SMITHTOWN, NY – NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea has banned and criminalized the safest and most fundamental Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu position: the mount. This has put both police officers and the citizens they protect t risk. Alarmed by how this ban places its officers at legal and physical risk, the Westchester Police Department and the New York State Police have already begun the process of recalling the hundreds of officers they had assigned to NYC to work in conjunction with the NYPD. As a 4th degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, former Pro MMA fighter and an expert in hand-to-hand combat, who has trained Police officers for over two decades, I can’t understand why the Commissioner thought this would serve public safety.
At my Academy in Commack the first position every student learns, whether an adult or a child, is the mount position. It’s the starting point when introducing students to the main principle of the “gentle art” which is: leverage. A smaller person can use this technique against bigger and stronger people without the use of punches or chokes to non-lethally subdue them. The mount position is as old as wrestling where it is referred as a pin. It is regarded by both wrestling coaches and Jiu-Jitsu instructors as a safe controlling technique.
Why then has the Commissioner taken this non-lethal, essential self-defense tool away from NYC’s police officers? I don’t know the answer. But let me ask the Commissioner this question:
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Why would any police officer make an arrest, knowing that if such a basic technique as a pin during a scuffle were used, he or she would be fired and even face criminal charges? I await the Commissioner’s answer.