Will Leisure-Time Martial Arts Training Help You In A Street Fight?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

A research team wondered if officers who practice martial arts in their leisure time would perform police-trained defensive tactics better when physically attacked by a suspect.

To find out, the team tested 66 officer volunteers, 59 of them male, seven female, at the Amsterdam Police Training Centre in the Netherlands.

In addition to their police DT training, 18 practiced kickboxing and 14 karate or jiu-jitsu in their off hours, averaging two to three times a week across eight to 21 years. Fifteen practiced krav maga, the Israeli military self-defense system, although these officers had less training experience (fewer than four years, on average) and tended to practice only once a week.

The other 19 volunteers had no martial arts experience whatever, beyond their police training. In the Netherlands, the researchers point out, “officers [typically] train their arrest and self-defence skills only four to six hours per year.”

With the volunteers and role-playing opponents alike suited up in protective gear, the officers were subjected to a series of assault trials.

Under conditions the researchers considered “low anxiety” (LA), the officers had to react to suspects’ haymakers or front kicks by punching, kicking, or blocking, the normal drills taught in their police training.

Later, “high anxiety” (HA) attacks occurred in much tighter quarters. As they were led to this room, the officers could hear the suspect inside banging on walls and shouting threats. Once inside, the verbal abuse continued as the suspect randomly attacked not only with fists, feet, and tackling but with an electrical shock knife and a simulated club. Besides responding conventionally, officers were randomly told to fight back against club and tackle assaults “in any way they saw fit” to “test their ability to improvise.”

In both LA and HA tests, the officers were encouraged to “read” the suspect’s behavior and anticipate the coming attacks.

Afterward, the officers self-rated their anxiety levels and the amount of mental effort required for their responses, heart monitor readings were analyzed, and experienced trainers reviewed video of the volunteers’ performances.

Not surprisingly, participants reported “higher levels of perceived anxiety and mental effort and also had higher heart rates in the HA-condition,” the researchers state.

In terms of self-defense at both levels, officers with martial arts experience generally “performed significantly better than participants with no martial arts experience.” Indeed, in the HA environment, the evaluators gave an average score of less than three out of a possible five to subjects with no martial arts experience–“insufficient performance,” in the researcher’s assessment. However, the study notes, there was a deterioration in the performance of all groups as the intensity of the assaults increased. In HA conditions, even the best groups–kickboxing and karate/jiujitsu–scored less than four, although they did maintain their performance better than those who had only their police training to rely on.

While the generally less experienced krav maga practitioners underperformed the other martial arts students in some cases, the researchers emphasized that it’s not valid to draw conclusions from the results as to the relative effectiveness of different martial arts systems for on-the-street police work.

However, they say, the findings do indicate that training in some martial arts discipline just “one hour on a weekly basis may increase officers’ performance in threatening circumstances. More experience will probably lead to better anticipation of others’ intentions and [more automatic] self-initiation of actions, which is most important in the line of duty.”

The research team was headed by Dr. Peter Renden, a member of the faculty of Human Movement Sciences at the MOVE Research Institute in Amsterdam.

The study is published by the journal Ergonomics, under the title “Police arrest and self-defence skills: performance under anxiety of officers with and without additional experience in martial arts.” A free abstract of the study and a link to where the researchers’ full report can be purchased is available by clicking here.

GDPR

  • Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

Effective date: January 06, 2019

Force Science Institute, Ltd. (“us”, “we”, or “our”) operates the https://www.forcescience.org/ website (hereinafter referred to as the “Service”).

This page informs you of our policies regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of personal data when you use our Service and the choices you have associated with that data. Our Privacy Policy for Force Science Institute, Ltd. is based on the Privacy Policy Template from Privacy Policies.

We use your data to provide and improve the Service. By using the Service, you agree to the collection and use of information in accordance with this policy. Unless otherwise defined in this Privacy Policy, the terms used in this Privacy Policy have the same meanings as in our Terms and Conditions, accessible from https://www.forcescience.org/

Information Collection And Use

We collect several different types of information for various purposes to provide and improve our Service to you.

Types of Data Collected

Personal Data

While using our Service, we may ask you to provide us with certain personally identifiable information that can be used to contact or identify you (“Personal Data”). Personally identifiable information may include, but is not limited to:

  • Email address
  • First name and last name
  • Phone number
  • Address, State, Province, ZIP/Postal code, City
  • Cookies and Usage Data

Usage Data

We may also collect information on how the Service is accessed and used (“Usage Data”). This Usage Data may include information such as your computer’s Internet Protocol address (e.g. IP address), browser type, browser version, the pages of our Service that you visit, the time and date of your visit, the time spent on those pages, unique device identifiers and other diagnostic data.

Tracking & Cookies Data

We use cookies and similar tracking technologies to track the activity on our Service and hold certain information.

Cookies are files with small amount of data which may include an anonymous unique identifier. Cookies are sent to your browser from a website and stored on your device. Tracking technologies also used are beacons, tags, and scripts to collect and track information and to improve and analyze our Service.

You can instruct your browser to refuse all cookies or to indicate when a cookie is being sent. However, if you do not accept cookies, you may not be able to use some portions of our Service. You can learn more how to manage cookies in the Browser Cookies Guide.

Examples of Cookies we use:

  • Session Cookies. We use Session Cookies to operate our Service.
  • Preference Cookies. We use Preference Cookies to remember your preferences and various settings.
  • Security Cookies. We use Security Cookies for security purposes.

Use of Data

Force Science Institute, Ltd. uses the collected data for various purposes:

  • To provide and maintain the Service
  • To notify you about changes to our Service
  • To allow you to participate in interactive features of our Service when you choose to do so
  • To provide customer care and support
  • To provide analysis or valuable information so that we can improve the Service
  • To monitor the usage of the Service
  • To detect, prevent and address technical issues

Transfer Of Data

Your information, including Personal Data, may be transferred to — and maintained on — computers located outside of your state, province, country or other governmental jurisdiction where the data protection laws may differ than those from your jurisdiction.

If you are located outside United States and choose to provide information to us, please note that we transfer the data, including Personal Data, to United States and process it there.

Your consent to this Privacy Policy followed by your submission of such information represents your agreement to that transfer.

Force Science Institute, Ltd. will take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that your data is treated securely and in accordance with this Privacy Policy and no transfer of your Personal Data will take place to an organization or a country unless there are adequate controls in place including the security of your data and other personal information.

Disclosure Of Data

Legal Requirements

Force Science Institute, Ltd. may disclose your Personal Data in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to:

  • To comply with a legal obligation
  • To protect and defend the rights or property of Force Science Institute, Ltd.
  • To prevent or investigate possible wrongdoing in connection with the Service
  • To protect the personal safety of users of the Service or the public
  • To protect against legal liability

Security Of Data

The security of your data is important to us, but remember that no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage is 100% secure. While we strive to use commercially acceptable means to protect your Personal Data, we cannot guarantee its absolute security.

Service Providers

We may employ third party companies and individuals to facilitate our Service (“Service Providers”), to provide the Service on our behalf, to perform Service-related services or to assist us in analyzing how our Service is used.

These third parties have access to your Personal Data only to perform these tasks on our behalf and are obligated not to disclose or use it for any other purpose.

Analytics

We may use third-party Service Providers to monitor and analyze the use of our Service.

  • Google AnalyticsGoogle Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. Google uses the data collected to track and monitor the use of our Service. This data is shared with other Google services. Google may use the collected data to contextualize and personalize the ads of its own advertising network.You can opt-out of having made your activity on the Service available to Google Analytics by installing the Google Analytics opt-out browser add-on. The add-on prevents the Google Analytics JavaScript (ga.js, analytics.js, and dc.js) from sharing information with Google Analytics about visits activity.For more information on the privacy practices of Google, please visit the Google Privacy & Terms web page: https://policies.google.com/privacy?hl=en

Links To Other Sites

Our Service may contain links to other sites that are not operated by us. If you click on a third party link, you will be directed to that third party’s site. We strongly advise you to review the Privacy Policy of every site you visit.

We have no control over and assume no responsibility for the content, privacy policies or practices of any third party sites or services.

Children’s Privacy

Our Service does not address anyone under the age of 18 (“Children”).

We do not knowingly collect personally identifiable information from anyone under the age of 18. If you are a parent or guardian and you are aware that your Children has provided us with Personal Data, please contact us. If we become aware that we have collected Personal Data from children without verification of parental consent, we take steps to remove that information from our servers.

Changes To This Privacy Policy

We may update our Privacy Policy from time to time. We will notify you of any changes by posting the new Privacy Policy on this page.

We will let you know via email and/or a prominent notice on our Service, prior to the change becoming effective and update the “effective date” at the top of this Privacy Policy.

You are advised to review this Privacy Policy periodically for any changes. Changes to this Privacy Policy are effective when they are posted on this page.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, please contact us:

  • By email: [email protected]
  • By visiting this page on our website: https://www.forcescience.org/contact
  • By phone number: 866-683-1944
  • By mail: Force Science Institute, Ltd.