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Thread: Open Hands for LEOs

  1. #1
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    Open Hands for LEOs

    I have worked in the county jail here for going-on 5 years now, and i'll likely be here for a long while. Since I started i've been in more "confrontations" than I care to count.

    1v1, 1v2, 2v2, etc. You name it, i've probably had to do it.

    I have training in muay thai and submission grappling mostly. My basic boxing skills are my strong suit because I find it the most helpful for "overcoming" someone until help arrives.

    Unfortunately, our department has a pretty strict policy on closed-hand strikes and they're starting to crack down on it pretty hard. Even if it is a 1v1 situation and someone is trying to hit you, they seem to have a problem with officers using the same force. Don't get me started. Let's just say I think it is ridiculous.

    I've been training my hands in iron palm for a bit now because they are really harping on this as opposed to punching. (I'm not interested in having a debate on whether I should seek a qualified instructor to teach it in my area. There are no kung fu schools within 100 miles of me. I'm not going to stop training it because it is helpful in my profession. Let's please leave it at that.)

    What i've been doing is modifying my boxing so that I strike with open hands. It works, for sure. But, it got me thinking about what styles of kung fu would be good for the type of fighting they are forcing some of our officers to fight here. With an emphasis on the striking arts, and not the joint-locking systems.

    - Fighting in small cells
    - Fighting multiple people
    - Open hand strikes

    My first thought was that bagua would be a good choice, but I didn't know about space requirements for that style. Then I thought perhaps some style of southern kung fu, but I don't know of any that are predominantly palm styles.

    Just a topic for discussion. I'm not looking to train in any of this, just curious of what you guys think would be fitting.
    It is better to have less thunder in the mouth and more lightning in the hand. - Apache Proverb

  2. #2
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    You're definately on the right track.

    Palm strikes can be delivered in such a way that they don't really look like you're hitting anyone - especially if you're yelling at the guy, "Sir, please calm down"

    When I worked in Security most of what I actually used was grappling (a few takedowns and about 2-3 joint locks). But I did have to use palm strikes on a few occasions.

    I train Xingyi and I feel like the style is a great for LE. Though, my sifu worked as a bouncer and he favored Bagua.

    It's like anything else though: It's all about how you train, not what you train.


    Train Hard,
    Josh Skinner

  3. #3
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    My department allows strikes but you have to be aware of liability. I've never had to use a closed fist. What has worked best for me is a set of concepts from lama style training which emphasize "core" and gross motor skills which segue from strikes to grappling/joint locking. This way you don't have to withdraw your hand after a strike--the same movement carries on into a takedown or joint lock. There is none of that silly grabbing for the wrist thing.

    Choy Li Fut has some very good palm methods as well. Generally, at least one limb is controlled or isolated when the palm strike is delivered. This sort of tactic has the advantage of appearing defensive and part of a normal battle for compliance if you are on camera.

    Beware of the "heart pump." Prosecutors are well aware of the nasty history of this technique in law enforcement and your department would probably lose the legal battle.

    Be safe.
    "Look, I'm only doing me job. I have to show you how to defend yourself against fresh fruit."

    For it breeds great perfection, if the practise be harder then the use. Sir Francis Bacon

    the world has a surplus of self centered sh1twh0res, so anyone who extends compassion to a stranger with sincerity is alright in my book. also people who fondle road kill. those guys is ok too. GunnedDownAtrocity

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by donjitsu2 View Post
    You're definately on the right track.

    Palm strikes can be delivered in such a way that they don't really look like you're hitting anyone - especially if you're yelling at the guy, "Sir, please calm down"

    When I worked in Security most of what I actually used was grappling (a few takedowns and about 2-3 joint locks). But I did have to use palm strikes on a few occasions.

    I train Xingyi and I feel like the style is a great for LE. Though, my sifu worked as a bouncer and he favored Bagua.

    It's like anything else though: It's all about how you train, not what you train.


    Train Hard,
    Josh Skinner
    Grappling definitely works, but there are times in a jail when you definitely don't want to be going to the ground, lol. If i'm all by myself waiting for help to arrive and i've got a guy twice my size that is trying to rip my spine out through my throat, i'm not gonna want to take him down. Or even try.

    Funny you mentioned Xingyi because I was just looking at the Xingyiquan and White Crane stuff on Dr. Yang's site and thinking that it would be almost perfect for close-quarters stuff. The short range power generation looks good. How would substituting palms for fists work in Xingyi? Or, are they actually included in the system? I'm not too familiar with the internal stuff.

    The White Crane looks like it would be ideal, really. Seems to be a lot of quick advancing/retreating, lots of open hand strikes, and short range power generation.
    It is better to have less thunder in the mouth and more lightning in the hand. - Apache Proverb

  5. #5
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    you guys don't have riot shields and batons?

    restrain and contain.

    I can think of a lot of reasons why you don't want to be hitting prisoners with your bare hands.

    How come you don't have regular pain compliance, hooks in stuff in your training?
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  6. #6
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    We do.

    I'm just thinking about worst case scenario stuff here, really. I.E. An officer having to fight one or more detainees until help arrives.

    Batons aren't issued to our officers. Shields aren't that useful unless you know what is going to happen beforehand. Pepper spray can work sometimes, but it often gets the officer as well. It doesn't always work, either. Tasers aren't issued to anyone not a Sergeant or above.
    It is better to have less thunder in the mouth and more lightning in the hand. - Apache Proverb

  7. #7
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    Hung Gar has a ton of close quarters open hand work in it.
    -Golden Arms-

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesC View Post
    Grappling definitely works, but there are times in a jail when you definitely don't want to be going to the ground, lol. If i'm all by myself waiting for help to arrive and i've got a guy twice my size that is trying to rip my spine out through my throat, i'm not gonna want to take him down. Or even try.

    Funny you mentioned Xingyi because I was just looking at the Xingyiquan and White Crane stuff on Dr. Yang's site and thinking that it would be almost perfect for close-quarters stuff. The short range power generation looks good. How would substituting palms for fists work in Xingyi? Or, are they actually included in the system? I'm not too familiar with the internal stuff.

    The White Crane looks like it would be ideal, really. Seems to be a lot of quick advancing/retreating, lots of open hand strikes, and short range power generation.
    True! lol.

    Honestly, I can't think of any closed fist technique in Xingyiquan that couldn't be turned into an open palm technique - or vice versa. In fact, I spend a lot of time training Splitting "fist" (which is traditionally an open palm technique) with a closed fist and Pounding Fist (typically done closed fist) with an open palm.

    The five fists of Xingyi are really just principles of movement. Their underlying "energies", the true essence or spirit/intent of the technique (not mystical mumbo jumbo) are what's most important - not necessarily the external method.

    True, the physical technique is important but the movement can easily be modified as long as the modifications stay true to the "energy" of the technique. There is more than one way use Splitting/metal "energy" or Crushing/Wood "energy" or Drilling/"Water" energy, ect...you get the idea. It's the principle of the movement that matters.

    I have the Xingyiquan book by Dr. Yang and Liang, Shou Yu as well as the Essence of Shaolin White Crane book - both are excellent. Though if you're looking for a simple method of adding internal power training to your current training routine the White Crane book might be your best bet (since you said you don't have an instructor). The White Crane methods are very easy to tack on top of your existing martial art. I mean, you could do the same thing with Xingyi training methods but the Xingyiquan book doesn't do quite as good of a job presenting the basic internal power training methods to the beginner. But that's just my opinion and you know what they say about those

    Hell, get both books if you can. Both will add tremendous value to your training.


    Train Hard,
    Josh Skinner

  9. #9
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    Jeez, that sucks! As a deputy, we pretty much are allowed to use whatever reasonable force is necessary to affect an arrest. Basically we are allowed to one up someone. If I give someone a verbal command and doesn't comply, I go hands on, if he puts hands on me, game one, grappling, strikes, taser, baton, pepper spray. I do not envy the corrections guys, thats a tough gig.

  10. #10
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    An officer having to fight one or more detainees until help arrives.
    That's most of the time. Agree with you assesment.

    The shields are used more in riot orintation.

    I worked in corrections for a period of time. Was in Juvenile corrections. I give any of the people credit for doing that job. Hard job with little to no recognition.
    Originally posted by Bawang
    i had an old taichi lady talk smack behind my back. i mean comon man, come on. if it was 200 years ago,, mebbe i wouldve smacked her and took all her monehs.
    Originally posted by Bawang
    i am manly and strong. do not insult me cracker.

  11. #11
    While there is a lot of hokie Aikido out there, the Tai Sabaki is very good mobility training. Just add in a little bit of hand movements designed to push the opponent away from you, parry and block strikes , slap, punch or move your opponent in return, and you should be able to avoid most attacks, that do not include takedown moves and move towards safe(r) areas.

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