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Using A Traditional Art to Solve a Modern Problem Involving The Use of Force

Jan 27, 2022

By Terry L. Wilson

In August 2021, HBO’s Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel aired a segment titled “Force for Change.” The 20-minute-long portion of the monthly newsmagazine dealt with the search for a solution to the problem of excessive force being applied during arrest-and-control procedures.

HBO’s report eventually took viewers to an MMA cage to present an unlikely solution that could enable the police to get a better grip on the problem using a traditional art from Japan that came to America via Brazil: jiu-jitsu. As all martial artists know by now, the grappling system teaches unique methods for controlling an opponent using only the minimum amount of force.

The cameras wisely focused on Damon Gilbert, a 25-year veteran of the Oakland (California) Police Department. As an eighth degree black belt in kajukenbo and a certified Gracie Survival Tactics instructor, the Black Belt Hall of Famer was just the martial artist to provide analysis and commentary

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