This story gave me pause. It’s a story of how the El Paso police are now training to counter criminals armed with mixed martial arts techniques, because, “The criminal element is watching this and learning” (MMA).
This strikes me as interesting because of my background and experience leading a training program for police officers, and because of the foresight it shows. MMA is now constantly touted as the “fastest growing sport in the world,” and I’d bet almost all teens could identify Brock Lesnar or Anderson Silva, but not identify a single world champion boxer. In their opinion, “criminals trained in mixed martial arts can be particularly dangerous if they are able to drop, grapple with and disarm a police officer.” I’d agree.
The wisdom of this approach is that the world is changing. At one time, fighting was mostly grappling and punching, and kicking was “dirty fighting” or unmanly. During the 1970’s and 1980’s, the Bruce Lee/Kung Fu craze and the subsequent rise of martial arts flicks by Chuck Norris and Van Damme made kicking a normal part of the arsenal of a street fighter. Defensive tactics instruction has changed from a Judo-centric approach to something with a blend of punching, pressure point and control, and now BJJ.
The idea that El Paso’s PD is adding in specific skills to deal with MMA-influenced criminals is wise, and I’d recommend that most martial arts schools that promote themselves as being self-defense oriented should do the same.
Incidentally, this is an opportunity for MMA schools to earn some extra street-cred and cash by contracting to local academies and police departments.
What do you think?