Martial Arts Training for Security2013-08-28T16:31:34-04:00

Daniel J. Benny, M.A., CPP, PCI, CLET, CPO, CSS
Black Sash in Jeet Kune Do
June 2004

Within the security profession, there is a wide range of knowledge and many skills to be mastered dealing with a variety of areas. These include criminal and civil legal issues, investigative issues and public relations. As times, emphasis may be placed on physical fitness and self-defense techniques. The training in fitness and self- defense is usually limited to traditional exercise and running and general self-defense techniques utilizing PR- 24s, handcuffs, pressure point control, and simple take-down procedures.

But many in the profession often fail to include a more formalized self-defense curriculum as part of the on-going training program. For those who seek to enhance their defensive skills, the study of martial arts can be invaluable. Martial arts training can provide techniques for self-defense while increasing the self-confidence and overall good health of the practitioner.

Many security professionals have been innovative and proactive in most matters, but most have failed to grasp the value of authentic martial arts. Most have only been exposed to the sports aspect of the martial arts to the extent that they do not perceive the martial arts as combat effective and with more psychological depth content than any academic theory in existence. Requiring or encouraging officers to participate in martial arts training ensures that they will be better prepared to handle physical confrontations should they occur. In fact, by having a strong foundation in the martial arts, officers may be able to terminate a physical confrontation before it escalates to the use of PR-24s or firearms, thus reducing injuries, liability, and negative public relations.

Many conscientious investigators spend their precious time engaged in sports or physical fitness activities which do little more than keep them physically fit, when they could be learning the controlled use of force and the psychological handling of individuals, while at the same time they are reducing their stress levels significantly. These persons would do well to follow the example of the Tokyo Metro Police Department. In a metropolis of 12 million, the department has a total complement of 44,000 personnel. Every police officer holds a black belt rank in martial arts upon graduation from the police academy. Furthermore, every police facility contains a dojo (martial arts training hall) with an instructor. Cultural differences notwithstanding, Tokyo does not experience the homicide rate or crime rate of the United States.

The decision to train personnel in the martial arts is on which is based on many issues, including the work environment and the threat to the officers. Once the decision has been made, deciding on which style or discipline to study can be confusing. One of the primary considerations is the availability of a school teaching that particular style in your area. A second consideration for the administrator is to select a style which would be beneficial, both in the areas of physical fitness and health and in providing training in self-defense which is applicable to the real world. Many styles provide emphasis on martial arts for sport or competition. Such training does not provide the best foundation for self-defense.

Upon reviewing the many styles of martial available, there is on which I believe would be art s most beneficial in providing skills in practical self-defense for security professionals.

Jeet Kune Do

Those individuals who seek a non-traditional style of martial arts specifically geared towards street fighting may have an interest in a style known as Jeet Kune Do (JKD). JKD consists of training drills and techniques which were developed by Bruce Lee and is a non-classical modification of Chinese gung fu with influences from Western boxing and fencing techniques. In JKD, there are no sports aspects, no esthetics, rituals, forms, or katas. Jeet Kune Do has been referred to as scientific street fighting.

In JKD, there are four ranges of combat to be utilized: kicking, punching, trapping, and grappling. All techniques are non-classical, simple, and direct. As Bruce Lee stated, "Jeet Kune Do is training and discipline toward the ultimate goal of simplicity."

The pursuit of martial arts training for those in the private investigative profession can be beneficial in providing technical skills which can be an asset to the practitioners in self-defense, confidence level, and overall health and physical fitness.