Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Defensive Tactics Week

First things first.... OWWWWW... DT hurts! Secondly, I never imagined that I could have my butt kicked so many times over and still have the urge to get back up for another beating. Also, this week they had no oatmeal (yeah, real disappointing) but actually started to feed us edible "eggs" and other breakfast foods. I even had a couple of warm meals as I figured a chicken breast couldn't be too bad. Of course, I was wrong and after I got done choking the meals down my stomach started to pay the price. Yum!

As I stated last week A Squad had Defensive Tactics all week (which means B Squad was in Firearms, shoveling snow). Our daily schedule looked like this:

Monday 01/26/09 - Friday 01/30/09
0700-0800 Breakfast
0800-1150 Defensive Tactics
1200-1300 Lunch
1300-1650 Defensive Tactics
1700-1800 Dinner

Monday morning we started things off with learning proper fighting techniques starting with simple blocking and movie up to punches and kicks. We then, after learning every technique, did what would become our daily warm up which involved punching, kicking, blocking, and falling to the ground. A few moans and groans later we were on our way to learning unarmed take downs and the ever-so-popular arm bars. Then, near the end of the day we all had to demonstrate (with full force) how to properly distract an opponent with a knee to the common peroneal (the nerve in the outside of your leg, the one you hit walking into a table) - if you failed to hit your partner with satisfying results, you all got to go again. I got hit twice and for a couple of days couldn't quite walk straight. Me and my buddy Joe were partners for most of the week, which was a relief because he was a jail officer for two and a half years; he seems to have an extensive background when it comes to taking people down. Trust me. I "benefited" from learning from his experience.

Tuesday we were to report with our duty belts on to start our hand cuffing right before lunch. We learned a few different styles of hand cuffing such as PPCT, Koga, and Whitesell. Each style teaches the officer a different way to handle an individual you want to cuff whether they are cooperative or not, and it's safe to say each style has it's perks. After lunch we learned a couple more styles for handcuffing and got out a bit early. B Squad had been complaining all week about how bad Defensive Tactics was but truthfully we really liked it. Well, for the most part.

Wednesday morning we finished up our hand cuffing techniques and then had to perform them all for the instructor's approval. In the afternoon we started focusing more on actual fighting than simple take downs. We practiced sparring from the standing position and then changed gears when we went to ground fighting. I had never had any real ground fighting experience (except in a couple of incidents as a Cadet) as I had helped coach regular boxing for the PD so I definitely enjoyed it. We focused primarily on the ways to get off the ground should we happen to be the ones on our backs. Near the end of the day we combined our take down techniques into our fighting skills, which ended with a few of us getting shoulders torqued the wrong way. Oh well, guess its better to learn this way than on the street.

Thursday morning came around a bit rougher than usual. We were all starting to get sore but none of us were complaining like B Squad was (Scott removed, seeing as whoever his partners were they definitely didn't hold back). In the morning we focused on impact weapons and would eventually start attacking each other... I earned a few bruises and cuts from this one, but nothing too bad. Even today I still have two good sized bruises on my right arm but it's nothing that kept me from moving around. The afternoon, however, was a bit more dreaded. We ended the day with a full effort ground fighting drill in which you would fight your opponent for three minutes using any technique you knew, learned here or not, in an attempt to overcome the other person. Once a person would tap out into submission you'd restart the fight... how lovely! After the first three minute session, which doesn't seem like a lot until your actually fighting full force, you move immediately on to the next person. I fought Joe first who mostly had the upper hand; he got me into a couple of pretty good choke holds. It's a good thing he was paying attention because I was too stubborn to tap out. My next two matches were great, pretty evenly matched and I ended up having a lot of fun with them. My last match, however, I ended up over turning my body when flipping my partner and he took my head to the ground with him - for the entire weekend I couldn't really move my neck or right arm, but all seems to be fine now. When I got back to my room from dinner Scott was already in bed. He was starting to get sick which, as of this week, spread to me and Keith.

Friday was pretty laid back. In the morning we reported to DT in full duty uniform and performed all of the take down and hand cuffing techniques we had learned during the week. After wrestling around a bit we were given some time to shower and study for our exam before lunch. We took our exam, which I got a 94% because I misspelled a few of the pressure points (how lame) but I didn't care at that point! I was focused on getting out at 1520 like B Squad did. However, come 1700 we were finally getting out... none of us were happy, but I guess we can't really complain as we weren't promised to get out early.

Next week is EVOC (Emergency Vehicle Operation Course) but unfortunately me and Keith have been dying from unknown disease Scott brought us. Last night we were actually in bed at 1730, hence why I didn't update. Thankfully, after a day in the snow with EVOC I'm feeling a bit better. See you next week!