Defensive tactics training: Front compliance

Learning to apply this hold short of pressure also means it can be used as a tactically superior escort hold


Having been an active street cop for the entire 33 years of my police career, as well as an active police trainer for 43 years, in this series I share some of the defensive tactics techniques that helped me prevail on the street. The series presents a variety of defensive tactics in a format that allows you to follow the instructions and practice the technique. Remember practice makes prepared.

One of the first “come-alongs” I ever learned when I was aspiring to be a police officer was something called the "bar walk” by some, the "goose neck” by others and “front compliance” by still others. I used many different control holds on the street, but none more often than the front compliance hold.

This hold not only works to overcome resistance but also convinces some suspects to stop resisting as well. Learning to apply this hold short of pressure – so that the suspect is controlled but does not feel any pain on contact – also means it can be used as a tactically superior escort hold. In other words, through training and experience, you can learn to control by touch the “pain on” and “pain off.” This is an important skill to develop.

Once an officer truly understands the pressure/counterpressure dynamics of this particular hold, it can be adapted and applied no matter the position of the suspect’s arm. This will be demonstrated in following articles, but first here is how to apply a basic front compliance hold.

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