You face the possibility of grave, permanent, bodily injury or death every time you apprehend a suspect. And you are in the greatest danger when you attempt to secure that suspect with handcuffs.
There are entirely too many documented cases where officers conducting a field interview were attacked. Often these attacks resulted in the officer and the suspect on the ground. Most officers are not prepared to fight on the ground. So when attackers pull or knock them down, they are in life and death situations.
Unfortunately, many suspects are ready to fight on the ground. Thanks in part to the popularity of Ultimate Fighting Championships and Mixed Martial Arts competitions, ground fighters like Gracie, Shamrock, Rutten, Ortiz, Coultare, Liddle, and Hughes have become household names in America. These champions have not only popularized fighting sports, they have also successfully marketed themselves and their arts through magazine articles, training DVDs, and seminars. In other words, they are teaching anyone who wants to learn how to fight on the ground. And not all of their students are law-abiding citizens who want to learn how to protect themselves or just get a good workout.
A Police Solution
The good news is that some defensive tactics instructors have realized that they need to include some sort of ground training in their programs. The bad news is that they have a hard time finding anyone qualified to train law enforcement officers in ground fighting techniques.
Consultants like Gracie and Shamrock have never been police officers themselves and do not understand that many of the techniques in their repertoires would never be allowed or approved by an American police department. A good example of this would be the popular choke hold, which has been banned for years by many departments nationwide.
Another problem with most police ground fighting programs is that the students are not required to train in their standard duty uniform and duty belt. If you’re not training how you’re going to be fighting, then what’s the point?
Perhaps the reason these different ground fighting systems are failing the average police officer is because the officers are not conditioned world-class athletes, and they don’t have the time to learn the complexities of ground fighting.
Also, there are some hard truths that cops don’t want to hear about ground fighting. For example, size does matter. When an officer is giving up 10, 20, or more pounds to his or her attacker, the chances of that officer winning the fight are not good. Don’t believe it when the famous ground fighting Gracie family says size doesn’t matter. It does. And I submit to you that the proof of this is that the Gracie family is no longer the dominating force it once was in mixed martial arts competition because its members are now outmuscled and beaten by bigger and stronger opponents.
What you need is a ground fighting defensive solution that an average-sized officer can use in the field, that won’t take thousands of hours to learn with gross motor skill techniques, and that you can perform under stress.
I believe that what you need is the Quick Draw Ground System developed by Joseph Maffei. Maffei has a rather interesting background. He’s a professional martial artist with more than 30 years of experience, a certified instructor trainer in Bruce Lee’s Jeet kune Do and Filipino martial arts, and the man who was handpicked to train knife combative and hand-to-hand techniques to the most elite counter terrorism unit in the world, the Navy’s SEAL Team Six. Maffei also trained with the best the Gracie family has to offer, undefeated fighter Rickson Gracie.
When Maffei was training members of the 10th Special Forces, he discovered the ground fighting that he was teaching did not take into account armed combatants. One of the students had on his person a firearm hidden in a crotch holster during the training session, and Maffei realized very quickly that he would have been outmatched if the gun had been brought into the equation.
At the urging of his students, Maffei set out to develop a ground fighting program that incorporated backup knives and guns. This was the genesis of the Quick Draw Ground System.
Knife or Gun
The main selling point of the Quick Draw Ground System is that it will work for all officers, regardless of size. It is also adaptable with full duty gear, and it works under extreme weather conditions and, more importantly, under extreme stress.
The Quick Draw Ground System is fundamentally grounded in solid Brazilian jiu-jitsu principals and fundamentals, including positioning, pressure, and leverage. The system includes counters against locks, chokes, and strikes as well as solid defenses against knives and guns.
What separates the Quick Draw Ground System from many other ground fighting systems is that it teaches you how to transition from empty hands to a backup weapon. Maffei has determined the best and most practical ways an officer can access his or her backup weapon during a ground fight.
He advocates that you keep a backup weapon—either a fixed-blade knife or a J-frame revolver—in a holster on your ankle. In the Quick Draw Ground System, the backup weapon is worn on the inner ankle of the strong side with the butt of the weapon in the forward position. This position gives you the ability to wrap the suspect in a tight guard position and gain access to your backup weapon.
The other points of consideration in this block of instruction from the quick draw system are not for the squeamish. Maffei details where to insert the knife or target the gun to destroy key vital points of the body and immediately end the fight. Maffei also explains how to use his system against multiple suspects as well as how to transition from your backup weapon to your primary duty weapon.
Is the Quick Draw Ground System getting good reviews? It absolutely is. Special Forces, DEA, and FBI are trained in the system. Maffei has also been selected to teach his Quick Draw Ground System this month at the 2007 ILEETA conference.
I believe the Quick Draw Ground System is one of the most effective and easy-to-learn ground fighting systems for law enforcement officers. It should be taught to all police officers, especially to basic recruits.
For more information on the Quick Draw Ground System and Joseph Maffei go to www.jmjkd.com.
Paul Pawela has more than 25 years of combined military and law enforcement experience. He has served as both a firearms and defensive tactics instructor.