When you work the street, things can go bad in a split second. You have to be ready for anything and that means you also have to be ready to fight from any position, including the ground.
Let’s say you’re about to handcuff some knucklehead. You have dominance over him. He’s off balance. You have him in a position where he can’t possibly attack you. At least that’s what you think.
But then he gets lucky. You get distracted for just a second. And he takes advantage.
He kicks back and connects solidly with your groin, doubling you over. He then takes you down.
Or maybe he’s a lot bigger than you, and he grabs you by the arm and throws you to the ground. Now he’s on top of you, and things look real bad.
You haven’t been trained to fight on the ground. And if you can’t regain control of this guy, you’re going to get seriously hurt, maybe even killed.
It’s quite literally a crime that more cops aren’t trained to fight on the ground. After all, most fights end on the ground, one way or the other.
Believe me, the bad guys are training to fight you on the ground. Convicts can get a crash course in ground fighting in just about any prison in America. Gang members are signing up for Brazilian Jujutsu courses. And even just your typical drunken idiot has likely spent some time wrestling with his buddies.
So you need to know how to fight on the ground. And that’s why myself and my partners at the Police Combative Training Academy have developed a series of simple moves that you can execute to win any ground fight.
This Is Not a Sport
Before we delve any further into this subject, let me soothe your nerves, calm your anxieties, and relieve your concerns by defining what I mean by combative ground fighting. There’s a big difference between combative ground fighting and sports-oriented martial arts such as Brazilian Jujutsu and Greco-Roman Wrestling.
Combative ground fighting is not about pinning your opponent. It’s about neutralizing a threat. It’s about putting you in a position to take your attacker into custody or draw a weapon and escalate force as necessary to end the threat. It’s about police work, not trophies, or medals, or points. You win only by ending the threat.
And you can’t afford to lose. As an officer fighting on the ground, you are in a precarious and dire situation. You are not in a gym. You do not have the luxury of “tapping out” if your assailant starts to injure you. Worse, all of your weapons—Taser, OC, ASP, baton, even sidearm —are exposed to your attacker’s grubby paws.
Make no mistake about it. If you end up on the ground with the bad guy, you are fighting for your life.
At the Police Combative Training Academy, we teach hardcore ground fighting techniques that are designed to be immediately effective. They are meant to override the bad guy’s central nervous system and inflict instant and intense pain on him. The goal is to immobilize the bad guy, give you an opening to extract yourself from harm’s way, and put you in a superior position where you can safely handcuff your attacker and take him into custody.
Using our techniques, you should be able to regain control of your assailant within four seconds or less. This can easily be accomplished once you’ve mastered the basic close-quarter battle techniques of our system. Simply stated, our philosophy is that whatever we do in stand-up fighting, we should be able to re-duplicate on the ground.
Let’s take a quick look at some techniques you can easily learn on your own that will help you in any ground fight.
And because a picture is worth a thousand words, let’s use photos and captions to detail the moves involved. In photos that accompany this article, Police Combative Training Academy principles Hans Marrero and Felix Valencia will demonstrate several ground fighting techniques that you can practice in any training facility.
Louie Marquez is a retired Austin, Texas, police detective with more than 27 years of law enforcement experience. He is also the chief tactical trainer at the Police Combative Training Academy, a Taser training Board member, an ASP instructor trainer, a FIST tactical trainer, and a Sabre OC instructor trainer. He has more than 35 years of martial arts experience and is one of only five certified Kobushi Sessen-Jutsu (Feudal Warrior Close Combat Art) Black Belts in the world.
Police Combative Mantra
An extended limb is a broken limb. Learn how to use joint manipulation to your advantage.
Police Combative Mantra
Officer survival is not your objective. You can survive and end up paralyzed. Your goal is to win the fight and end the threat.
Police Combative Mantra
There is no reward for second place in combat. Winning is all that matters.
A new, national program is working hand-in-hand with law enforcement and other public safety entities to give young people direct, intensive experience in the field. The Public Safety Cadets (PSC) is a nonprofit organization that aims to mentor, train, and prepare young men and women for a career in law enforcement, fire-rescue or emergency medical services.