was clear he reacted outside of his training when he couldn't get control and stop the aggressive and resistance actions of both women. He was in an intense escalating low-violent situation where he couldn't get the control he needed per his job requirements. He reacted outside his training as a cop, reacted and punched the woman in the face. Did he have other options to gaining control of these two women.

As you watch the video you question whether the cop actions where justified, or not. As a martial artist, an Aikidoka, I too questioned the cop's actions. Did he have to punch her in the face or not? Where there other options? He could have used a taser, or another less lethal weapon than a gun, and more intense than a punch. Or he could of use some less intense than what I just mentioned. That is the question many of us think, what where the other options?

Of course, "IF" the cop was trained in Aikido his reaction to the aggressive actions of the women would have been with in the perimeters of Aikido. In fact, he would have gained control over both women. He would have arrested and controlled one women before the other got involved. He would have not punched the woman who attacked him with pushes and shoving. He would have not struggled with either women. He would have gotten the acceptable control he needed.

Aikido can have some level of shocking and violent results like throwing or driving someone to the ground. But there are many techniques that are designed to easily control a person in such a situation without injury or harm. Aikido is applicable and acceptable to handle such situations, in an appropriate manner. Aikido can match the intensity needed to control the situation in an acceptable manner, better than an untrained reaction, like punching. Which clearly in the video didn't help the situation or the aggressiveness of either of the women; including the antagonism of the two men filming the situation in the crowd.

If the cop was trained in Aikido he would have not lost it and punched the woman, He would have be able to arrest the other woman is much less time and effort. He wouldn't have gotten all the unwanted attention then and now. I am sure the majority of the crowd would have been impressed with his actions and squelched he situation. Now hindsight is 20/20, but maybe we can learn from hindsight as Aikido can be a very useful and effective tool for law enforcement for situations like these.

Cop Video: :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSt0iOOFzC0

Last edited by Buck : 06-17-2010 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:13 AM   #2
Keith Larman
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Re: Why The Seattle Cop Needed Aikido

Dude, have you *ever* had to deal with a situation like that?

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Old 06-17-2010, 09:17 AM   #3
chillzATL
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Re: Why The Seattle Cop Needed Aikido

The cop would have gotten "unwanted attention" no matter what he did because people think that any reaction must match the original action, especially if police are involved.

"Jaywalking? That's nothing, why did he have to touch her? he should have just let her rant and rave until she calmed down then arrested her". That's the mindset of the typical person in this country. She came up on a cop and was slapping at her, along with her friend. Regardless of what your opinions are of why a cop is telling you to do something, you simply do it and make your case later. You don't fight the cop or slap at him because you know.. you might get popped.

oh and him use a taser on her? that would have gotten 5x the reaction that this did....
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:25 AM   #4
Marc Abrams
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Re: Why The Seattle Cop Needed Aikido

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Dude, have you *ever* had to deal with a situation like that?
What he said! The original poster has been given ample opportunity by many different people in many different venues to establish the basis of his claims as an Aikidoka and/or martial artist. NOBODY has receive an accurate response yet. This poster appears to speak from a place akin to Fantasy Island. I am just waiting for Tattoo to say "Hey Boss, The Plane, The Plane!"

Marc Abrams
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:31 AM   #5
Gorgeous George
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Re: Why The Seattle Cop Needed Aikido

'interfering with an arrest'? I'd describe it more as 'attacking a police officer'.
I thought aikido had atemi - which you use to create time and openings when dealing with somebody...i guess if he'd followed it up with nikkyo, it would have been more effective - but then, if he'd applied nikkyo, she'd probably have a broken wrist too, and these idiots would still be whining.
It's all well and good saying it's 'just' a couple of women, and they're 'just' pushing him - until one of them grabs his gun...he doesn't know what's in their minds, does he?

Was the punch 'outside his training'? I don't know about the training he received, you see. When watching him failing, for a long long time, to control and put the cuffs on the woman, I can safely say that he has had poor training, and that even i could have done a better job.
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:40 AM   #6
Michael Hackett
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Re: Why The Seattle Cop Needed Aikido

Interesting video. Some folks will think this was brutality and others will defend the officer's actions. While we all have opinions, there is a analysis that is clearly established in law to rely on. First is the reasonable peace officer standard - would a reasonable peace officer (not a reasonable person) take the same action in the same circumstances? Then you assess under the 14th Amendment and ask three questions: What was the reason/need for the use of force? What was the relationship between the need to use force and the amount of force actually used? Was the force used in a good faith effort to restore or maintain discipline or order, or used maliciously and sadistically for the purpose of causing harm? After doing that analysis, then determine if the officer's actions were within department policy.

Remember too, the determination of whether force was excessive does not consider all alternatives to the force chosen.

When an officer strikes someone with a punch, his actions may be entirely legal and justified under the law, but it almost always inflames the emotions of those who see it, and often results in an injured hand to the officer. Other alternatives are more palatable, such as pepper spray usually.

Interestingly enough, that is exactly the calculus that we insist the officers process before they apply force to a citizen in an instant.

And finally, Aikido is a wonderful tool for a peace officer; not the only tool, but an effective tool in many cases.

Michael
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:41 AM   #7
JW
 
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Re: Why The Seattle Cop Needed Aikido

I also wonder what training he had. As beginners in aikido we probably all tried applying wrist/arm "techniques" against non-compliant friends. It kind of looks like what you see in the first few seconds of this very vid.
So.. I agree more and better training would likely have helped. But he could have already had a decent amount of overly-compliant aikido training and still have had this same result.
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Old 06-17-2010, 10:11 AM   #8
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Re: Why The Seattle Cop Needed Aikido

I look at the video as a deterrent to interfering with a police officer. If you do you make get hit or worse and deserve it.

David
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Old 06-17-2010, 10:11 AM   #9
Buck
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Re: Why The Seattle Cop Needed Aikido

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
If the cop was trained in Aikido he would have not lost it and punched the woman, He would have be able to arrest the other woman is much less time and effort. He wouldn't have gotten all the unwanted attention then and now. I am sure the majority of the crowd would have been impressed with his actions and squelched he situation. Now hindsight is 20/20, but maybe we can learn from hindsight as Aikido can be a very useful and effective tool for law enforcement for situations like these.

Cop Video: :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSt0iOOFzC0
Yea, I can see for some and those with expertise in both fields, it can sound like a statement and point of authority. I thought it was clear, I was asking questions..hmmm. I see where the issue may lay. So, to be clearer, I am asking hypothetical questions, and not making statements of authority in any way, FWIW.

Here are the corrections."If the cop was trained in Aikido he would have not lost it and punched the woman[?] He would have be able to arrest the other woman is much less time and effort[?] He wouldn't have gotten all the unwanted attention then and now[?]. I am sure the majority of the crowd would have been impressed with his actions and squelched [t]he situation [if it was handled quicker with Aikido?]. Now hindsight is 20/20, but maybe we can learn from hindsight as Aikido can be a very useful and effective tool for law enforcement for situations like these[?]"

hope that helped, and thanks for the feedback.

Last edited by Buck : 06-17-2010 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 06-17-2010, 10:25 AM   #10
Brett Charvat
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Re: Why The Seattle Cop Needed Aikido

Use of force by police officers rarely if ever looks good on camera. What I saw was one lone officer trying to affect an arrest in the middle of a crowd while being met with active physical resistance from the arrestee as well as physical obstruction from the female in the pink shirt.

Did the officer's use of force look good? No, obviously it didn't. Was it justified given the totality of the circumstances? That's a trickier question. Did the officer feel that his use of force was reasonable in that situation? Was he within his departmental policy? These are questions that without answers to, we're all going to come up short while we armchair quarterback this incident.

However, a couple of thoughts spring to mind. First, as Larman Sensei pointed out, people who are not cops have very little idea of what it is like to be a cop. This does not invalidate their opinions, but it does narrow their experience base.

Mr. Burgess posits in his original post that had the officer been well trained in the glorious art of aikido, he would have been able to magically affect a painless arrest to the delight of the crowd. I think often times as aikido practitioners, it's tempting to imagine how much better the world would work if we all did aikido whenever we weren't eating, sleeping, or working. I can tell you as a current police officer myself, the idea of training any sizeable number of officers in any martial system, let alone one as complex and difficult and time-consuming as aikido, is a laughable fantasy. In our department, we got a whopping two weeks of hand-to-hand training. Two weeks. At the academy. And that was it. That was it because that's all our agency can afford. Every single officer I have ever met who trains in martial arts does so on his/her own time and own dime. I think it's a great idea, but it will never, ever be something that an agency's management team will spend money on. Money goes to equipment and training to use that equipment. It's important that I make this clear; I am NOT agreeing with that mindset, simply stating the way it is. I think an agency full of officers well-trained in effective hands-on arrest techniques would be a great thing. It would also take 5 years to get those officers from the academy to the street and cost (I'm estimating) 20 times what an officer costs to train now. It will never, ever, ever happen.

Is this incident the result of that lack of training? Possibly. But even if lack of training is the culprit, it will never be fixed to any noticeable degree. Administrators are reactionary bodies. They will wait for the bad thing to happen, and after it does they will change the training regimen to address the specific circumstances of the bad thing, and then they will continue to wait for the next bad thing. That's just how the system works.
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Old 06-17-2010, 11:08 AM   #11
Buck
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Re: Why The Seattle Cop Needed Aikido

You make good points.

Yes, we ask allot of police officers, and the demand are beyond what we ask of any profession. There is a fantasy of a perfect world that is part of that demand, and expectation. We demand police officers to react to such situations beyond how we, the public- obviously-react. And thing, behave and react outside of our wiring as humans. That is one issue I did struggle with writing my post.

The other thing I was thinking is that, we the public, demand so much yet don't support those demands as in training. Yes a two week course in Aikido would be not enough, and no city, a.k.a the public wants to spend the money to have police officers meet the demands we expect and put on them. And we the behavior's we enact that make us hypocritical. The initial incident I believe was over Jay walking. The onus is on the public to comply with an officer, i.e. be respectful, even if you don't agree. Just in the same way we demand it from police officers. Especially in this situation where if the women wasn't Jay walking and the officer was unprofessional doesn't give the other woman the right to attack the officer in the manner she did, and interfere with an arrest.

My view is option and choice of tools to apply, we all know is these conflict situation you react as your are trained. Obviously the officer wasn't trained to punch the woman, he is trained to take calmly and collectively what many people will kill for less. He reacted outside of his training, for what ever reason, such as lack of it, etc. Now if he had substantial Aikido training for such situations, it would be another tool at hand. It is faster than reaching and employing a can of pepper spray that may have really aggravated the situation even more due to the reaction of the woman being sprayed. Watching a women or two react to being sprayed, experiencing dramatic effects from the discomfort and pain, expressed physically and vocally has a huge effect on the psyche and sympathy of the crowd. It may have evoked the two men to get involved with the officer. That is where possible a proper Aikido waza would be effective. It is less dramatic and pressing on our psyche to see a women at the receiving end of a waza than say, pepper spray, a taser or even punched.

I do understand that even if the officer had proper Aikido training for the situation he still may have hit the women. But that incident happened because the officer was struggling to arrest another women for some time. He didn't gain control very quickly and it furthered the complexity of the situation. More time then the officer probably wanted the situation to go on for. What I do understand about law enforcement, and what I have been told is the concerns with on-lookers and crowds; you don't want them interfering much less there at the scene. For all sorts of safety reasons, because a crowd can interfere with an arrest, and was evident in this situation. Point being, I think any cop would want to try and arrest someone as quickly and efficiently as possible without incident.

I see proper Aikido training as being helpful to cops in these situations. Yes, it takes time and commitment on the officers part, pro-active administrations and money from us taxes payers. And there is no guarantee the Aikido training will be utilized properly by ever officer. But I think it would be a worth while option. Ya know, having a cop punch a woman in the face simply isn't good press not matter if it was justified our not, and there might be much less press if any if she was being stopped with an Aikido waza.

Last edited by Buck : 06-17-2010 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 06-17-2010, 11:42 AM   #12
Buck
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Re: Why The Seattle Cop Needed Aikido

The other thing is, how effective was punching the woman? And how long did it take for the cop to arrest the women resisting arrest? That is good in the sense he didn't throw her to the ground. I think he was using allot of restraint. He would have easily out muscled her injuring her, i.e. taking her to the ground, slamming her up against the car, Grabbing and twisting a joint, punching, kicking and all those thing. He could have been much more brutal.

I think he should restraint in his punch. I don't think he hit her as hard as he could have.

Over all he showed restraint, and control- absent of the punch. And that is why it took he so long to arrest. But I think that time to arrest the woman would have been dramatically cut down if he knew some Aikido. It was clear while trying to arrest the woman he didn't want to injure the woman he was arresting and fought to gain control of her limbs and body. If he had Aikido training he would have had controlled the woman and made the arrest in seconds without the risk of injuring her.

I believe Aikido would have been a very effective tool because when employed it doesn't affect our psyche like a punch, pepper spray or a shooting some one with a taser or fire arm does. It is designed to restrain without injury in such situation. Of course anything can be abused. Yet, there is less engagement time, struggle engagement, loss and amount of energy, and the ability to control the safety of both parties involved. Overall, Aikido wazas for such a situation have attractive and effective positive results.
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Old 06-17-2010, 12:16 PM   #13
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Why The Seattle Cop Needed Aikido

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
, and there might be much less press if any if she was being stopped with an Aikido waza.
Agree, the officer should have shihonage'd her.

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Old 06-17-2010, 12:34 PM   #14
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Re: Why The Seattle Cop Needed Aikido

Quote:
Brett Charvat wrote: View Post
I think often times as aikido practitioners, it's tempting to imagine how much better the world would work if we all did aikido whenever we weren't eating, sleeping, or working.
There are a lot of people on this forum who will tell you that they do aikido while they are eating, sleeping and working.
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Old 06-17-2010, 01:02 PM   #15
Chris Covington
 
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Re: Why The Seattle Cop Needed Aikido

Hello Philip et al

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
My view is option and choice of tools to apply, we all know is these conflict situation you react as your are trained. Obviously the officer wasn't trained to punch the woman, he is trained to take calmly and collectively what many people will kill for less. He reacted outside of his training, for what ever reason, such as lack of it, etc. Now if he had substantial Aikido training for such situations, it would be another tool at hand. It is faster than reaching and employing a can of pepper spray that may have really aggravated the situation even more due to the reaction of the woman being sprayed.
It is very easy to play Monday morning QB here but I'll add my two cents. I don't know what is considered appropriate use of force in his county/city but by my understanding of use of force in Baltimore City he was well within appropriate use of force hitting the woman in pink. According to a sheet explaining use of force in Baltimore the subject's actions were "assultive." That is "Hostile attacking movements that are not likely to produce serious physical injury or death. Any ominous or overt physical display of aggression." I would say slapping at him and pushing him would qualify. The officer's response should be "Combative Control Techniques," with the method of force being "Appropriate strikes and/or kicks, Baton/Impact Weapon, canine deployment, and Less-than Lethal Weapons." Was he trained to punch her? I don't know if that would be number one, but it worked and it seems reasonable by Baltimore City standards (which I think are pretty universal any LEO out there care to comment?).

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
And how long did it take for the cop to arrest the women resisting arrest? That is good in the sense he didn't throw her to the ground. I think he was using allot of restraint. He would have easily out muscled her injuring her, i.e. taking her to the ground, slamming her up against the car, Grabbing and twisting a joint, punching, kicking and all those thing. He could have been much more brutal.
You don't think taking her to the ground is appropriate? Grabbing and twisting a joint is either? Aren't you advocating aikido here? Grabbing and twisting a joint would be a prime aikido tactic would it not? Taking her to the ground would be another wouldn't it? I am very curious how you would employ aikido tactics in LE without using joint locks and taking someone to the ground?

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
I believe Aikido would have been a very effective tool because when employed it doesn't affect our psyche like a punch, pepper spray or a shooting some one with a taser or fire arm does. It is designed to restrain without injury in such situation.
You seem to have made the assuption the officer in the video did not have any aikido or aikido like training and had he done some aikido he would have made short work of this. I didn't see anywhere listing what sort of training he had. He may very well have some decent rank in aikido, who knows. Aikido training in the dojo and arresting tactics taught in the academy don't always look so good or work as well with a resisiting person. I don't know if you have had the chance to apply a joint lock to someone who is really trying to resist but it is MUCH more difficult than you might think. Try getting a nikkyo on a very strong judoka after he grabs your gi and really locks his wrist out. I don't know how much aikido training would have helped. Another consideration is that someone locked tightly in many aikido locks might not realize the position they are in and continue to struggle injuring their own joint. I would rather have a bruise on my face than a broken wrist.

Chris Covington
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Old 06-17-2010, 01:22 PM   #16
ChrisMoses
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Re: Why The Seattle Cop Needed Aikido

In my view, the real problem here is that what generated this incident was jaywalking. Seattle has a 'zero tolerance' policy wrt jaywalking and probably half of the people who work on my floor have gotten the dreaded $75 ticket. It's almost as bad as the $25 "no trashbag" ticket. If he was making an arrest for something more heinous, I think it would be easier to accept and understand his use of force against someone who was actively disrupting an attempt to restrain someone who was being arrested. In my view, that *policy* put the LEO into a fairly dangerous situation (attempting to cite 5 people for a ticket most people get irate about being handed) then having to deal with a crowd of people while you attempt to arrest someone. One commentator mentioned that he should have taken the woman down faster instead of trying to cuff her standing up. Maybe, but that also puts you on the ground with 10-20 people surrounding you and could have made for an even worse situation.

A bad situation all around, and knowing some Aikido would not have avoided it.

Chris Moses
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Old 06-17-2010, 01:43 PM   #17
C. David Henderson
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Re: Why The Seattle Cop Needed Aikido

As Michael points out, there are underlying constitutional rules about the use of force based on civil rights laws. Every major police force in the country has developed and modifies rules based on what a reasonable officer should understand to be reasonable.

I once had the good fortune to file an amicus brief in the Supreme Court (US) on behalf of a police organization concerning an excessive force issue; based on my recollection, I think Michael's comments are valid and accurate. I also tend to agree with Chris Covington that the officer didn't use excessive force here.

I had a friend who was an officer who had to punch someone in the face during an arrest -- got a piece of the man's tooth lodged in his knuckle for his troubles.

As to whether aikido is a useful tool for LEO's, I think it's very clear from the posts of LEO's on this forum and in other venuse that it is. But people do get injured in Aikido, so ....

Regards

Last edited by C. David Henderson : 06-17-2010 at 01:46 PM.

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Old 06-17-2010, 02:46 PM   #18
Marc Abrams
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Re: Why The Seattle Cop Needed Aikido

Quote:
Charles David Henderson wrote: View Post
As Michael points out, there are underlying constitutional rules about the use of force based on civil rights laws. Every major police force in the country has developed and modifies rules based on what a reasonable officer should understand to be reasonable.

I once had the good fortune to file an amicus brief in the Supreme Court (US) on behalf of a police organization concerning an excessive force issue; based on my recollection, I think Michael's comments are valid and accurate. I also tend to agree with Chris Covington that the officer didn't use excessive force here.

I had a friend who was an officer who had to punch someone in the face during an arrest -- got a piece of the man's tooth lodged in his knuckle for his troubles.

As to whether aikido is a useful tool for LEO's, I think it's very clear from the posts of LEO's on this forum and in other venuse that it is. But people do get injured in Aikido, so ....

Regards
Charles:

When a poster seems to live in some self-imposed, fantasy world, it is easy to understand the initial post. I absolutely agree with you (and other responders) that anybody with some real-life experience can understand this officer's predicament and the realistic nature of his response. I was raised in a world in which you ALWAYS listened to a police officer. The idea of physically challenging a LEO is wacky and I have little sympathy for the woman who ate the fist. Officers are not given enough consistent training and have to work to help people who demonstrate little appreciation or respect for their work.

Marc Abrams
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Old 06-17-2010, 03:23 PM   #19
TreyPrice
 
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Re: Why The Seattle Cop Needed Aikido

I have spent my career working the alternative education programs and rough school. I deal with a lot of situations like that. You always do your best to stay calm and in control (of yourself). Use of force by the LEO is always taught to meet the level of need. In other words don't shoot a jaywalker, or old lady unless you or others are at risk.

Kids are not what they were 10 or 15 years ago. Many have no problem hitting an adult (teacher, police officer, anyone).

I am sure we can come up with a hundred ways he could have dealt with that situation, or how we would have. He dealt with it the best way he could. Would Aikido training have helped him? I think so. Fact is we were not there, and unless you are experienced with dealing with these type situations on a daily basis you become reactive, and emotions kick in. It take self-control, experience and confidence in these situations. I tell my employees - "if you lose your cool, you may lose your job. Maintain control at all times."

I don't plan to join the ranks of the unemployed because some kid wants to play toughguy. I have some great Aikido at work videos from our security cameras, but there are privacy issues)

My $.02

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Old 06-17-2010, 04:19 PM   #20
Michael Hackett
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Re: Why The Seattle Cop Needed Aikido

Part of the problem in reviewing a video such as this one is the lack of information. We see only a moving snapshot of the events and there are other considerations that we can't see. What happened before the camera started rolling? What was being said by the participants and the crowd? There are so many variations on a theme that we can't make an informed decision until we know the totality of circumstances.

Most agencies authorize a punch under these DEPICTED circumstances. From a personal perspective, I would allow a punch to be delivered but would discourage it. As I mentioned earlier, a common result of a punch is a broken hand, and punches and kicks just look bad on the evening news broadcasts.

Would Aikido have been helpful to this officer? Probably, but the training he did receive wasn't very effective as it was. Officers in Washington receive defensive tactics instruction in the Academy and then rarely refresh their DT training - much like the officers across the country. Ask George Ledyard Sensei to discuss his experiences in police training. He has both advised and taught LEOs in Washington for years.

Michael
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Old 06-17-2010, 04:53 PM   #21
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Re: Why The Seattle Cop Needed Aikido

Outside of the question of whether the punch was a legal and/or reasonable use of force, and/or whether or not it was in line with his department policy, I would say that 1:42 shows the officer is not well-trained.

Is it fair then to ask, "Would more training have benefited the officer?" Yes. If I say "yes," to that, I think it is fair to ask, "Would Aikido training have benefited the officer?" That is how I'm understanding Phil's original set of questions.

Some other things to think about in the discussion:

Research has shown that empty-handed control holds, such as found in Aikido, generate more injuries to the suspect and/or the officer, statistically speaking, than other force options such as pepper spray and/or taser.

Also, it is becoming common practice for departments to be sued for not providing their officers with adequate Arrest and Control training. This may be the motivation for a change in budgets that was suggested as needed above.

dmv

David M. Valadez
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Old 06-17-2010, 05:00 PM   #22
Scott Harrington
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Re: Why The Seattle Cop Needed Aikido

The difficulties of police work is violence by it's nature can be an ugly thing. A punch brings back all the bad feeling from the bully on the playground, to the wife beater, to the drunken brawl your brother -in-law started.

We give police the wonderful "batman utility belt" complete with 21th century technology but spend very little on hand-to-hand combat, probably spending 20x more in legal costs and final 'restitution' to the 'injured' party than the cost of a continuing course in Koga restraint system. Plus the bad will generated to the public.

A reserve officer friend recently went to a training course where a hybrid system of strikes, chokes, etc. was taught. Bas Rutten going at it in the ring, type stuff. Seeing some of his vastly different techniques, they 'allowed' him to give a short section on Aikido based techniques. First, they were amazed at the effectiveness, the pain (always a good persuader) and most importantly, the CAMERA FRIENDLINESS of what was used. Applying a Wristlock with a loud verbal remark to "Relax, calm down, stop resisting!" relieves the feeling of spectators of excessive force being used.

All too often, the course of instruction is based on what is hot, who knows who, what is easier, than what actually is better based for the officer on the street.

BUT, in conclusion, the officer in this video, has the duty, responsibility, and risk of being on the daily edge of anarchy vs. civilization. He is the end of the line in all situations - a civilian may choose to avoid a situation, a police officer cannot. So, in his shoes, with the training he may have received (or not), he did what he considered appropriate. Let's be glad the injuries were minimal and public order was kept.

I have often thought that every senior student in High School should go through a 1 hour class on how to get arrested, with the principal being handcuffed to demonstrate the procedure. Good time to show how to respect the Police Officer, be aware of your Civil Rights, and protect yourself from a potential hostile situation.

Scott Harrington
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Old 06-17-2010, 05:28 PM   #23
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
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Re: Why The Seattle Cop Needed Aikido

Valadez Sensei is correct in that many agencies are being sued for the vicarious liability concept of "negligent failure to train" their officers, but most of those suits go nowhere, at least here in California. California, like many states, has a POST Commission (Peace Officer Standards and Training) that dictates the curriculum for defensive tactics and essentially sets the "industry standard". As a general statement, meeting the industry standard provides a very effective legal defense.

Unfortunately when budgets get cut, often the first thing to go is training and the officers only receive mandated training. Many of the techniques taught in this state are "aikido like", and like aikido, take hundreds if not thousands of repetitions to become really competent. Therein lies the budget rub.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 06-17-2010, 06:34 PM   #24
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Why The Seattle Cop Needed Aikido

Note on the video. At appr. 1:30 - 1:45 - older African American man with a black-white brim hat. He appears to have a hand-gun in his hand at his side, partially covered by a cloth. Maybe not - but I'm not alone in noticing this.
A couple of points on the scenario:
1. Aikido usually works by taking someone to the ground. In such a crowd, that would have been very dangerous - we had an officer incapacitated for life after a crowd put the boots on him. It is a LOT harder to maintain control, by wrist or armlock, of a squirming, flexible person (as the original subject was) while on one's feet.
2. When he punched the woman in pink, she had her hands on his arms, near his gunbelt. Had he tussled with her, her friend - or another person - would have had a good chance at grabbing the gun. The punch to the face emphatically put a stop to that.
3. Tough situation - a hair-grab with an arm-lock and a slam face-down on the hood of his car? But - a crowd, a teenager who was "merely" being non-compliant after a jaywalking citation - I wonder if the officer was inhibited from using the proper, more emphatic use of force sooner.
4. It looked a lot worse than it was - he didn't deck her, there was no injury (if there had been, the professional grievance mongers who immediately claimed racism, and minimized the young women's actions would have been all over that). He popped her in the face, she didn't like it, but she, with the probably chagrinned help of the slender young man, backed off.

Best
Ellis Amdur

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Old 06-17-2010, 07:00 PM   #25
senshincenter
 
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Re: Why The Seattle Cop Needed Aikido

On the Devil's Advocate side:

If the officer was correctly determining the danger of his situation (which undoubtedly was there), enough to strike one person and not take another to the ground, it seems reasonable to ask, "Why not disengage and re-engage when numbers are more on his side?"

It's true, an officer does not have a legal obligation to disengage in order to be considered reasonable in his/her use of force, but from a tactical point of view, I hope more officers that would have seen how dangerous that situation truly was would have done so. Having not done so, regarding this officer, I do again see a base for Phil's questions.

In other words, I could see a more experienced officer, more seasoned, more trained, etc., telling this one officer: "Hey, next time that happens, especially for a jaywalking ticket, disengage and wait till back-up arrives - you could have been killed." In that statement, it does seem there is again room for Phil's questions.

Please bare in mind that we are going off solely what the video shows and what folks are saying about it on the Internet. What really went on could be entirely different from what we are talking about. My comments may be totally irrelevant to what actually took place.

Note: Washington state seems at a critical juncture regarding its LE/Public relations regarding use of force. A lot has been happening there in the last two years.

Please call me "Dave". :-)

David M. Valadez
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