7:00 P.M. Pacific Time,  October 3, 2020, following the lead of our brothers to the North, Canada, Nanka Yudanshakai a Southern California Judo organization and an affiliate of the United States Judo Federation held their history making second meeting on Zoom with 20 participants from around the United States, Canada, and Japan. The first meeting held this past July was to decide on the committee chairperson and the direction it was going to take in devising a “use of force system” that would become a part of a use of force training program specifically for judo students who are law enforcement officers around Southern California and the rest of the country looking to improve defensive tactics skills as well as for those who have no martial arts experience.

While other countries like Canada, Japan, Korea, Switzerland just to name a few have Police judo committees this is the first Police Judo Committee in the United States to take on the task of officially helping police to look at use of force. In Japan it has long been used by their police force as a viable means of controlling suspects. There are several reasons why it is felt that judo best fits this task. For one, judo has both standing as well as ground fighting skills, and striking techniques.

The standing techniques are used to transition uncooperative suspects to the ground where they can be controlled and handcuffed. On the ground, judo offers not only pinning techniques but arm bars and strangulation techniques that when properly trained, are quite safe contrary to popular belief. None the less, the most important aspect of judo is found in its practice of “randori” or free flowing practice.

In randori, both combatants grapple each other, as both act as aggressor and defender at the same time applying their selected cadre of techniques to overcome the opponent. What looks like a melee  to most is actually physiologically and psychologically preparing the combatants to deal with the stress they would feel in a real situation when meeting resistance.

Other issues that will be discussed in the future of this Nanka Police Judo Committee include:

  1. Ground control
  2. Weapon retention
  3. Take downs
  4. Striking techniques,
  5. Medical evaluation of techniques
  6. Research Information on use of force.

More issues are sure to arise as this fledgling committee is off to  a roaring start. Participating in the discussion were officers and experts from the east coast, Canada, and Japan as well as right here in Southern California. In on the gathering were a law professor/community advocate, two doctors, a police chief, a lieutenant, several use of force instructors as well as a use of force specialist. Keith Chu, President and Jerry Hazemoto, Executive Vice President of Nanka also attended the Zoom meeting.