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Taiho-Jutsu and Campus Law-Enforcement

It has been observed that many college and university campuses are cities unto themselves. They have housing, places to eat and engage in all manners of leisure activities, and of course, opportunities for great learning. One would think that this microcosm of a city would find all the problems typically found in cities. This is not necessarily the case. It is true that there is serious crime which rears its ugly head on occasion, particularly on campuses with very large student populations. However, the focus here is on the type of incidents which are the normal encounters for campus law-enforcement officers. It is interesting to note that there is no uniform background in terms of training for this position. Some schools have contracts with State, County, or local police departments, and the officers have gone through the training these agencies provide. Other campuses have private security officers from private security firms. Still other colleges and universities hire their own personnel. The latter two may or may not provide any police tactics training.

There are two main considerations when examining the role of campus police (note-- some campuses refer to campus police as campus security). One is the actual physical encounters an officer may confront. The other is the age and total environment of the average offender. A kick is a kick and a punch is a punch regardless of the age of the assailant and his/her milieu. However, based on interviews with heads of different campus law-enforcement departments, there are fewer violent encounters than in the non-campus environment, and many more situations which require restraint and/or come-alongs than more harsh techniques.


Often, alcohol or drug intoxicants are the cause of the problems. Given this setting, why would Taiho-Jutsu be a better suited form of officer defense than a non-Taiho-Jutsu system of police tactics?

To begin with, one of the purposes of Taiho-Jutsu is not just to insure officer safety, but the safety of the assailant. While Taiho-Jutsu has appropriate responses to violent attacks, those which are not, or those incidents involving a student(s) who has had one beer too many does not warrant an aggressive response which may injure the individual beyond the scope of the offending behavior. While this is also true in non-campus settings, given the average age of the student on campus, a non-aggressive technique may work best for the type of situation more frequently encountered by officers. As an example, an incident on campus made national headlines recently. A disruptive student at a large meeting was on the receiving end of an officer's taser. His words, just prior to the taser's firing, were, "Don't tase me bro". Since the student repeatedly failed to comply with commands to cease his disrespectful and disruptive behavior and sit down or leave, the officer was judged to have been in the right in his decision. It would seem, however, that an appropriate come-along would have accomplished the same thing, without the national headlines and with a more positive image of police response projected. Many programs of police tactics simply do not offer the variety of restraints and come-alongs found in Taiho-Jutsu. It is for this reason primarily that Taiho-Jutsu seems to be the best suited method of police defense for college and university officers and guards.

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