Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results. George S. Patton
That’s just what I did last Tuesday with the Police Department. I have made revisions to the basic control tactics class I teach to my police department to reflect the training I have received from Steve Jimerfield, Marc MacYoung, and Rory Miller. My goal was to take a more principle based individualistic approach to training. Making the officers better operators instead of trying to make them carbon copies of me.
The class followed this basic format:
· State Statutes governing use of force
· Department use of force policy
· Ethics – your capacity for violence
· Physical and psychological effects of combat stress.
Taser refresher practical
8 points of motion (taisabaki)
Escort / Control
Ground control / cuffing
The morning was spent with fundamentals which can be applied to many situations and simple gross motor skill techniques proven to work in the field for over 30 years. The afternoon was primarily spent taking those basic fundamental motions and crafting them into individual counter ambush responses. I wanted to take a principle based rather than prescriptive approach. Prescriptive is very much like traditional martial arts training. If they throw a hook with their right hand you do this block (that block is the prescription for that punch) if they throw a left jab you do that block. That forces you to teach many different blocks for every different possible attack. Forces students to try to mimic exactly their instructor / sensei instead of moving / fighting the way that suits them best. Principle based allows for greater retention in less time. I only get 8 hours a year to work with these guys I have to give them the most bang for the buck.
The principles I insisted on were:
Move (Enter, Open, Circular, Lateral – Choose the one that works best for you)
· Improve your position
· Worsen their position
Protect from damage
· Protect Head
· Protect Low – groin / ribs
o All at same time
Allow For Follow Up
· Transition to higher level of force / weapon
Sounds familiar right? Time to stress test the fundamentals. I had the students pair off. Group A was instructed to attack their partner any way they would like / could imagine from the front. Group B was instructed not to get hit, then to take their partner to the ground for cuffing.
Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.
Wow, I couldn’t have been happier with the results. Officers would avoid / block whatever came at them, get caught up with or ahead of the attacker in the ooda process then do the takedowns we worked in the morning. Or guys like Ben (one of my Black Belts and a One On One Control Tactics Instructor himself) put on an Aikido clinic. I think he pulled sankajo from every possible attack. Everyone passed the stress test with flying colors and solid fundamental techniques. They looked fantastic, very professional, the best I’ve ever seen them perform. They were being their best, not being their best imitation of me.
Some of the feedback / course evaluations validated this training method. One Officer stated (others chimed in / agreed) that he felt so confident in the training he almost hopes someone tries something on him. The one course evaluation that stuck out read: This is a great class and improves every year. This is the best the class has ever been.
So in this Thanksgiving weekend post I am very thankful to Steve, Marc, and Rory for helping me bring my game to a new level. I hope I can do the same for those I train and those of you who read this blog. I am especially thankful for all of you as well.
Train Hard – Train Real – Stay Safe