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5 Moves That Could Save Your Life

November 01, 2008  |  by Louis Marquez

Counter to Gun Grab #2

This sequence is another counter to a gun grab attempt. But this time a different tactic is used to bring the attacker under control. In photo 1, the subject initially does a gun grab. Then he attempts a haymaker, which is that right hand he's throwing at the officer. The officer counters that first with a rotation of his hips. Then, as shown in photo 2, he uses his reaction hand and his reaction side and throws an elbow to the aggressor's jaw.

From there, in photo 3, the officer puts a reverse wrist lock on the individual, and puts him down into a cuffing position. When the officer turns the subject's wrist over, he has the whole arm locked out.

In photo 5, at this point the officer could break the wrist, he could break the elbow, and he could even dislocate the shoulder just by applying different types of pressure on that individual.

But instead of doing that, the officer just drives the individual to the ground and places him in the cuffing position. The key is that any time during this sequence, if the guy ups his aggression against the officer, then the officer can do what he thinks is justifiable.

If you've driven the guy down to the ground, as demonstrated in the last photo, and he knows something about ground fighting and tries something, you would be well within your scope to break the wrist.

Because once he puts you on the ground, he's going to have access to your weapons. And that is another key: Protect your weapons and yourself.

These sequences are designed to all end up in handcuffing position. A lot of times administrators worry that if you teach a raw technique, an officer will use it to snap a guy's arm or wrist and that's all they're going to do. But I drum it into officers' heads when I train them that everything goes to a handcuffing position, and every move you make has to later be articulated in your report.

We're showing defensive tactics moves, but you also must be able to articulate what you did from the very beginning of an encounter.

By that I mean, if this guy was in an aggressive posture or a fighting stance and then he refused to listen to verbal commands, write that in your report. Explain how the aggressor acts. You can't become too action oriented and only describe the punches or kicks after a physical battle starts because it doesn't tell the whole story of what happened. Find that happy medium.

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