Q&A: Kajukenbo in the LEO Hand­book

Black Belt - - SCREEN SHOTS -

Black Belt: When you teach de­fen­sive tac­tics to law-en­force­ment of­fi­cers, how much kajukenbo do they get?

Da­mon Gil­bert: I would say it’s around 50 per­cent of the cur­ricu­lum. Be­cause kajukenbo is such a dirty street-fight­ing mar­tial art, half the stuff I know I could never bring to law en­force­ment. For ex­am­ple, I can’t teach eye gouges, groin kicks, strikes to the spine or stomps to the head.

qhe things f can bring in­clude some of the take­downsI the joint ma­nip­u­la­tionsI the come-alongsI the blocksI the dis­trac­tion strikes and the ba­ton tech­niques we get from ar­nis and doce pares. The peo­ple who go through the academy don’t know they’re all yel­low belts in ka­juken­boI but they are.

Black Belt: How good does the av­er­age po­lice of­fi­cer get at the academy?

Da­mon Gil­bert: They get good very quickly be­cause of the in­ten­sity of the train­ing. The state of Cal­i­for­nia says you need 65 hours of self-de­fense train­ing to be­come a po­lice of­fi­cer. At Oak­land, we do 235 hours. A lot of their days in­clude four-hour classes, and they might get that three times a week. qhey do that for six months.

My mes­sage to all of them is, ´Af­ter you grad­u­ate, what will you do?” They’ve trained like a pro fighter for six months, which is amaz­ing. But if they go the next year with­out do­ing any­thing, all that is null and void. Yes, they get good train­ing at the academy, but it’s the con­sis­tency of the on­go­ing train­ing that mat­ters in the long run. f al­ways en­cour­age them to train on their own at a rep­utable mar­tial arts school.

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