Krav Maga Police Training Part Two
We trust our police officers. We rely upon them. We call them as soon as there is danger. The sight of the boys and girls in blue brings us a sense of comfort and security. The police are here, we are OK. We trust them with our lives and the lives of our loved ones.
But who can they trust?
They trust their officers and they trust their trainers. They trust that what they are being taught will save their lives and the lives of others in a moment of truth. But is this trust well founded?
I recall an episode of Law and Order, where a police officer was asked how he disarmed a knife wielding attacker; he responded confidently, "Standard police academy disarm."
Most police officers that I have met will admit that such things happen on TV much more than in real life.
Many officers know that their hand to hand training or their knife and gun disarm techniques, are not up to task. They have received insufficient training, from either sub quality teachers or the wrong teachers. The quality of instruction is often poor and what training they do receive is in such limited doses as to not permit one to become proficient.
Those hiring the teachers often can not tell the right instructor from the wrong instructor. How many police officers have been trained by sports champions in karate or judo gis? (Uniforms) How many officers have been trained in Taekwondo or sport jujitsu or wrestling? How many officers have died attempting to use these irrelevant and impractical sporting techniques?
As Bob Dylan wrote so many years ago, "how many deaths will it take until we realize that too many have died, the answer is blowing in the wind.'
Training police is a lucrative business and everyone wants a piece of the action (i.e. in simple terms, everyone wants money!).
For the sake of financial gain Judo men or other competitive martial athletes will 'certify' police officers in street combatives. But who certified them? An Olympic coach?
My friends, I think of our police officers, many of whom I am honored to call friends, and I think of the stories they have told me. I think of them going into a dark alley pursuing a drug dealer, of having a gun or a knife pulled on them when they are alone with no back up and I feel a great sense of responsibility.
We who are honored to serve as instructors, we who are honored to be a part of the extended law enforcement family, must share this responsibility and must feel it deeply. We must not think in terms of dollars and cents but it terms of lives and wives, of children and partners, and of common sense. We must accept the load of responsibility and feel the full weight. We must be with them in that dark alley. For if we have not then we have surely failed them, and ourselves.
My friend Joan wrote to me, "You are a man with a plan; a clear, no nonsense impressive assertive plan. You absolutely get the point across that you can be trusted with someone's life."
I had not thought of it in those terms until she pointed this out. Yes, I guess it is true. I am a man with a plan. My plan then would be to give the police officers what they need. This is our obligation, to give them the skills and the reality training they need. You guys are on the front line, we are your backup team, your support.
I have received a great deal of training but I do not claim to be superman or to have all the answers, I am always seeking to learn more.
So I ask for the input of all of you police officers out there. I am not a guru, I have the Krav Maga skills but I am always learning from the experience of others. Our Krav Maga is based on reality, and you can never get enough reality. Your input is always taken seriously.
Our member, IKI instructor Drew Arthur, in Texas, writes.
"Moshe, this is exactly true what you have said.
Police are a very hard crowd in reference to reality based martial arts. I am a former police officer of south Florida, former US Marine Infantryman, and a Retired Deputy US Marshal
I worked in (Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Honolulu, Las Vegas, and Texas.)
I have taken away two hand guns and one shot gun that were aimed at me as a police officer.
I understand what it feels like to look at the end of those loaded barrels, and understand success in not only surviving but winning.
I see folks teach complete sport driven combat sport programs to cops. It sets the officer up for failure ( his/ her) in reference to loss of life.
One problem is that a lot of cops believe in their guns as a catch all. As we know that is a false sense of security.
Then there is a problem when the officer does try a martial art program that pushes one size fits all (treating cops like civilians) in reference to use of force issues, etc.
If the cop sees thru this then (he/she) will stop training. If he/she can not see thru this then they might become a future deceased victim when they attempt to use a sport based technique during a life threatening situation.
IKI is attempting to do the right thing.
I am glad to be apart of it."
Have any of us, instructors or officers, encountered every possible type of attack? Certainly not. So we pool our knowledge, we share our information. I could be in the airport waiting for a flight and I strike up a conversation with a fellow passenger and she tells me how she survived a gun being pointed at her in New Orleans. I learn from her story; about technique, human nature and the effects of fear and stress.
I meet a police officer or a prison guard; I listen carefully to their stories and try to internalize the information. We can never stop learning.
When I teach a technique to someone in the law enforcement community I want to make sure the technique suits them. I want to make sure they can do it well enough to make it work under stress, on the street. The technique is less important than the person doing it. If I need to I will adapt the technique to the individual rather than the other way around.
I am not a police officer and will never make such a claim. I have, however, worked with, trained with, and taught many officers. This interactive experience, coupled with respect for all those that serve, will continue to help us to save lives. But it must begin with respect. It must begin with understanding. May we always be on guard against the temptations of financial gain and false honor. Walk humbly but carry a big stick, and know how to use it!
What is life in Israel really like? What makes the people of Israel unique?
How do ordinary citizens cope with terrorism, war,and military obligations?
A unique book from Moshe Katz who has spent most of his life in Israel
Israeli -Hebrew fighting throughout the age; Abraham, Moses, Joshua, their mindset and their fighting skills.
Over 250 pages, the history of Israel and the Jewish people as a fighting nation from the days of Abraham to our own times. The book covers the history and roots of Krav Maga and the modern Israeli Defense Forces. The book analyzes what makes Israeli security the best in the world.
(cover by Arie Katz)
$9.99 on Kindle