The debate about whether or not police officers should be trained in Brazilian jiu-jitsu with the goal of transforming the use of force continues to rage on.

The idea is a simple one. If officers are more knowledgeable about restraining techniques, the result should be fewer instances of police brutality. However, there are concerns that police officers who already use excessive force would now become more efficient and effective in causing harm to suspects.

Examining this complex topic on an upcoming episode of HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” David Scott reported on the effectiveness of Brazilian jiu-jitsu training within the police department in Marietta, Ga.

Officers in the city began training Brazilian jiu-jitsu in 2019. Major Jake King said only three of his officers have fired their weapon in the line of duty, but all of them have needed to put their hands on a person while in uniform – a significant discrepancy.

According to King, the effectiveness of their Brazilian jiu-jitsu program has produced incredible results, and he says he has the data to back it up. In his research, he found there was a 48 percent reduction in officer injuries after they began training Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Furthermore, he discovered a 53 percent reduction of injuries to suspects. These statistics, among others, are also placed on the police department’s official website.

Officers who were untrained in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and involved in a scuffle with a suspect were 200 percent more likely to sustain an injury during the altercation. King also stated that his department saved over $70,000 in worker’s compensation claims in the first year of implementing the Brazilian jiu-jitsu program.

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Rener Gracie, one of the most well-known Brazilian jiu-jitsu trainers in the world who coaches and mentors the likes of upcoming UFC featherweight title challenger Brian Ortega, is a firm believer in teaching Brazilian jiu-jitsu to police officers.

“How does anybody expect an officer to take a violent, resisting person into custody if we don’t give them the tools to do so?” Gracie questioned. “It’s common sense. If you ask me to do something, teach me how to do it.”

The data from Marietta is indeed promising, but would it be as effective nationwide? The problem of racial biases in policing would still exist, which is an entirely different problem that still needs to be addressed on a large scale.

Ultimately, reducing police brutality is something that everyone should support, and if Brazilian jiu-jitsu can help achieve that goal, then that is something everyone should get behind, as well.

Check out the trailer for the segment in the video above. The full episode airs on HBO on Tuesday, Aug. 24 at 11 p.m. ET and streams on HBO Max.

The Blue Corner is MMA Junkie’s blog space. We don’t take it overly serious, and neither should you. If you come complaining to us that something you read here is not hard-hitting news, expect to have the previous sentence repeated in ALL CAPS.


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