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Security Guard Training: 
Taiho-Jutsu or Combative Measures?

One field of law-enforcement which often has broad and sometimes vague parameters is the security field.  Under the general heading of "security", one may find these examples of various position titles and descriptions: 

Night Watchman (Generally an individual walking a specific route at night, inspecting the facility for intruders; a time clock may be required to be "punched".  The watchman may be required to remain in one area only.  S/he may or may not be armed.)

Security Guard  (Here meaning at a bank or similar facility, this individual may have customer relations responsibilities in addition to providing security at the facility.  S/he may be armed.)

Mall Security (These individuals, sometimes armed, more often not, are responsible for patrol of a mall, as well as the mall's attached areas, e.g., parking lot.)

Executive Security  (This is not limited to the protection of individuals in the private sector, but protecting heads of state or diplomats of various levels.  An example would be the Diplomat Security Service.) 

Courthouse Security  (These positions may be filled by private or government personnel, and responsibilities include security of the building, as well as personnel, in and out of the courtroom proper.  A bailiff falls into this category.)

Monument Security  (While monuments on all levels of government are often guarded by the respective governmental law-enforcement agencies, there are some very specialized personnel within these ranks, e.g., guards of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.) 

The above list is not exhaustive, but it does represent the very broad parameters and wide range of responsibilities the field of "security" covers.  There are other factors to consider as well.  Private security firms do not have a standard, uniform policy from one agency to the next regarding training, age, and/or physical standards.  Some require weapons, others do not, and still others have both armed and unarmed guards on staff.  Some private firms allow for citizen's arrest when appropriate, others allow for restraining and detention only, while others require the guard to do nothing other than to call the police when necessary. 


Some require guards to wear uniforms, others do not.  With the gray areas given in the few examples listed, it seems the question posed in the title of this article would more appropriately answered by viewing the security field as multi-tiered, since the individual employer, whether from the public or private sector, determines the exact responsibilities of any given position.

If we then focus first on the lower tier, i.e., the level of security where it is not deemed necessary to have the guard undergo formal training because of age or weight or any other physical obstacles, coupled with the nature of the position, it would seem that any training in either Taiho-Jutsu or Combative Measures would be an individual's option.  In these cases, given the nature of lower-tiered security, Taiho-Jutsu seems appropriate as opposed to Combative Measures.

The second tier includes governmental security, where the least specialized nature of the assignment is the guide to use.  To elaborate, night security of a Federal building is different than the daytime security of C.I.A. headquarters.  The specialized security of monuments is different than providing personal security and protection to a government official.  It is the opinion of this writer that for those falling into this second tier, where the least amount of specialization is called for, Taiho-Jutsu is certainly adequate to meet the challenges of the position and assignment.

The third tier is that of the most specialized security, e.g., executive protection, guarding a nuclear plant, where the risks are higher and the possible encounters more dangerous and challenging.  While the appropriate agency responsible for the security in these areas have their own programs, it would seem beneficial, given the possible negative consequences of a terrorist act, sabotage, or series of acts perpetrated, that Combative Measures be added to the Taiho-Jutsu training personnel (should) receive.

These criteria are certainly not carved in stone, but are intended to be guidelines for a field of law-enforcement whose parameters are often wide and not clearly defined.

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