logo   t

Restraints and Come-alongs in Taiho-Jutsu

by Steven J. Kaplan

In discussing restraint and come-along techniques in Taiho-Jutsu, we are referring to the Taiho-Jutsu course, rather than the more extensive kyu/dan system.  Within these parameters, questions arise from time to time, concerning the usefulness and practicality of these techniques in present day unarmed police tactics.  Some of the issues include: since restraints and come-alongs are some of the more difficult techniques to learn and retain, why learn them?; there is usually another officer available to assist in the restraining, searching, and transporting of the assailant; if the officer has his/her weapon drawn, there is usually compliance.  We need remember that uniformed law enforcement officers are not the only ones employing these techniques.  There are detectives, correction officers, parole and probation officers, private investigators, and security guards, who may find themselves in the position where these techniques need to be utilized while alone, or unarmed.

Prior to addressing these arguments, a brief historical look at these techniques is in order.  Contained within the old, complete Goshin-Jutsu program that was taught at the Kodokan, specialized techniques in the form of kata were taught.  These forms, called Renkoho No Kata, were a series of high percentage techniques, i.e., techniques which were easy to learn and retain, did not require the intensity and time in practice which some of the more advanced techniques found in the more complete program demanded, which were specifically geared toward police, provided safety for the officer, and culminated in the assailant being restrained, or in a position to be moved from one area to another, under full control.

Returning to the arguments presented above, we find that while there may be an element of validity to some, the logic is, overall, flawed. 


Beginning with the last argument and proceeding to the first, we note there are countless cases of assailants who have attempted to flee from an officer, refused to comply with any instructions or commands, and have even attacked an officer with a weapon.  To assume that the mere presence of an officer’s drawn firearm will assure compliance defies reality.

The second argument addresses the presence of another officer in the restraining/come-along process.  While this may often be the case, there are certainly situations where an officer will find him/her self alone.  In these situations, proper training is vital for the control and the assailant, as well as the safety of the officer.  Two officers may (foolishly) rely on muscle alone.  One officer must employ precise and proper technique.

Lastly, we come to the issue of learning these somewhat more complex techniques.  It is indeed true that restraints and come-alongs require more training and practice than many other Taiho-Jutsu techniques.  In any field or profession, there are aspects of the job which require more training than others.  The officer has a responsibility not only to him/herself, but to family, and even the assailant, to insure that the arrest is completed in a safe manner.  If this area of Taiho-Jutsu requires a little more training than others, so be it.  It is simply a requisite of the position.  When discussing this, a basic principle of Taiho-Jutsu must be remembered – one should not attempt a restraint or come-along without first appropriately “softening” the assailant.  Regardless of one’s level of skill in any of the aiki arts, we are dealing with criminal behavior, not dojo etiquette.  It is only after the softening techniques that restraints and come-alongs should be employed.  This again, is the officer’s responsibility, and this is why restraints and come-alongs are, and should remain, a vital and integral part of Taiho-Jutsu training.

Return to Table of Contents