HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - In 2017, more than 60,000 officers across the U.S. were assaulted while performing their duties, according to the Uniform Crime Report. Thirty-two percent of those officers were physically attacked.
Now, some Huntsville police officers are going the extra mile and training on their own time in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Officers say there is now a social media push across the U.S. with the hashtag #bjjmakeitmandatory. It’s making the rounds on Instagram, and Huntsville officers say it’s for a good reason.
Officer Jerry King, a 23-year veteran of the Huntsville Police Department, has trained in Brazilian jiu-jitsu for just two years but says he’s seen the benefits of this specific type of training firsthand.
“We’re trying to affect an arrest and control movements and motions and get them in handcuffs, and that’s why JJ is so important,” said King.
It’s clearly a great physical workout as well, but King says the training is vital for every officer and really applies to scenarios they encounter on the streets.
“The precarious situation and those same situations apply in the streets and those go hand-in-hand,” said King.
He is also encouraging other officers to take the training seriously, as if their life depends on it. He’s already recruited several HPD officers to get into the gym here at 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu, including officer Taylor Segall.
“We go hands-on a lot in our job, and me coming here has helped me be more confident and more calm under the pressure,” said Segall.
Not only is this a time commitment for these officers, but it’s also a financial investment.
“It’s pricey but worth it if it saves my life one day," said Segall.
But The owner of 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu is behind these officers, allowing them to train here at a discounted rate.
Right now, there is a nationwide social media push. Police officers across the U.S. are asking that this training become a mandatory requirement for all officers.
Meanwhile, King continues to recruit officers to get in the gym and train in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.