Nov 12, 2010

Hands on learning: From the ground up

This is part of an ongoing blog where I shadow the 19th BLETP cadets through their MARCs training. To start at the beginning, click here.

VASSALBORO – After getting a refresher course on Oct. 25, the cadets of the 19th Basic Law Enforcement Training Program at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy learned about fighting from the ground.
Detective Paul Fenton of the Cape Elizabeth Police Department, along with Cpl. Dan Beaulieu of the Saco Police Department demonstrated different ways to fight off an aggressive subject from the ground.

Tips included, how to get up from the ground safely and properly to avoid being pushed back down by an aggressor; ways to kick at an attacker from the ground; and various escapres from grapples and mounts – as well as ways to subdue an opponent.
Fenton stressed that fighting in police work is drastically different from any fighting the is televised, be it Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) or boxing – simply because there are no rules for the aggressor and there are lots of rules for the officer.

“One of the more important aspects is that most any physical struggle ends up on the ground,” said Fenton. “If you end up in the wrong position on the ground that could be a bad position.”
He hopes that the training will help the cadets walk away from a confrontation that lands them on the ground.
Beaulieu thinks the importance of being proficient in defensive tactics can’t be understated.
“Most [law enforcement officers] will never fire their weapon. Every one of them will be involved in a physical confrontation,” he said. “It’s something everyone will use. If you’re not good at it or don’t refine it you could be in trouble. [Defensive tactics] could ultimately save your life.”

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