Police reform has been a hot topic across the country for well over a year, with many states and cities enacting a wide variety of changes to how law enforcement officers are trained and funded. Now, according to Fox 47 in Lansing, MI, one proposed Michigan police reform bill would require officers to hold the rank of blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
The bill was introduced by Representative Ryan Berman. The goal is to give officers the confidence to safely apprehend an individual with the help of Brazilian jiu-jitsu while limiting or greatly reducing instances of officers using unnecessary force.
“So then they don’t have to use excessive force, they don’t have to punch someone 15 times to submit,” Berman said.
Equipped with the various holds and submissions that require body mechanics and technique over brute force, Berman believes the knowledge of jiu-jitsu will help officers avoid encounters that could be unnecessarily violent.
“It’s really to help them so these situations don’t happen, so they don’t use unnecessary force and they will have more tools in their toolbox, if you will, to handle any situation that arises,” he said.
There is currently in jiu-jitsu a push to include more law enforcement officers. That push is led by the Adopt-a-Cop program that allows officers to train in jiu-jitsu for free.
Here are some comments police officers left in regards to this police reform bill:
1. I would absolutely love it if my department paid me during my regular work week to get training in BJJ.
2. 99% of DT training in this country is dogshit once a year. We show up, our partner helps us do the year’s technique and then we help them do it. Not just no resistance but the “opponent” actively helping do the thing. Then we get into a real fight and you get clown shows like when those two
NYPD CTA cops fighting the guy in the subway transit station were completely unable to establish any control and one of them shoots the guy in the butt as her taser takes a ride up the escalator, resulting in bananas lawsuit payouts.
But think about even a cheaper alternative than doing it on shift: PDs find a local BJJ gym with a decent reputation. Chief negotiates a deal with the gym: give him a rate and he’ll pay for his cops to be able to come once a week. It’s voluntary on your off time but the department pays for you to roll, just like some places pay for or reimburse a regular gym membership.
Once a week isn’t going to turn you into Gordon Ryan but it’s going to make you waaaaaaaay more confident and capable handling 99.9% of arrests.
3. Apparently the avg time it takes to get a blue belt is 2 years, and that’s with weekly training. I’m all for teaching officers BJJ which just helps on the ground work significantly. Requires funding the police further. There’s definitely a middle ground to this though which isn’t elongating the time commitment to prepare officers.
4. Most departments are underfunded and understaffed. Are they expecting officers to pay for this “training” out of their own pockets and on their own time? Also, isn’t BJJ all submission holds? Which everyone is screaming for the police to completely stop in all shapes and forms?