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Is Jiu Jitsu the Best Martial Art for Law Enforcement?

When I think about the law enforcement here in Canada or law enforcement in general, my mind goes to the ideal set of characteristics of one in this line of work like courage, respect, nobility (to name a few). However the one that sticks out to me as the prime factor in being a competent police officer is having the skill to fight; knowing the ins and outs of hand-to-hand combat.

Those who have friends or know someone who is an active duty officer have mentioned two main concerns regarding law enforcement...

Firstly, being the abuse of power. Unfortunately, the opinions of officers in the public eye are not being shed in the best ways. It seems too easy to find examples of those that abuse their power and have the public cast a blanket judgment on all officers without any serious thought that maybe there will always be a few bad apples.

Secondly, would be the lack of fighting skills. They are, for the sake of time, shown a handful of strategies on how to deal with hand-to-hand combat situations. Within their training regime, they are also urged not to fall to the ground because of the risk of the bad guy reaching for the duty belt and grabbing possession of a weapon, among many other reasons. Even though it is fair enough in regards to those concerns, my argument would revolve around the reaction of the officer who does end up on their back. Commonly it is panic that sets in fast, thus causing the officer to resort to lethal use of force to change the outcome of the situation.

How does Jiu Jitsu fit into all of this?

Let's begin by mentioning that Canada does not have a massive gun problem, especially in comparison to the United States. Whether it be theft or domestic abuse, most end up in a hand-to-hand scenario. Now, I'm not saying we don't run into gun problems or any situations with blunt weapons or sharp objects, however, they are just not as common.

For this reason, it would be extremely valuable if the officer knew the basic skills and strategies of Jiu Jitsu in order to control the bad guy with little to no harm on both parties. I personally believe that would be incredible for our law enforcement. Having the experience in controlling an individual who is combative brings a great level of confidence and more importantly brings calmness and focus when in conflict.

Although Jiu Jitsu is the most superior form of martial art when it comes to grappling, why is it not being implemented as a form of training for law enforcement?

The first main reason is simply time. Jiu Jitsu can be seen as something that takes way too long to form into something resembling competence. On top of this, these departments have to reach a quota of a certain number of recruited officers and this can pose a real hurdle. The second main challenge is injury. They do not want their officers to get injured outside of work hours, causing them to run into unnecessary hassle.

The solution to all this is our Jiu Jitsu for Law Enforcement program. It was created to follow the legalities of law enforcement and be specifically tailored to them.

Jiu Jitsu is such a deep and rich martial art. With so many techniques, it's hard to pick out what is effective and what isn't. What this means is that a lot of what is done in a conventional class is not suitable for an officer to perform on the streets. The first thing that had to be done in order to create the J.J.L.E curriculum, was to evaluate the techniques that are the most important and discard everything else. Next, was making sure that this structured program runs through a thought out sequence that can show the broader perspective of hand-to-hand combat. Finally, the classes had to be organized in a way that limits injury. This was achieved by limiting the amount of free sparring involved and having it replaced with more controlled sparring. Officers do need to practice techniques on a resisting training partner, which is why controlled sparring is very essential to the program. This will allow them to become more desensitized to someone resisting arrest as well as being a more calm and merciful officer.


The USA has a Jiu Jitsu program run by the Gracie family. It has done such wonderful things for them and I believe that we as Canadians can have our own take. I am very proud to teach the officers that attend our Jiu Jitsu For Law Enforcement program and even more proud that it is domestically produced. I see this as being a massive benefit to local policing and all the way up to the provincial and federal level.

At the end of the day, Jiu Jitsu has a beautiful way of demonstrating how useful you can be when you have the knowledge of this style of martial art.

If you are curious and want to know more about this in depth law enforcement program, take a read through our J.J.L.E program page as well as trying out our 1 FREE TRIAL CLASS to experience it for yourself.


If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.


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