Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Stay Sharp – Edged Weapons Still a Threat

Dave Grossi, Law Officer's Tactics columnist

It’s been over two decades since Calibre Press, Inc. released their award-winning video “Surviving Edged Weapons.” That training video and the concepts and tactics of edged weapon defense, perhaps more than anything else, revolutionized the officer safety skills required to keep cops safe when dealing with likely knife threats. The “21-foot drill” developed by retired Salt Lake City, Utah Police Lieutenant Dennis Tueller has become a staple of edged weapon defense.

Yet, edged weapons continue to be a significant danger to today’s street cops. A study released a few years ago by the FBI reported that “edged weapons are the second leading cause of homicides in the U.S. behind handguns.” In fact, suspects continue to kill more people with knives and other edged weapons than with rifles and shotguns combined. Cops are still dying at the hands of edged weapon assailants.

Earlier this month, New Castle County, Del., Police Sergeant Joe Szczerba, age 44, an 18-year veteran, was fatally stabbed while fighting with a suspect he was trying to arrest for disorderly conduct. Details regarding the incident are still sketchy, and this article isn’t going to address the tactics surrounding that officer’s arrest attempts. But, this piece is prompted in part by that death and the fact that, in my opinion, many trainers and agencies have let their edged weapon defense training lapse over the years because of increased emphasis on active shooter training, WMD issues and other matters.

We all know training time is limited, but hopefully EW threats and the tactics needed to counter them have not fallen too far by the way side.

Dedicated to the Memory of New Castle County, Del., Police Sergeant Joe Szczerba. 


Among the many courses which CTTA provides worldwide is the Rapid Integrated Survival Kombat System. This three level course is offered through CTTA’s Montreal training facility as well as being is delivered to larger training groups in the United States on a regular basis.

 Hundreds of  law enforcement professionals have been trained in the RISK Defensive Tactics System.
 Each level of the RISK Defensive Tactics course is 16 hours and there are now seven instructors in the USA who have been certified by CTTA Master Instructors. Upon the successful completion of the course, CTTA will issue a certificate to each participant.

The RISK System is a highly effective combat system specifically developed for law enforcement and security professionals. Based on human anatomy and biomechanics, its effectiveness is due to the simplicity of both instinctive as well as learned techniques.

 The objective of the R.I.S.K. Defensive Tactics System is to train the participant in the various aspects of physical confrontation so that he can better defend himself in dealing with different types of aggressors, who may be armed or unarmed, and restrain an uncooperative individual while performing an arrest.
 This system prides itself in the effective use of recognized “Use of Force Continuums” in order to avoid unnecessary liability issues for both the officer and the department alike.

 Some of the skills which participants will acquire are the following:

• Defense against strikes
• Efficient striking techniques
• Restraint techniques
• Ground control and handcuffing
• Ground defense
• Defense against edged weapons
• Handgun and long gun disarming
• Intervention in confined areas

 Training courses can be customized according to specific needs.

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