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A Tip or Two on Searching

The searching techniques as taught in the taiho-jutsu course are second to none.  Not only do they afford the “searcher” the opportunity to carefully and adequately search the “searchee”, but allow the search to be done with officer safety as a prime directive.  There is one method used which has been modified from the original method taught as part of the S.A.C. program in Japan .  This method is the stereotypical, “up against the wall” search.

One problem arises when the suspect is initially instructed to place his/her hands on the wall.  Many times, the officer instructs the suspect to keep his/her legs apart; under the erroneous assumption this makes the suspect less likely or able to effect an escape.  When instructing a suspect to place hands on the wall, the key to greater officer safety and prisoner control is to have the suspect begin by standing far from the wall.  The further away the suspect is from the wall, the more difficult it will be for any attempt to escape or strike once the hands are placed in proper position.

It is more important for the hands, not the legs, to be kept apart from each other.  When this is coupled with the officer’s leg/foot in proper position at the suspect’s leg and foot, any attempt to escape can be met with a swift takedown.


The combination of the body being far away from the wall, with only the hands far apart on the wall for any balance affords the officer maximum safety.

The second tip could really be considered step one of the search.  As originally taught, the same principle regarding distance from the wall applies.  However, rather than have the suspect face the wall, the officer has the suspect with his/her back to the wall.  Bending over backwards, the suspect is instructed to place arms overhead, and then bending the wrists back, lean onto the wall.  Once the suspect’s hands are on the wall, far apart from each other, with the body away from the wall, there is little that can be done to attempt an escape without the suspect being taken down.  Remember to keep foot and leg in proper place.

For clarification purposes, the reason this technique was modified, was because it was felt that most Americans did not have the flexibility to bend over backward and assume the position.

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