Rener Gracie announced last week that he had devised a plan for national police reform and was going to unveil it on social media in the hopes that it would be taken on board by the powers that be. He has decades of experience teaching law enforcement and frequently breaks down footage of excessive use of force, explaining how it could’ve gone better. This puts him in a unique position to be able to offer some advice on how to move forward as a nation, starting with the fact that many states only mandate four hours of hand-to-hand training every year.
Rener beleives that: “Police training in this country is an absolute disaster. Of the four-hour mandates, it’s not all hand-to-hand combat. Some time is spent on the use of force policy, suspect searches, and restraint devices… State mandates are not going to solve this problem that has our country in flames right now.”
He explains in the presentation that he has approached police chiefs and found that many simply have no plan to improve officer training. It turns out that leaders like Police Chief Dave Ogden in Florida are few and far between indeed. Rener Gracie then started to set out a formal plan for police reform that would partner police departments with local BJJ academies thanks to funding from the city and apparently, several Chiefs are already getting on board with the plan.
“They use excessive force when they probably didn’t need to because of their limited training. Not only do officers get beat up because they don’t have the training, even if it’s justifiable the question is ‘is it necessary.’ They’re over-reliant on their tools because they have no hands-on skills.”
Rener then got some inspiration on how to encourage participation and proficiency in hand-to-hand combat from an existing system in place for officers. It turns out that officers already have a hierarchical system for proficiency in marksmanship and also receive pay bonuses and points towards promotion as a result of it. They earn badges that signify how skilled they are and they’re often a source of pride for the officers who’ve achieved them. This is how Rener wants law enforcement to look at Jiu-Jitsu.
He proposes a mandatory minimum of one hour training per week, with pay incentives placed upon completion of 100, 200, 300, and 400 hours of training. After all, there are already plenty of news stories of experienced grapplers being able to restrain and control criminals until the police arrive, so why not give the police that power as well?
Rener Gracie also explains that the funding for this program already exists in the form of several budget allocations that every force has and could be made available if they choose. Not just a “Police Training Budget”, but also an “Officer Wellness Budget”, a “Risk Mitigation Budget”, and a “Community Relations Budget” could all be used to help contribute towards this plan for police reform.
“There is incredible precedent when it comes to institutions both federal, state, and local partnering with private business to accomplish a unified objective. This is very normal. We’re talking about gym membership. This is just plugging into that precedent.”
The full ninety minute presentation was uploaded to the official Gracie Breakdown YouTube channel and can be seen below: