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The Case For Taiho-Jutsu For Bounty Hunters

From 1958 to 1961, one of the westerns the senior author watched consistently was Wanted: Dead or Alive.  Each week, Josh Randall (played by Steve McQueen) tracked down a wanted man, claimed the reward, and rode off to his next targeted victim.  He was no lawman, no soldier, just a guy who took it upon himself to track down wanted bad guys.  Over the years, there have certainly been some changes made in this realm, but there are remaining problems as well.

Bounty Hunters are still called Bounty Hunters, but are sometimes referred to as bail recovery agents. The title matters little; the nature of the work is the same.  The Bounty Hunter tracks an individual who, after having had an agency post his/her bail, did not return to court when s/he was supposed to.  In this situation, an individual or individuals, under agreement with the agency, seeks out the one who skipped, and under a warrant, arrests that person returning him/her to jail to await his/her court appearance.

The problem mentioned above is that in most states, there are often no laws or extremely wide parameters which govern how a Bounty Hunter can go about securing the arrest.  Unlike police, the Bounty Hunter may enter private property without a warrant, kick doors in, and if licensed, can do all this with firearms.  Over the years, many stories have come to light where the force used was excessive to property and people, behaviors to those who were around the wanted individual bullying and intimidating, and there have been cases where kidnapping charges have been filed against Bounty Hunters.  While some states now have laws outlining parameters, it has done little to change the basic freedom the Bounty Hunter has enjoyed.  This is not to imply that every Bounty Hunter is an out-of-control madman who abuses his/her position.  It does point out, however, that the more loose and lax the laws are regarding their actions, the greater the probability for problems to occur.


Many years ago, a series of video tapes on Bounty Hunter arresting techniques came out which were popular and widely sold.  The techniques on these videos were a combination of street fighting and combative measures.  At about that same time, a television exposé taken with hidden cameras aired, which showed the excesses spoken of above.  Herein lies the foundation for the arguments recommending taiho-jutsu for Bounty Hunters.

Federal agencies generally send law enforcement to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center for training, with the length of time dependent upon the nature of the law-enforcement position.  State, county, and local law-enforcement have their respective training academies.  With all, there are very definite parameters and oversights.  Not so the case with Bounty Hunters.  There are no training requirements in arresting techniques, and no oversight from trainers.  While there are certainly a great many programs in police tactics and combative measures for Bounty Hunters to choose if they were so inclined, the system which would provide safety to the Bounty Hunter as well as the one being arrested would be taiho-jutsu.  Additionally, there would be uniformity of training, and the techniques themselves are among the most humane of the many programs available.

Sadly, the odds of this materializing are next to zero.  Between politics, apathy, and ignorance of the situation, it would be difficult enough even for training to be mandated, much less for uniform taiho-jutsu training.  Still, given the nature of the Bounty Hunter’s work, it is a nice goal to strive for.

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