police training

Safely Using Chokes and Other Techniques Requires Proper Training!

Recent events have ignited a worldwide controversy regarding police use of what the public is generically calling "chokeholds." Like most things in life, the big picture is complicated. Many watched the video that recorded the tragic death of George Floyd, in which an officer's shin was positioned against his neck for more than eight minutes, then started demanding that police be prohibited from using all chokeholds.

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Press Release: September 3, 2020

The Nanka Judo Yudanshakai (The Southern California Judo Black Belt Association) has approved the development of a Police Judo program for criminal justice professionals. Nanka, one of the oldest judo organizations is developing a dynamic and adaptive judo program designed specifically to address the needs of law enforcement, corrections, probation and parole officers and similar type professions.

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In the current tumult surrounding the use of force by law enforcement officers, one of the most controversial topics is the employment of choke holds. While many police departments across the nation have banned what's now commonly known in martial arts as the "rear naked choke" (a term first coined by "Judo" Gene Lebell more than 60 years ago) some law enforcement agencies continue to use it, at least for the moment.

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Anytime martial artists get together to discuss defensive techniques that employ the empty hands against a knife in a real-life scenario, arguments ignite. Then proclamations start: “There’s no way you can make that work against a real attack.” “Do that and you’ll get cut for sure.” “That move will get you killed.” So goes the banter in discussing self-defense techniques, and the debate often gets hot when practitioners are talking about knife fighting. It’s interesting that very few of the speculations about knife fighting are based on criminal case studies or military research. Instead, the speculations about self-defense techniques employed in a knife attack revolve around anecdotal observations and shortsighted, nonscientific testing. Which “get you killed” self-defense techniques incur the greatest wrath of martial artists? The arm grab and the knife disarm are usually the first to go. Other tactics — such as verbal skills, footwork, strikes, blocks, passing and takedowns — are frequently relegated to the trash bin even though such self-defense moves are just as likely to come back into favor next year. The debates about the dynamics of knife fighting really hinge on three critical points on which all false arguments are built. They are:

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