It was an honor to share with the Michigan House committee on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. I testified in support of a bill that would arm police officers with Jiujitsu training. This is what I shared with the House on this subject:
I would just like to take a couple of minutes to talk to you about Jiujitsu, the gentle way, it’s a form of self defense designed to defend against and control a larger, stronger aggressor, by applying leverage and angles to control an opponent with the least amount of force possible. This will result in a higher safety rate not just for our officers, but also the citizens they interact with.
Empathy, stress inoculation, competency, and community centered policing are what we can achieve with the gentle way, jiujitsu .
This is the wave of the future, and here in Michigan we really have an opportunity to lead, to be an example that other states will follow.
By grappling and being exposed to different positions in the course of jiujitsu training, officers develop empathy and sensitivity for what the person on bottom is feeling.
They have an opportunity to reconnect with the humanity of the person that they are grappling with, wether its on the mats or on the streets.
Physical struggle is a very foreign concept to most police recruits. Naturally, when exposed to a fully resisting subject for the first time on the job, officers can very easily end up in a state where cognition is impaired and the ability to select an appropriate level of force becomes influenced by emotions and sometimes egos.
By inoculating officers to this type of stress on a routine basis through jiujitsu training, it becomes just that, routine, just another day in the office; reduced fear, reduced anger, and reduced ego involvement.
Without this stress inoculation and technical proficiency officers will resort to the familiar; resulting in an over reliance on technology that has a significant failure rate, or a deadlier force option.
I’m grateful that I’ve been able to take subjects into custody or protective custody without injury, that includes subjects armed with knives and firearms. I attribute that to my jiujitsu training. Not just the technical proficiency but the ability to think in stressful situations; which is something I do on a daily basis, by grappling with younger, stronger, more athletic opponents, and having to rely on breathing, remaining calm, and technique.
Rebuilding relations with the community by developing bonds and restoring legitimacy is a goal for most police departments.
A great way to do that is to have our officers grappling and training with the jiujitsu community.
The jiujitsu community is very diverse, you can have an at-risk-youth rolling with an ER doctor, a police officer, and an activist on the same mat.
On the mat they all have a common bond and are part of one family - the jiujitsu family.
Currently, we maybe setting up our officers for failure by not giving them the training and confidence they need. We can do better for our citizens, for our officers, and for our communities.
We cannot “do it the way we’ve always done it,” or we will get what we’ve always gotten.
Ineffective force is often excessive force, jiujitsu is efficient, effective, and much safer for our citizens and our officers.
Thank you for your consideration.
About the author:
Amir Khillah is a retired professional fighter, holds a Master ' s degree in Human Performance, a Bachelor ' s degree in Exercise Physiology/kinesiology, a Police Academy Subject Control Instructor, a police officer, and the founder of Centurion Moderns Subject Control. For more information about officer Khillah or Centurion Modern Subject Control, please visit www.CenturionMSC.com