Why I Wish I Had Learned Defence Lab When I was a Cop!
I remember it like it was yesterday. The offender who was being arrested managed to get his mouth by my forearm and I couldnt see what was going on as I was trying to pry the offenders hands behind his back. At that time I felt it.
It started to feel like a warm sensation at first, but within a split second that warming increased as did the pressure I felt on my arm and then pain, an odd pain to be honest I had nothing to really compare it with and Ill be honest I didn’t recognise what was going on.
In a Police Career that saw me punched, head butted, kicked and stamped on I had always managed to avoid being bitten, yet this one night someone managed to achieve what others had tried so often but failed miserably to do.
I pulled my arm back quickly and as I did the I felt my skin rip. I pulled it back and it was like that scene in Flash Gordon where Flash sticks his arm into the tree Stump with the poisonous creature. I looked down at my arm and assessed the damage- I had been bitten by another human being!
The damage wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be and after gaining control of the suspect I had time to really look at the injury and it was to hospital I went.
A few months later I was with Andy Norman and showed him what had happened and how it had happened. Within seconds he had Paul Strauther (one of DL’s best) onto the floor and replicating the situation. Sure enough within a minute Andy Norman had shown me a technique that would have prevented my arm from being bitten that night!
It shouldn’t have been surprised me after all I had been exposed to Andy Norman’s training for some years now via magazines and videos, he seems to have a self defence solution to everything. Sadly due to competing demands on my time I had never trained Defence Lab until that night where Andy Showed me the technique, I was hooked from that day!
Over a Decade of The Concrete Arena
It is often referred to as the concrete arena, however in my experience this is certainly not the case. I have defended myself in bars, bedrooms, kitchens, cars, bathrooms, nightclubs, doorways, cells and even a cinema once. I can tell you this, the human body doesn’t bounce very well off any of these.
Any cop, in any corner of the planet will be able to tell you a vast collection of stories that involve them fighting incredible odds. Taking on drug induced and alcohol fuelled maniacs that wanted to beat them to a pulp. The cops almost always prevail and get through their shift but after a few years the injuries always star to appear. I have lost count of the number of cops I know with injuries as a result of the ‘job’, some were serious like broken bones, broken jaws and in certain circumstances serious injury.
The video below is the incident where by a female UK police officer was badly assaulted and you need to watch it to see what I mean.
Getting Home To Your Family
The goal of any cop is to get home safe to their family and sometimes this is hard to do. Bad guys see cops not as human but as a uniform, an object and the opposition! Often all there is between freedom and jail is a single cop! The video above is a classic example of this situation and it is only now that I look back and ask myself “is there a better way of doing things?”
I found Defence Lab after I finished being a cop, however that doesnt stop me from seeing just why every cop could benefit from Defence Lab training and I’m going to try and explain why:
A Lab Not A Class
Defence Lab is built for purpose,it is not a traditional martial art that has been modified. No,DL was built for self defence and this alone, therefore its techniques are not sport based, they are designed for self defence. However the learning environment is what sets it apart from other martial arts. Whilst they might be called classes, the actual term is ‘Lab’. Therefore the learning environment is akin to a laboratory- the students bring their experiences in and this is a key aspect of learning.
Another key component is the individuality of the training, there is no “I cant do that” instead there is more of a “you must learn how to survive” training mentality. It starts from day one when you are surrounded by 5 pad holders and feel shots coming down on you, whilst you might not have a clue what to do at first, very quickly you have to find a solution (with the help of DL training) to the situation. There is no “put your hand here, then grab this, then do that”. This training is very much alive, it is responsive because basically if you cant get up or protect yourself from 5 pad holders you know that you wont do it in real life. It is this sobering thought that if you were on duty alone and surrounded that you wouldn’t make it home to your family.
This is of course the worst case scenario but its a very possible one, and if you aren’t training from day one for the worst then perhaps your training is not realistic. Defence Lab really shows your vulnerability to yourself from day one in a manner which is both safe and fun to train. This is the genius behind Defence Lab!
The Use of the Hammers and The Cover
Most people will be familiar with the hammer fist strike and the head cover position that people have associated with DL. We know it though as a collection of shapes we make with the hands and arms to give both a protective base and the ability to return fire. This one development by Andy Norman gives any person regardless of their size or strength the ability to stay alive, even in the face of amazing and overwhelming odds.
The issue though is that people see a few minutes of video clips and then think they can do the same, they think they know it all, but really how could you know a technique from a few seconds of video. This results in a lot of imitation but just like copied products they never stand up to scrutiny- to learn exactly how to do what DL do you have to learn from ‘you guessed it’ DL!
The same goes for the Hammer fist strikes, sure many martial arts use them, however Defence Lab has taken this to a new level and created a system of self defence that makes even the smallest person able to defend themselves and deliver explosive power when the person needs it.
Now I didn’t have access to DL when I was a cop but I know that due to its growth many cops are coming to Defence Lab and its easy to see why. It is taking the self defence skills of cops to the next level, it is giving them solutions to the worst case scenarios because Defence Lab instructors are experts in self defence and Defence Lab itself is a system of training that really works!!!
I wish I had Defence Lab training when I was a cop, maybe I wouldn’t have been bitten that night and perhaps other officers might fair a little better with these skills behind them.