The critical relationship between training and play

The above video is a response to Jesse Enkamp’s video below, “Why sparring is DEAD”, and a discussion around the concept of play as it applies to martial arts and police training.

The below video is a discussion between police officers and a Navy SEAL who now trains police officers in tactics and how to better perform under stress. This highlights the points I made in my response that Jesse missed in his video – training must involve play, it also should involve high stress occasionally.

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Defense against blunt and edged weapons – a basic guide

Click here to watch video on Youtube


This video covers unarmed defense against both blunt and edged weapons, highlighting the importance of understanding range to either deny attackers their advantage or impose our own.

Yes, you should never fight someone who is armed, and running away is a good idea. However, there are some scenarios where evasion isn’t an option and hand-waving comments like “just run away” do not help. Strategic positioning, range management and movement are the foundation of dealing with weapons.

We start with understanding the nuances of unarmed striking, the significance of maintaining an appropriate stance for mobility and reaction, and the concept of “lunging distance” which is critical for both offense and defense.

Then we move on to managing distances to either escape harm or close in, underlining that effective defense involves being either out of reach or too close for an attacker to utilise their weapon effectively.

The guide also touches on the specialised considerations for dealing with different types of weapons, from long and short blunt instruments to edged weapons, stressing the need for speed, control, and tactical awareness.

Some of the clips used in video

And here’s an extra:

Also, check out other videos categorised under weapon disarms on this website

Man run over by police vehicle after shooting at them during pursuit

ST. LOUIS COUNTY — Police on Tuesday released surveillance footage of a police pursuit in February that ended when the suspect ran away, fired at officers and was hit by a police car.

The department’s investigation into the officers’ use of force is ongoing. 

Police said on Feb. 21 they saw 42-year-old Taiwansley Jackson driving recklessly on Jennings Station Road and Halls Ferry. Officers tried to pull him over but he sped away, weaving in and out of traffic.

In the video, Jackson hits light poles near McLaren Avenue and Goodfellow Boulevard in Jennings before jumping out of the vehicle, holding a pistol, while the car is still moving. 

As he is running away in a parking lot from several marked and unmarked police cars, he begins shooting at officers. A police car then hits Jackson from behind, and he goes flying in the air before landing on the concrete and being run over by another police vehicle. 

The St. Louis County Police Department released video recordings of a Feb. 21, 2023, incident. Officers said the man had “non-life threatening” injuries; he was later charged with first-degree assault, among other charges. No officers were hurt. Video courtesy of the police department

Jackson was the only one hurt in the incident. His injuries were non-life threatening and officers did not fire their guns, the police department said.

Police can be heard on dispatch audio, also released Tuesday, asking officers to check on residents who live in the direction of where Jackson fired the gun. 

Jackson is charged with first-degree assault, armed criminal action resisting arrest by fleeing and unlawful possession of a firearm. Jackson was in jail Tuesday on a $500,000 cash-only bond, police said.

The video was released as part of the department’s transparency efforts, where they aim to release relevant footage within 45 days of when an officer uses force.

The full incident report video can be seen here

A real cop took my advice – and it worked


I’ve been contacted by a viewer who is a police officer in the USA.

His department practices methods like wrist locks and armbar takedowns, the kind of stuff I’ve talked about here quite a bit. My opinion is that these techniques are legitimate but they have a fringe use case, to the point that they are rarely seen in combat sports, and are certainly not a foundation from which to learn grappling. It’s the kind of thing I would teach as a low priority, as an option for very specific situations. And yet, for many years they’ve been at the core of police training for many academies around the world.

You might have heard it’s the hands that kill, and yes, it’s true, you need to control the hands, stop them from reaching for weapons and so on, yes. But if you don’t have overall positional control, and you just grab at the wrists and don’t do much else you might end up with control over nothing.

This police officer who contacted me, tells me that he attended a domestic violence situation where he had to arrest someone. He started by grabbing the wrist, and the offender quickly pulled away and punched the officer.

He said this:

In that moment I remembered your video critiquing police training. Further, I had a trainee with me who was about to experience their first use of force, so I was essentially on my own. I told myself I should control the person entirely before I try to control their appendages. With that I grabbed their body and hip tossed them to the ground. Once gaining control of them fully, which they understood as well, the arms were easier to manipulate and the arrest was successful.

I have no formal martial arts training. But just remembering that notion made the arrest much smoother, much faster, with less damage to me or the arrestee. Without having recently watched your content, I definitely would have tried to drag them to the ground with just their arm alone.

This officer did not receive any additional training or retraining to do this. All he did was reverse his priorities. Instead of working from the extremities to control the body, he established control of the body to work on the extremities.

In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu they talk about position before submission, but in a policing context it’s more like position before handcuffing. Cops can probably come up with a more snazzy, tactical sounding phrase, they’re good at that. But anyway it’s all essentially the same idea.

Of course, I’d prefer that police underwent training starting back at the academy where they would be wrestling each other and working toward restraining holds and handcuffing positions with experienced supervision for safety.

You really don’t need to sign up for the Gracie Combatives program or commit to something similar. We just need really basic skills and clear tactical objectives.

I’m starting to wonder if there is a way to develop a kind of broad open source template that people can adopt and run with on their own and use local expertise to plug in their own skills, instead of creating a by-the-numbers curriculum and trying to get contracts. I have no idea where to start with something like that.

Anyway, in this case, simply suggesting a different general approach lead to a better result, and it’s quite gratifying for me, to get a message like this. It reminds me of how I felt years ago when I was teaching martial arts, and a student would occasionally tell me that something I taught them helped in a real situation. This is the reason I started the channel in the first place.

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