Garda bosses have asked martial arts experts to train their instructors in the Japanese police fighting system of Taiho Jutsu
Garda bosses have asked martial arts experts to train their instructors in the Japanese police fighting system of Taiho Jutsu.
While gardaí are trained in police self-defence tactics with handholds, grappling and takedown techniques developed from Judo, the force is seeking instructors to change the system to Taiho Jutsu.
Taiho Jutsu was designed for so-called “hands-on” tactics in conjunction with the use of the Japanese keibo, a short police baton.
Thejournal.ie reports that a post on the eTenders page An Garda Síochána has invited experts to apply to train gardaí in the new police self-defence (PSD) system.
“An Garda Síochána invites tenders to tender for the Provision of Instructor Level & Train the Trainer Training in Taiho Jutsu or Equivalent Police Self Defence Safety Training,” it reads.
It is understood that the successful tender will see them train gardaí based in Templemore Garda College who will then train recruits.
Within the system is a subset of skills around the use of batons which will be critical for gardaí who are armed routinely with a metal ASP extendable baton which they carry on their belts.
The training used mostly judo techniques and includes handholds such as the “goose neck” and “hammer lock”. The training also includes handcuffing techniques and use of the baton – it is thought a new programme would join the separate modules together.
The garda course is part of the training programme for recruits with other specific techniques for gardaí who join the Public Order Unit.
According to thejournal.ie, sources have said there is a need to take greater account of the changing face of street violence but also a more formalised, and more detailed, technique for disarming violent suspects.
There is also a desire by garda management, sources added, to reduce the problem of assaults on gardaí during their duties.
Other self-defence techniques used by police around the world include Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and Krav Maga.
In his most recent report the Garda Commissioner said that 1,149 uses of force by gardaí were recorded in July, bringing the total to almost 6,914 for 2022 so far.
The most recent Policing Authority report showed a rise in the use of force involving gardaí, with batons and incapacitant sprays recorded at 118 times. In June that was 104 times.
Pepper spray was used by gardaí 95 times in June with batons used 22 times and a non-lethal firearm used once.
The non-lethal firearm is only used by Armed Support Units or the Emergency Response Unit and not routinely carried by uniform gardaí.
All gardaí must follow a set criteria and protocol in the use of force with it being necessary, legal and proportional to the threat they face.