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Gracie Combatives Police Testimonial

I have been a police officer since 1989 and I have served in a variety of roles. For the last eight years I have worked as hospital police officer. In North Carolina many hospital systems employ a combination of police officers and security officers working together in the hospital environment. I can honestly say that I have had to go, “Hands On” in the hospitals much more than I ever did, “on the street”. I am also a two stripe blue belt and an assistant instructor at CTC Durham.

I want to share a true story that happened at my job last week. Due to privacy concerns I am being intentionally vague with some of the details. One of our new security officers, Officer Will Lowery, has recently started training at CTC Durham. Will also has many years of traditional martial arts training. We both work at the same psychiatric and substance abuse facility.

On the night of the incident Officer Will was working in the Inpatient Unit and I was working in another building. I heard Officer Will call for help on the radio and I immediately started to run to his location to help. It took me about 45 seconds to get to the IPU. When I arrived I saw two male nurses and another security officer placing a very uncooperative and struggling patient into a seclusion room. They had him under pretty good control so I ran down the hallway and around the corner to check on Will. When I arrived I saw Will mounted on top of a very agitated patient. Will had mount control with a neck hug and both hooks in and he was negotiating with the patient. There was really nothing for me to do except sit back and enjoy the jiu jitsu demonstration. As the patient realized that he could not get up he began to surrender and Will, talking in a quiet voice said, “You need to calm down a little bit more and I will let you up”. I saw the patient first physically and then verbally surrender. Will slowly let the patient up and then clinical staff led the cooperative patient into his room with no further problems or issues.

The entire incident went down like this: Two patients got into an argument in a dayroom. One of them threw juice at the other one and then a staff member told the aggressor to walk away. He walked down the hallway but then the juice victim got mad and started cussing him out. When the aggressor came back down the hallway to fight him, clinical staff responded and got between the two patients who were trying to fight. At this point a third patient came up behind one of the clinical staff members and started punching him in the back of the head, knocking his glasses to the floor. This patient had nothing to do with the original incident, he just saw a fight so he jumped in and started punching the staff member (remember where we work). At this point Officer Will arrived on the scene and without thinking, executed a perfect Rear Takedown on the patient. Will ended up in mount and instinctively went straight to his Mount Control Techniques!

When Will and I talked later he told me that if not for his recent Combatives training he would have relied on his other martial arts training which would have resulted in a completely different outcome; but because of his Combatives training, the result was no injuries to staff or the patient. Since the incident we’ve have had no further problems with this guy (this is huge because prior to this he had been disruptive every night).

I knew Officer Will was a new Gracie Jiu Jitsu Student but I did not realize how new. When I went to CTC Durham a couple of nights later I pulled his Combatives card. I was shocked to discover that he had only had 5 lessons!

I have been teaching Combatives for 5 years and I am still blown away by how efficient and how effective it is! Will used the RTD as a third party intervention which he has not even been shown yet. He just applied the Combatives Principles!

Can you imagine how much better things would be for everyone if all police officers and all security officers knew Jiu Jitsu?

Jim Phifer


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