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A Full Toolbox ~ 01/08/21

Updated: Dec 29, 2021

As this is the first of what we hope will be many blogs, our intent is to keep them fairly short and to the point.

Initially, we need to make our readers aware of some basic tenets of the DTACTUSA system, so there will be some extraneous explanations involved. I get a lot of questions regarding which martial arts work best for law enforcement. Short answer: "Whatever optimizes an officer/agent's safety and still provides for the health and welfare of the subject is a good thing. Along with those conditions, we also need to look at the instructional programs to ensure that they provide for liability management for the officer/agent, their department/agency, and the private sector entities that may be involved." So, let's get to some specifics: "Which martial art is best?" There are two basic types of martial arts being practiced today: Grappling & Striking. Both can include elements of the other, but generally lean more in one direction or the other. Within those types, are defensive techniques and forced compliance techniques. Before either of these disciplines are activated, De-escalation is always preferable. Verbal judo, Talk-fu, and other non-physical means of getting a subject to voluntarily comply with your orders can save lives, mitigate liability, and achieve the best outcomes for society. We can pare this down into an acronym, "D T A C T", Defensive Tactics and Control Techniques. There is a diversity of thought and many facets to consider and discuss about DTACT. We will do that in future blogs

In today's blog, we're going to discuss a specific question: "Is grappling or striking better?" (more on this in a minute) When it's necessary to force compliance, it will involve keeping yourself and those in the conflict area safe, and minimizing damage to the subject.

The discussions in DTACT include other acronyms. The first is "M A I D", Minimize Area, Involvement, and Duration. The smaller the geographic area of impact, the better. The fewer people involved, the better, and minimizing the duration of the event minimizes the window for harm and interference. When we consider the type of tactics we should employ, we need to refer to MAID and consider the factors involved. Almost all confrontations start in an upright position, so striking and control techniques will generally be used first. Grappling is usually going to end up on the ground with the officer/agent being in close physical contact with the subject. However, there are situations in which the officer/agent does not want to find themselves on the ground: If the officer/agent is without a partner, the ground game can be hazardous. When you need to use both hands to control your subject, you can leave yourself open to attack by bystanders and when both your hands are needed for control, your ability to defend yourself can be affected, as well as your ability to retain your weapons and gear.

Of course, helping bridge the gaps between de-escalation, forced compliance, and deadly force, are chemical and electronic means which can be a deterrent and help avoid the need for forced compliance.

No one wants to be forced to use a lethal response. There are few winners when lethality is used. Make sure your toolbox is filled with the tools to handle all situations with the least force possible.

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