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I am looking for a basic but complete Corrections Officer Self Defense/Defensive Tactics Training Program for Line correctional Staff. If possible a "Train The Trainer Program" Self Defense which would allow my Cadre to then teach the Line staff Self Defense.
Colorado use PPCT as the self defnse cource provided in Basic Training. We have certified our instructors via the company to provide this training. Point of contact for further information is
We've currently completed an intensive 5 day 40 hour train the trainer course for “Self-Defense” here in MN. We accomplished this by running this over a course of 5 weeks at 5 separate facilities. A little history on how we got to where we are at in MN. Three years ago our department formed a committee to look at MN corrections “Use of force” programs. At the time MN was using PPCT’s defensive tactic’s program. We decided to split our non-weapons based programs into two areas “Control Tactic’s” and “Self-Defense” For the Self-Defense class we came up with a set of objectives. We then went about designing a program that met those objectives. Sgt. Scott Valleen and myself Lt. Eric Knies have been tasked with becoming Master trainers for the Department. Sgt Valleen has been with the department for the past 12 years, He is a SORT member (Special Operations Response Team) and SOG member (“Special Operations Group), Certified as an instructor in the following programs; PPCT Defensive tactic’s “DT”, PPCT Spontaneous knife defense, PPCT Ground Avoidance Ground Escape , PSS Protective Safety Systems. He serves as his facilities Use of Force lead Instructor, and has been involved in Mixed Martial Arts for the past 8 years. I have been with the department for over 13 years, I also currently serve as our facilities Use of Force lead Instructor, Tactical Team leader for SORT operations for the past 6 years, Firearm Instructor and have been involved in Mixed Martial Arts since 2003 I will try to give a brief overview of what we encountered, and I do have our train the trainer lesson plan, as well as our Self-Defense course offered to Correctional officers here in MN.if you are interested.
When trying to start or implement a Self-Defense program, there should be some answers from your training dept. There is NO magic technique.
1. What is your clientele base?
(What attributes will they have? stamina, strength, cardio, coordination flexibility etc....)
2. How much time will be allotted for this class? Refresher course? Practice?
I’m guessing these answers are pretty similar, here in MN. we have a very wide range of staff with strong attributes and those with weak attributes. We also only offer this course to our staff once a year in an 8-hour training day. So now with this answered you can clearly see that this needs to be a very basic yet effective and retainable course. What should your objectives be? Here is how we broke this down
1. How does my States Self-Defense Laws apply to me? Every student who participates in a Self Defense course should walk away with a basic understanding of what gives me a right to protect myself? and how does the state of my current residence protect me. Note: that not all States are the same.
2. What is Self-Defense?
3. Situational Awareness in a Correctional Setting- ( there needs to be a serious discussion with our staff on how they live their lives in a facility for 8 hours a day, this topic should range from movement, posture, staff office set-up etc.....)
4. What makes up an actual physical assault- We've broken this down to 3 phases
5. How to cover from strikes and learning limited striking, how to fall , how to fall into walls -( falling & crashing into walls is extremely important as our entire world in Corrections is concrete)
6. Basic ground fighting/survival - We stress survival, and basic principles of Jiu-Jitsu (again this needs to be very basic and not complex if we expect any type of retention)
7. Improvised weapons/knife defense (this is a hard subject, everyone wants to learn and practice this. however when answering questions about how much time you'll allow your staff to train and what are there attributes. what is taught on this subject should be VERY BASIC (i.e. movement, distancing.) If you plan on teaching empty hand disarm techniques you might as well be teaching your staff how to catch bullets with they're teeth.
Once we've put together this lesson plan, we then looked at bringing in an outside vendor. Now there are numerous courses / programs out there as you all have seen. You'll see that Most reputable Mixed Martial Artists have put together their own seminar or Self-Defense course. Why? Because Mixed Martial Arts works, it's effective , and you can train someone with average attributes in a limited time. The issue is, everyone has there set courses / program. We brought a vendor in to teach our course. and our lesson plan and not there’s, this way we focus on what we believe is important.
In doing so we selected Dave Menne- Whom both Scott and Myself have studied under for MMA.
Dave Menne runs and owns Northway Sport and Fitness in Maple Grove ,MN. He is a former Division 1 wrestler from Iowa state, Former UFC middleweight world champion, Kuwaiti's war champion, PPCT Instructor certified, has trained hundreds of professional fighters in MMA, given numerous seminars to law enforcement, currently
however the biggest asset here we felt was He’s willing to teach our lesson plan , and not his set course. Hopefully this is of help to you , . If I can be of any help please feel free to contact me.
Best of luck
Lt. Eric Knies
Marc, I have studied various styles and systems. the most complete and realistic is Tony Blauer's SPEAR system. I feel it addresses real issues of conflict that the other systems don't. i have been a PPCT instructor and that system is great and it covers all aspects you should need for a basic system and is economical. It is a great sytem for being in control. the SPEAR system is for when things are out of control.
When training is over poeple rely on what they know and with littel training I have yet to see a recruit come out of training ans slap an arm bar on someone or use an actual technique to handcuff someone unless there is already a dog pile. However with over twenty years of training in combatives I have been aboe to take staff show them basic principles or concepts of the spear system and see them use it immediately with great success.
I have included some links to better judge for your self.
Good luck and let me know what you think.
Cpl. Steve Wakefoose Montgomery County firstname.lastname@example.org
Marc, I recommend the Protective S.A.F.E.T.Y. System (formerly the Police S.A.F.E.T.Y. System): http://www.protectivesafetysystems.com/
I took the full course in the Police Academy in 1996, and took the Corrections version in 2005. Very practical and useful.
Regarding Defensive Tactics: Does anyone have an SOP or advice regarding officer participation in Defensive Tactics. I currently put on the training notification, which I then post for staff the following: If you are medically unable to completely participate in this physical training, please notify me. In addition, staff have to complete a medical waiver at the class that they are or are not (circle one) currently under medical care for any physical reason. They then check the appropriate box: I can fully participate in the Defensive Tactics class or I cannot fully participate in the Defensive Tactics class.
I have advised the instructors that if a staff member cannot fully participate, they are to be excused from class and submit a report or doctor's excuse to me. I recently discovered that staff are allowed to observe, eventhough they have signed that they can fully participate. I feel stuck between "Staff Safety," "Failure to Train," Workman's Compensation," and "Fitness for Duty" issues.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your consideration.
I would be concerned about any staff member that signed off as "I cannot fully participate in the Defensive Tactics class". If they are classified as "full duty" and cannot participate in a controlled training environment, how can they be expected to perform in the field? I think that short of a documented (approved) "light duty" or "modified duty" status, all staff should be able, if not anxious, to fully participate in the class. The undocumented "cannot fully participate" group should be referred for a fit for duty exam. Anything less may endanger your active, full duty staff. Your wall flowers might just be afraid of being embarrassed during the class (we find this with veteran staff), but a supportive approach by your instructors should be able to get most of them on board. Good luck and stay safe!KenLt. Kenneth G. Martin, CPMOcean County Department of CorrectionsSpecial Operations DivisionToms River, NJ "This is the law: The purpose of fighting is to win. There is no possible victory in defense. The sword is more important than the shield, and skill is more important than either. The final weapon is the brain. All else is supplemental." John Steinbeck
Your wall flowers might just be afraid of being embarrassed during the class (we find this with veteran staff), but a supportive approach by your instructors should be able to get most of them on board.
Good luck and stay safe!
Lt. Kenneth G. Martin, CPM
Ocean County Department of Corrections
Special Operations Division
Toms River, NJ
"This is the law: The purpose of fighting is to win. There is no possible victory in defense. The sword is more important than the shield, and skill is more important than either. The final weapon is the brain. All else is supplemental." John Steinbeck
Once excused from class, they would be referred re: fitness of duty.
Thanks for your response!!
The Missouri Department of Corrections has the following policy requirements for Correctional Officers:
Performance levels for basic custody hard skills training at the institution are:
Defensive Tactics Recertification
I would recommend checking out Bruce Chapman. His program has kind of a touchy feeley name, but , it works. We use it in Alaska for Juvenile Detention Centers and it is used by several adult correctional facilities throughout CONUS. His system is called "Handle With Care", http://www.handlewithcare.com/. He has a Training of Trainers program, and it goes from basic to advanced.
I can honestly say this beat the hell out of two systems we used here hands down and it is cost effecient.
Steve, What information do you have concerning PPCT? Went through some very vague training today on this....it was hurried training due to our lack of staff at our facility....Also, what more information do you have on this program you talk of? Thank you!
Look at LOCKUP for a corrections only focus. SPEAR is one of the best for behavior, psychologicval and emotional elements of self defense. Controlled Force has 5 basic points that can be used to morph into over 240 variations. Controlled force uses very simply gross motor behaviors which if you fight you will appreciate for youer less than atheletic staff. We took all three and developed our own, now in its 2nd year. PPCT is another option but Iwe do not use it anymore.
We have handled 2 ways.
I spoke with our master Instructors and this is what they recommended.
First, we teach them everything that can be taught regardless of their physical condition.
Some facilities will require them to report to HR and they could be reassigned to another position. They may also request a note from a physician indicating when they can return to duty and then ask them to complete the portion of the class they missed.
Is anyone using Krav maga as part of their Self defense training?