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Video: How to escape ground fights

There are potential safety issues and training scars associated with the traditional scissor sweep technique

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Many programs and instructors will teach a basic version of the scissor sweep to their officers as they would beginners in a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class. However, for law enforcement officers there are some pitfalls associated with this technique.

This video breaks down some potential safety issues and training scars to be aware of, which include:

  1. The officer needs to pull the suspect’s weight forward and potentially on top of them to utilize this technique, which violates the space and distance parameter.
  2. “Loading” the suspect on top of the officer will be difficult for many officers based on size, flexibility, equipment issues and the limited amount of training they receive. For many officers, the size difference between them and the suspect will cause them to move from a bad position to a worse one.
  3. If performed perfectly, the officer ends up in a mount position on the suspect, which allows the suspect access to their firearm, or leads to a continued ground encounter with limited options for disengagement or transitions to handcuffing should the suspect de-escalate and comply.

We highly recommend defensive tactics instructors teach the bicycle kick technique instead. This allows the officer to move themselves using a basic “shrimping” technique instead of moving the unknown variables of the suspect (size, strength, skill level).

This technique can be performed by all officers of all skill levels no matter the limits on training time. It provides the officer multiple decision-making points to win the encounter on their terms.

Police1 author Jerrod Hardy is a 20-year law enforcement officer and an Air Force veteran. He owns one of the largest mixed martial arts gyms in Colorado.