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Marietta PD says officers trained in jiu-jitsu saw major reduction in arrest injuries

The reduction was seen both for officers themselves and in those who were forcefully arrested.
Credit: AP Photo/Mike Groll

MARIETTA, Ga. — The Marietta Police Department says that training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu helped officers see significant reductions in injuries during arrests, both to themselves and those being arrested.

The department released data on Monday showing outcomes over the course of last year for officers with jiu-jitsu training versus those who elected not to take the training.

Jiu-jitsu is a martial art that emphasizes hand-to-hand grappling and technical takedown techniques.

According to a release outlining the data, officers who had been trained in jiu-jitsu were injured themselves during a forceful arrest 48% less often as the officers who hadn't been trained. And those being forcefully arrested were injured 53% less often with officers who had been trained than with those who had not been trained.

According to Marietta Police, the officers trained in jiu-jitsu also resorted to using their taser 27% less frequently than the officers not trained in the martial art.

"The world is always changing, and we believe, as your law enforcement agency, that we must grow and evolve as well," the department said in a release. "Our goal is to train and equip our officers, so they are ready to handle ever changing situations using the minimum amount of force necessary."

They said they bring in an outside expert, Humberto Borges, to conduct the training. Borges runs a jiu-jitsu gym in Cobb County.

Two years ago, Marietta Police began mandating at least one class for new hires, and all officers can attend up to three classes a week paid for by the department.

"Since the program was launched, we have been collecting data regarding use of force issues by officers both in the BJJ program as well as officers that have elected to not participate. We now have real stats documenting how BJJ training impacted both officers and suspects being arrested," the department said. "Officers gained confidence in their ability to detain and place a person in handcuffs resulting in less need to use their Taser. Even better, the officers training in (Brazilian jiu-jitsu) have significantly less injuries to themselves and others when they have to use force to effect an arrest."

The department said it presented the data this week to state Sen. John Albers, who "expressed his desire to explore ways this training be made available state-wide."