Friday, February 7, 2020

How Jiu Jitsu is Saving Lives in Law Enforcement- A Research Paper

Charlie Foxtrot:

Version 1.0 February 2020
© Invictus Leo Jiu Jitsu Collective 2020

By Ari Knazan
with support from Jason Rebsch

 The paper you are reading is the second in a series that is ongoing. Our first study: Why Cops Don’t Train: Investigations on Why Police Officers Avoid JiuJitsu and Use of Force Training, was released in January 2020. That paper was read over 13 000 times and shared to over 50 police agencies by members. The information we uncovered put ‘cold hard facts’ in the hands of those who wanted statistics. To be honest, we were really happy and surprised it went so ‘viral’. During that study, we polled officers that DO NOT TRAIN JIU JITSU OR COMBATIVES to get our data.

That paper can be found on our website as well or on our blog and we strongly suggest you take a look at it first before diving into this one. 

Invictus Leo really has a particularly small niche. It’s focused on Law Enforcement officers that train Jiu Jitsu AND getting Law Enforcement officers to train Jiu Jitsu. As you can imagine, most of the information we uncovered is only useful to a small handful of people around the world. But the information is important because it literally will save lives.

While our first paper uncovered the reasons police officers were avoiding use of force training, this paper gets into the nitty gritty on WHY Jiu Jitsu is important and dispelling the myths that many police agencies level against the training that we do. We feel its time to open the doors to honest (and brutal) discussion about how we look at use of force and training for cops around the world.

Typically, follow up papers are not as well read as the first but we must say that the information in this paper is more valuable (and interesting). THIS STUDY IS CONSIDERABLY LONGER so be forwarned. We encourage you to share the link of this study to your social media pages or email them to other officers. The more people who see this, the more our message gets out there.

We appreciate your support in our ongoing goal to get more officers training Jiu Jitsu.

Ari Knazan and Jason Rebsch
Invictus Leo Jiu Jitsu Collective

This study was conducted as an online survey that included 564 police officers that train Jiu Jitsu. We acknowledge that the sample size is “small” but you must also realize that the percentage of cops training Jiu Jitsu is remarkably small also (yes, that stat is included in this study). For the purpose of this study, a trained officer was one that was participating in Jiu Jitsu or combatives outside their regularly mandated incremental training required by their department.

This study is by no means exhaustive and certainly open to interpretation. We are neither scientists nor professional statisticians, and therefore acknowledge the inherent flaws in this article. We also note that we may have left things out which are glaringly obvious. We conclude that this is just the second of many refined research papers we will tackle.

We concede this paper is not scholastic in nature and may contain errors. We wanted to give the bare bones in order to get the message across in normal everyday language and presentation.

The goal of this study was to uncover the reasons police officers are studying Jiu Jitsu and how it is bettering their lives and also making them more safe doing their job. We wanted to see how injury rates doing combative training compared to other activities cops usually enjoy. We also were curious on how Jiu Jitsu training for police helped PTSD that many cops deal with.

Why Train:
If you are reading this you probably know the Invictus Leo Jiu Jitsu Collectives main goal is to get police officers training in Jiu Jitsu. This includes use of force instructors right down to patrol members. Jiu Jitsu offers exactly what cops need on the streets. Unfortunately, the majority of police training is either inadequate because departments are relying on unproven use of force training or there simply isn’t ENOUGH training happening for them.

We hope this paper brings some clarity to officers, departments and the general public on why we believe the #BJJMAKEITMANDATORY movement is so important.

How to Contact Us:
If you’d like to follow us on social media, you can search out @invictusleo_official on Instagram or search Invictus Leo Jiu Jitsu Collective on Facebook. We also have a private group on Facebook for Law Enforcement officers who train Jiu Jitsu as well. Our website is where we have a ton of information about getting cops involved with Jiu Jitsu as well as our yearly seminar schedule. Finally, if you’d like a PDF version of this study to post in your departments or send to your administrators, you can email
Q.1 :Law Enforcement Experience:

In our last study, we uncovered that police officers who did not train but had more experience on the job were less likely to take up Jiu Jitsu training than officers who were newer to the profession.

When we polled officers who do train Jiu Jitsu, the experience was spread out with the largest amount of officers being in the 11-15 year range (25.7%) followed by the 4-6 year range (17.7%). 

Conclusion drawn by this statistic shows that there is a good spread of experience among law enforcement officers who are training Jiu Jitsu as of 2020.

Q. 2: What City Do you Work for?

We collected this data based on our own curiosity. We are not releasing this information because we promised to keep the results as anonymous as possible. It was pointed out a few times in our comment section that some departments are very small and it would be easy to correlate answers to specific officers in those departments. It was further pointed out that there were those in  management or use of force positions that may not look upon the officer favorably based on the answers they gave. As such, we are not releasing this specific information. We can say however this was the break down of those officers who chose to answer.

USA: 475
International: 27

Q.3: Jiu Jitsu Experience: How Many Years have you been Training?

As the years have gone by, Jiu Jitsu has become more popular among the populace for martial arts training. It has been said that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is one of the fastest growing arts in the world. Despite law enforcement experience (table 1), our survey suggests that the majority of officers (42.7%) are new to Jiu Jitsu in the last 1 to 3 years. If we combine with the “under one year of experience” bracket, that percentage is pushed over 50%.

Speculation drawn by this data suggests that the importance of Jiu Jitsu is affecting cops view on use of force training. With several law enforcement programs out there that are Jiu Jitsu focused, more cops are getting exposed to the art. Based on this stat, it is likely the majority of police officers that are training Jiu Jitsu are blue belts in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (as of 2020).

It can be argued that as time goes on, this number will change and more officers will become higher ranked and more proficient in the art. However, basic statistics of jiu jitsu have shown that the majority of practitioners, no matter what their profession, obtain the rank of blue belt before quitting.

Since police officers are people too, it is likely that most will obtain a blue belt before they stop training in Jiu Jitsu.

Proficiency of a blue belt:

We are of the opinion that a blue belt level in Jiu Jitsu will give you solid fundamentals in self-defense. You will have a good understanding of movement, leverage, angles and submissions. All things being equal, a blue belt in Jiu Jitsu will give you a remarkable advantage against the average person. A blue belt police officer with 3 years experience in the art will have spent hundreds of hours on the mat. This equates to approximately 30 TIMES more training and experience than officers receive in normal use of force training per year at their departments.

Q.4: Injuries while using use of force application while working?

We asked officers in this study if they had sustained injuries while on the job, specifically during use of force situations. We acknowledge the inherent danger of physical encounters, especially in an environment that is unforgiving, like the street.

We suggest that officers who are training Jiu Jitsu are 2/3 less likely to injury to themselves during an encounter because of their training. This injury mitigation is due to the understanding of use of force application. We acknowledge that we need to really look into this statistic more but our first survey suggested (from untrained cops) that they were 200-300% more likely to sustain an injury during a use of force encounter.

We want to also point out that we believe that suspect injury is considerable less with police officers who know Jiu Jitsu because they are less likely to strike or use intermediate weapons during a physical encounter. We hope to have a future study that explores this point. The information we base this on is anecdotal and not stat driven at this time. 

Have you been injured during use of force situations?

Other Factors to consider about on the job injuries:

Of those surveyed who had sustained an injury on the job, there was a section that asked what specific injuries they had sustained. Of the 195 responses from officers that had received an injury, many mentioned that the injuries had happened prior to knowing Jiu Jitsu (84 responses). Therefore, the initial percentage of the above graph needs to be adjusted based on this information. We acknowledge that a better question needs to be asked to set a firm correlation between the two questions: Have you been injured on the job and did you know Jiu Jitsu at the time of your injury (and how long had you been training).

Q.5: Types of Injuries Officers have sustained while in Use of Force Encounters:

Nearly 200 officers listed the injuries they had sustained while on the job and during a use of force encounter. Combing through these, we have collected the following: Abrasions/Bruises/Minor Cuts resulted in nearly 70% of those who had been injured report in this category.

These were followed up by
Deep Cuts/lacerations
Bite Wound
Eye Damage
Back Injury
Shoulder/Elbow/Hand Injury (Tendon/Ligament)
Broken Bones

Q.6: Have you been injured while training Jiu Jitsu?

We asked officers who are training Jiu Jitsu if they had been injured and asked them about those injuries.

20% stated that they had not been injured in Jiu Jitsu.
50% had stated that they had sustained some sort of minor injury including minor sprains, mat burn, soreness and muscle pulls.
30% had stated that they had sustained some sort of major injury including things like bulging discs in back, neck injuries, broken fingers or toes (many considered those minor), elbow, shoulder or knee separation, knee damage (ACL,MCL, meniscus etc), Ribs etc

Q.7: Have you been injured outside of work doing other activities (gym, running, skiing etc)?

A common concern and fear from administrators is that Jiu Jitsu training would lead to higher rates of injuries of officers hence their reluctance in sanctioning it for training at departments. However our survey indicates that 72% of officers have received injuries outside of work and that were not Jiu Jitsu related.

Our conclusion from this is that an active lifestyle outside of work does lead to injuries over 70% of the time. These injuries, like in Jiu Jitsu, range in severity After combing through the responses, the top non work/non Jiu Jitsu injuries were: back injury, ankle injury and knee injury. Of note, the majority of back injuries were the result of “lifting weights” in the gym.

Police Work Out Culture:

One prevalent lifestyle choice among cops is what we refer to as the “workout culture”. Police officers like to hit the gym and work out. This is done to keep in shape, build muscle and stay strong for a physically demanding job. We have zero problem with strength training (we encourage it) but we need to point out that the rate of injury officers receive while working out is very real. A cursory examination of work out injury compared to Jiu Jitsu injury seems to show a higher chance of injury in the gym. We took into consideration that more officers train in the gym than train Jiu Jitsu. Further study needs to be done in this area of course and this was not the focus of this study.

We would like to present the idea that administrators who are against Jiu Jitsu training because it would ‘lead to higher rates of injury among officers” is incorrect and not based on our data. Administrators believe Jiu Jitsu is more dangerous based on their limited knowledge of what the art is. We propose that risk is part of any physical endeavor and acknowledge that injuries do happen training Jiu Jitsu. But we also posit that learning a skill set that is going to keep officers safe and alive on the streets while also lowering suspect injury is too powerful to ignore.

Q.8: Based on your department size, estimate the number of officers that are training jiu jitsu at your agency.

When involved in Jiu Jitsu, you realize that it is a small community. As such, practitioners know who trains and where within their department. Every cop we know has ‘run the numbers’ within their organization to figure out what the percentage is. You would automatically assume that larger departments with more members are going to have more officers training Jiu Jitsu. This is not always the case because we have encountered some smaller departments who have embraced the Jiu Jitsu philosophy actually have more cops training within their walls.

Generally speaking however, 74% of police departments have less that 3.0% of their officers training in Jiu Jitsu. That is a remarkable small amount of officers and shows that across the world, the number is still too small.

Q.9: Is your department using Jiu Jitsu as its primary use of force training and application?

Of those officers polled, our feedback indicted that 22.3% of departments are using Jiu Jitsu as their standard use of force model. The remaining departments are using older models such as pressure point tactics (PPT), Reality Based Self Defense (RBSD), SPEAR, Aikido or are “tool belt focused” in their training.

Q.10: For those departments that don’t use Jiu Jitsu how would you describe the training?

The majority of departments do not use Jiu Jitsu as their primary use of force model (77.7% of them). In fact, many actively avoid any physical training for their officers. Many departments have moved towards scenario and tactic based training with little to no emphasis on how to teach officers arrest, control, takedowns and ground work.


We acknowledge the importance of tactical training but also recognize that many officers on the street have almost no knowledge on how to conduct themselves in physical encounters beyond compliant handcuffing. We had hundreds of responses to this question where officers detailed “what” kind of training their agencies were using to prepare officers for physical encounters.


Many agencies combine systems as well.

Pressure Point Tactics: This is a general term for a mode of training requires officers to press, strike or pinch areas of the body in order to gain compliance. 55 respondents included this in their answers. There was a very high correlation between this type of training and tool belt focus below.


Tool Belt: 85 of the respondents stated that their agencies either solely focus of tool belts or have this in a combination with PPT above. The over reliance of tools for policing is common-place and a very real problem in our opinion. Having the right tool for the right job is paramount but if all you have is a hammer, all problems are seen as nails. 


RBSD/Krav Maga: 35 officers responded that their agencies are using the Reality Based Self Defense (RSBD) as their primary use of force model. This included Krav Maga and other such systems. Among those polled and who answered in this category, 27 officers mentioned that this style of training heavily focused on striking, eye gouging and groin strikes to achieve its objective. Officers further noted that grappling, groundwork and basic takedowns were lacking. The over reliance of speed and aggression to achieve the goal in this training was seen as a major hindrance. There were also several explanations that the lack of a scalable system only allowed higher level of techniques and didn’t have proper answers to lower levels of resistance or control.


SPEAR System: 10 officers mention that their departments were using the SPEAR system invented by Tony Blauer. We noted this as the SPEAR system enjoyed a strong following a few decades ago. Many departments used (use) this system (RBSD) for officers. There appears to be a downward trend on the number of departments using this system. SPEAR has added elements of ground work as the years have gone by.


AIKIDO, KOGA, and Other arts: There were many mentions of joint locking from the aikido system being taught in police departments today as well as other systems like KOGA, JKD, and boxing as arts used as primary defensive tactics


None: Possibly the most shocking statistic we found in this question was that 46 officers responded that they receive zero training whatsoever in physical control and survival tactics and haven’t had anything since their academy days. Having no (proper) training is inexcusable. The dangers officers face in the street is very real and not having anything in place sets them up for catastrophic results.

Q11: Are the defensive tactics instructors in your department Jiu Jitsu practitioners?

This question (and its answer) was a bit of a quandary. Almost half of DT instructors in departments we listed as Jiu Jitsu practitioners. We can a couple draw suppositions from this data. It is possible that that the instructors at departments are Jiu Jitsu practitioners but have yet to get their department on board with Jiu Jitsu as their primary use of force model. We suspect that this is the case because our previous data indicated that just over 20% of departments are using Jiu Jitsu based systems. It is also possible that many who read this question thought we were asking if officers in their departments trained jiu jitsu.


We hope these results mean that more DT instructors are training jiu jitsu despite what their department or agencies are running for their officers.


Q.12: Does your department utilize Jiu Jitsu style training such as C4C, GST, Sheepdog, Invictus?

Nearly 50% of members said that their departments have used outside training modalities for their officers in some manner. Again, this statistic shows nearly half of agencies have sought out other experts to drive some of their training.  Again, we need to narrow down this question and make it more specific as this number seems to contradict the 20% of agencies that use Jiu Jitsu as their use of force model. We can’t draw a conclusion from this data until we get more information.


What we infer from this question is that departments have used these companies even though almost 80% of them have no Jiu Jitsu use of force training or curriculum in within their walls.


Q.13: Does your department allow officers to train Jiu Jitsu at the station (On or off duty using the dept facilities?)

Just over 65% of departments do not have or do not allow Jiu Jitsu training at their facilities. The reasons some members gave were that there were no proper mat rooms for it or that the administrators thought the liability of injury was too great. As we have already uncovered, officers are just as or more likely to injure themselves working out as they are training a martial art that could potentially save their lives.

Q.14: Has your Jiu Jitsu training protected you from serious harm or death on the job? If yes, describe.

Of those polled, 22% of officers stated that they have not needed to use their jiu jitsu in a manner that would have saved them from serious harm or death on the job. 78% noted that Jiu Jitsu literally saved their lives (or serious injury) while working. We asked the officers what and how those situations occurred. We collected over 360 accounts of situations where Jiu Jitsu was utilized.


The vast majority of those who answered yes (75%) stated that “Jiu Jitsu allowed me to control a violent suspect with little to no harm to the subject while giving me the confidence in my abilities.” (para-phrased). There were several answers that included very dangerous situations where Jiu Jitsu was able to immediately control or incapacitate a suspect thus saving the officer from harm

Q.15: If you do train, what is the focus of your academy?

Officers identified that 70.9% of them train academies that mix both sport and self defense elements into their Jiu Jitsu training. This is an important stat because reality Jiu Jitsu introduces different scenarios that sport Jiu Jitsu does not cover. Learning to deal with punches and weapons charges how one applies their technique.


Q.16: Do you regularly train weapon retention techniques during the year?

This question was broad and did not ask “at your department” or “on your own time.” We simply wanted to see if cops were taking the time to add this modality to their training. Some Jiu Jitsu instructors include this into their training and we believe it is a must when it comes to training.


23.2% of those polled said they never train weapon retention while 34.4% said they do it once a year. 15% of officers polled said that they regularly train weapon retention techniques more than 5 times a year.


We absolutely believe that weapon retention (and deployment) is imperative for the job of law enforcement.

Q.17: If you started your Jiu Jitsu training after you became a cop, what got you started? If you were training before, did your focus change?

After receiving answers to this question, we determined that this would require a paper unto itself. The different reasons are fascinating. We have included a few examples below but need to collect and comb through over 500 responses.

Started training Jiu Jitsu after I became a cop. Saw a lot of injuries happening at work because of not knowing how to arrest a suspect and hurting other officers in the mix. 


The effectiveness of it. Plus, it’s fun. Lack of department training. I was sent to become the subject control instructor for the department and realized how little I retained after going to the one week course. 


After having trained in various martial arts over the years I decided to take stop making excuses and started training Jiu Jitsu after the new year. New years resolution. At the time I had 21 years on the job and was 47 years old. 


Started Japanese Jiu Jitsu as teenager in 1980s....... Stopped due to shift work and other team sports in 1990s and 2000s. Resumed in 2015 and continuing. Utilized skills learned as teenager throughout career. 


I wanted more tools for my tool belt, more options going hands and more options before lethal force


Just seen to many videos of officers struggling way to long with suspects 


Friend that was a BJJ Brown Belt. Also needed to adapt to ever changing MMA suspect environment mixed with stricter Use Of Force laws


Q.18: What is your main control measure to get a suspect onto the ground?

While conducting this survey, we were curious on what officer’s go to moves were to get a suspect to the ground in order to affect an arrest. Not surprisingly, the body lock takedown rank the highest at 29.4%. We attribute this to how easy it is to execute the maneuver (learn) and that you literally use your body weight and pressure to drag another person on the ground.


The second most utilized takedown was listed as the single or double leg takedown at 20.3% followed by foot sweeps (12.1%) and leg reaps (10.1%).



Q.19: How often has a non trained officer disrupted your arrest, causing you to lose control AFTER you had already gained control? (Eg: rushing in and pushing you off or pull the suspect in the opposite...

More than 55% of officers polled said that less than 5% do have other officers disrupt an arrest in progress. While officers who don’t train out number the ones that do, It appears that over half understand when their fellow officers are ‘in control’ and note that more officers is not always better for control. This is usually attributed to training and keeping the engaged officers safe during an arrest (crowd control, observation, traffic control etc).


Q.20: Do you believe suspect injury has dropped since learning jiu jitsu?

Officers responded (92.6% of them) that since learning jiu jitsu, they have been able to control suspects easier which in turn has lead them to believe that suspect injury has decreased. This is of course perception based and the actual numbers would have to be crunched on this data stream. The basis of this belief is that officers are not reliant on weapons, do not have to strike and are not in protracted battles with suspects.


One of the key factors of jiu jitsu is the skill of controlling another person who DOES NOT want to be controlled.




Q.21: How often does your department have Use of Force training for members? Not firearms or scenario training by hands on training.

Readers should take note of this question and the results from it.

This is a shocking number demonstrating how little training police officers are receiving yearly in defensive tactics. Nearly 25% of those polled indicated ZERO training outside their academy days. Then at 50%, officers said that they received 1 training day a year for use of force.


We would like to bring to light that should an officer (or suspect) wish to challenge an injury received while an officer is at work, lawyers could (and do) look at the amount of training police receive at said departments. One could articulate that some departments are not doing enough to prepare their officers for physical conflict and that the rate of injury in these departments could be quite high. We would logically conclude that knowing Jiu Jitsu helps officers, suspects and administrators alike. Nothing but good can come out of training.



Q.22: How many hours of actual hands on use of force training are you receiving yearly via your department?

This is a follow up question to #21. We wanted to know how many actual hours cops were getting in hand to hand tactics on a yearly basis. Nearly 63% of officers said that they received zero to 5 hours of training in a calendar year. We don’t have to harp on his data as you can clearly see the deficiency in this response. 


We also need to point out that if a department states that they have training twice a year for officers and that each session is 8 hours, this number isn’t a true number. Most departments combine firearms, scenario and DT into these numbers. They also don’t take into account lunch, sitting around time and early release from these training sessions. Given the example we just cited, an officer would be lucky to receive 2 hours of actually DT instruction annually.


And given those 2 hours, the intensity and quality is usually below average. 


A typical police officer training in Jiu Jitsu on their own time and own dime will get anywhere between 3 and 10 times the amount of training in just one week by visiting their Jiu Jitsu academy than they would in one year through their department.




Q.23: Do you have PTSD from work related matters.

PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) affects just over 25% of officers according to our poll. This number doesn’t take into account officers that are unware that they have symptoms of it either. The majority of the public don’t realize the stress placed upon cops and most civilians are not exposed to the sights and sounds police deal with. If a quarter of all police officers are the walking wounded, we wanted to know if activities like Jiu Jitsu helped in managing those symptoms (see next question).


Q.24: Has Jiu Jitsu helped manage your PTSD? If so, how?

Our follow up question showed that over 50% of those suffering from PTSD listed Jiu Jitsu as a tool to manage it. Of those, the majority of officers mentioned that the mental clarity and toughness they get from training. Other words like confidence, stress release, meditation, family, and fun were also used frequently. We believe there is a strong correlation between training Jiu Jitsu and keeping grounded in everyday life.


Many officers who do not have PTSD stated the same factors and praise their Jiu Jitsu training as being armor against the stressors of everyday life.


Q.25: Has your understanding of Jiu Jitsu and body mechanics allowed you to articulate use of force better in reports?

When officers are involved in use of force situations, most departments require a detailed report on the occurrence. 92% of officers stated that knowing Jiu Jitsu has allowed them to articulate their use of force better and more accurately. The fact that officers who train jiu jitsu and understand concepts like base, angles, leverage, balance as well as body mechanics and range of motion, have allowed them to be better writers when detailing their encounters. 


Also, the fact that Jiu Jitsu requires ACTUAL MAT experience is a huge bonus to cops. The art is not purely academic it's practical. Many arts and use of force training cite the old line “its too dangerous to go 100%, so I can’t show you HOW effective the moves are.” In Jiu Jitsu, training partners can go 100%. Cops can encounter pressure on a daily basis, making them more aware to what actually works and what does not.


Q.26: Have you been injured by colleagues due to their attempt at arresting someone?

We were curious about collateral damage cause by other officers during an arrest of a subject. 18.4% stated that other officers had injured them during an arrest typically citing “rushing in” or “errant fists or knees” during an encounter.


Q.27: If you answered Yes to #26, were the moves they use “approved departmental” techniques?



Q.28: What are the biggest benefits you have found with Jiu Jitsu Training?

We received over 500 responses to this question. We are providing a sample list of some of them below (“confidence” was used over 390 times):

Able to learn more body control of suspects. 


Confidence, confidence, confidence. 


General fitness 2. better body control of my body/movements 3. dealing with stress/handle pressure 4. confidence in self.


Control and confidence in ability. 


My ability to remain calm and collected in use of force situations. I’ve been able to restrain combative individuals while keeping good COMS to incoming units. Because other officers I work everyday with have seen this, they are very receptive when there are multiple officers trying to take custody of someone. I’m able to give them clear instruction of where they need to be on a suspects body and they listen and we’re able to take the suspect into custody as a team safely, quickly and effectively 


Subject control 


Gaining a large confidence in my use of force and have made me not afraid if a situation goes violent. 


Better feeling knowing that you can control an unruly suspect if needed until backup arrives. Knowing my own limits and capabilities, and learning to go with the flow instead of fight the opponent’s strength. 


Complete self-improvement (Dietary, Alcohol consumption, planning) Confidence in physical capabilities Confidence in applying techniques against resisting individuals. 


Jiu jitsu has changed every aspect of defensive tactics for me. I have a new and educated outlook on subject control and fighting people. I'm by no means an expert, but I've never felt more confident in my career.


Being that it is a grappling based martial art, I feel better equipped to ground an offender in a controlled manner. I rarely ever have to strike and jiu jitsu has taught me how to use misdirection, less energy, and utilize an offender’s energy against them.


First is the use of control over strikes. In the world we live in now where everyone has cameras, striking a suspect while attempting to arrest him looks terrible. The second is the benefit of sparring: both physical and mental. After about a year of sparring I noticed a HUGE difference in my mentality when getting into confrontational situations. I’m less keyed up during arrests, confrontational interviews, operations, etc.

Q.29: Rate your current use of force and defensive tactics at your department.

We asked officers on the quality of their training. 48% stated that they thought their use of force was poor or below average and further cited that they train on their own time knowing how vital the skill is to have.


Q.30: Do you pay for your own Jiu Jitsu training?

No surprise here. Own time. Own Dime. Cops need to stop using their departments as the reason they are not training. Over 90% of officers pay for their own training.


If information is power then this study should be an eye opener for departments and administrators who wanted ‘cold hard facts’. Let’s be real however. If this information doesn’t fit the narrative of agencies then they will simply ignore what we have offered in this study. As we identified in our last paper, confirmation bias and/or normalcy bias is a very real thing. Some departments STILL argue that there is no need for a change in defensive tactics culture because “things have always worked and nothing bad has ever happened so there is no need to change.”

The fact is, bad things are happening daily. It is time for police to recognize the benefits to Jiu Jitsu training. If your department is not adopting or encouraging you to train Jiu Jitsu, you must take it on yourself to change. The moment you swore your oath to the badge is the moment you lost the privilege of being out of shape, untrained and unmotivated.

We want to thank the hundreds of officers who took the time to take our survey and send us their thoughts. We truly appreciate your effort. To those officers who have yet to start training, please reach out to an academy or fellow officer to get you started. The benefits are numerous. 




We have noted that the culture of policing is changing slowly in regards to Jiu Jitsu training. More officers than ever are taking up Jiu Jitsu as their primary use of force study because of its practicality and usability on the job. They understand that it's real and it is scalable for the line of work that they do. Less than 3% of all police officers are training in Jiu Jitsu. This number is too low. It must be changed. And it is changing. 

The culture is changing based on the efforts of officers in departments pushing the #BJJMAKEITMANDATORY movement. More use of force instructors are trained in Jiu Jitsu and are becoming leaders within their organization and thus changing the culture. There is of course resistance by both departments and current use of force cadres that don’t understand the benefit of Jiu Jitsu or are not willing to acknowledge that there are better ways to control another human being that does not want to be controlled.

We encourage you to join our movement and start training. We can direct you to certified and police friendly academies around the world. The Invictus movement is not in competition with other Jiu Jitsu police companies-we are an add on to help push the narrative the Jiu Jitsu saves lives. Lets us help you.

Please visit our website for a list of our super seminar schedules. All instruction is volunteered and proceeds go to a foundation that supports families of fallen officers.

Keep training. Start training. Be Safe. Be Smart.

Ari Knazan and Jason Rebsch
Founders, Invictus Leo Jiu Jitsu Collective

If you would like a PDF version of this study, please email us at:








1 comment:

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