Well, isn’t this disturbing – and yet possibly not. We’ve been running a poll on the homepage of Officer.com. The question is: How often do you train in Defensive Tactics? As of today we’ve gotten 100 answers and while that’s not a significant portion of the 715K+ law enforcement professionals in the United States, it’s a decent sampling AND it’s that perfect “100” number. It makes it easy to look at percentages.
The answer choices to that question are (it’s still up so go cast your vote):
- 2 or more times per week (8%)
- Once a week (3%)
- A couple times per month (8%)
- When the agency schedules it (44%)
- Rarely if ever (37%)
Yep, I put the percentage answers for each option in and what concerns me is that (doing the math) 81% (or 81 out of the 100 that answered) either aren’t doing much Defensive Tactics training OR they’re ONLY doing it when their agency schedules it. In other words, they’re not being proactive at all to train in skills which may save their life. Anyone else see a problem with this?
And yes, I know… before the flood of comments come in, I’m not being a hypocrite. I don’t even actively work the street anymore (although I’m still a sworn officer) and I make it a point to train regularly. Fitness matters. Defensive skills matter. Skills with all of the tools on our gunbelts matter. It’s YOUR life on the line. Why would you not invest time in that which might matter most?
Now, like I said, this is a very small sampling and so my hope is that the numbers are skewed because it’s such a small sample. If so, then that’ll be demonstrated as more votes come in. If not… well… those of you who voted that you train defensive tactics a couple times per month (or more), go invite your buddies to all participate. Build up the involvement. Create an environment where defensive tactics training becomes enjoyable and open. It’s a place where tactics are learned and refined; ideas get shared and new (often better) ways of doing things get developed. Some of the best defensive tactics I’ve ever seen were developed by a couple of DT instructors standing around with some time on their hands going back and forth with, “Hey, what do you do if…?”
It’s up to each of us to insure that our skills are as refined as tweaked as we can keep them. There ARE a limited number of hours in each day and we DO have a lot of other items demanding our time. But remember this – because it is both sad and true – the graveyard is full of people who didn’t have time to __________. Fill in the blank: exercise, train, learn, etc. None of us ever wants to become one of them. Make the time to do the things that will help keep you alive on the streets.