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The Importance of Taiho-Jutsu for Investigators

by Steven J. Kaplan

The content of this article, if one were to judge merely by the title, seems simplistic. Past articles have explored how Taiho-Jutsu is important and useful for law-enforcement officers, security officers, S.W.A.T. personnel, and military police. It seems logical that Taiho-Jutsu would then be important for investigators, public and/or private. Yet, beneath the surface, Taiho-Jutsu's importance may be greater than just an, "of course!"

Investigators are often police officers who became detectives, or may work for a district attorney's office, a branch of the military, or one of many intelligence agencies. When these individuals began their careers, they had to go through defensive tactics training of some sort. It was one requirement amongst many other physical conditioning requirements they had to meet. It is safe to say that if they passed the course, they were in fact in good shape. Time does pass, however, and people naturally age. With age, reflexes slow down. Some investigators do not maintain the ideal physical state they were in at the start of their careers. Additionally, they may experience some ailments, e.g., arthritis of hands, limbs, hips, or back, or muscle or nerve pain in parts of the body. If these conditions befall a patrol officer or S.W.A.T. member, the problems would be more glaring. As investigators, the physicality of the job is different than a patrol officer, and s/he may be able to continue in the investigative position.

Further, there is the issue of practice and use. The defensive tactics which were taught at the start of their career may be rarely if ever used as an investigator. Therefore, they may be forgotten, since forgetting takes place in the absence of reinforcement. When this is coupled with a possible decline in physical condition, or the reality of the early techniques being either inadequate or too complex (often bordering on combative measures rather than police tactics), the potential problems are evident. How does this show the importance of Taiho-Jutsu for investigators?


Given the reality of either inadequate or overly complex techniques, coupled with the natural slowing down processes of aging, how is the investigator supposed to rely on his/her unarmed defense skills rather than rely on a weapon? The answer is they cannot, especially when the techniques have not been used or practiced in many years. It is here we see the importance of Taiho-Jutsu for the investigator. We need keep in mind the underlying philosophy in the makeup of the Taiho-Jutsu course and its techniques, i.e., they were the "high-percentage" techniques which were easy to learn, easy to use, easy to retain, and able to be utilized with a minimal amount of practice. These are the basic techniques which the investigator, even one out of shape or with minor ailments, may continue to use as s/he ages, and progresses in his/her career. 

This approach is not limited to the investigators cited earlier in this article. There is also the private investigator, who may not have undergone the training an officer initially experienced, or may enter the field at an older age. It is foolish for the investigator, government or private, to think s/he can rely on a weapon or backup, or in the case of a private investigator, think s/he will simply not place him/herself in a situation where physical altercations could take place. The nature of investigative work by definition does in fact put one in a position where physical altercations could take place, and unarmed techniques have to be relied upon. To be unprepared in these situations is not only foolish, but could be life-threatening. It is for all these reasons that Taiho-Jutsu is all-important for investigators from all walks of life.

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