(Story via Corpus Christi Caller Times)
The cadets’ journey
Before cadets are accepted into the Corpus Christi Police Academy they are put through intensive testing. Of the nearly 700 applicants, only 21 were selected to the 76th police academy. The Caller-Times will follow the cadets’ training process as they compete with one another to be a certified peace officer.
Not one Corpus Christi Police Academy cadet was left standing Thursday afternoon.
Cadets of the 76th police academy tossed one another into gym mats during defensive tactics training. Their teacher for the four-hour session, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu instructor Aurelio Gallegos Jr., has helped trained the past 10 academies, he said.
“The way you train is the way you fight,” Gallegos told the class of 20 cadets.
Gallegos emphasized to cadets: close the distance between yourself and the other person. Keep your head down. Stop apologizing to each other. Train at 100 percent.
Tactics were broken down into sections to give cadets the opportunity to learn and perform each move.
“He tailors it to law enforcement. He knows we have certain liabilities we must be aware of,” defensive tactics instructor Manny Fonseca said. “They learn how to apply it on the streets and do it in a safe manner.”
The goal of the session was to not only defend themselves and others, but to take a suspect into custody on the ground, Fonseca said.
Gallegos showed cadets how to safely take a person down and also taught them how to fall without hurting themselves.
He walked around the room showing cadets, who were broken up in pairs, how to properly execute each move on their partner, who portrayed a suspect. He had them yell at their partner to “stop resisting,” like they would on patrol.
“We learn a lot of useful stuff,” said cadet Ryan Timm, of New York. “We’ve got basics down like this. It will be incredibly important.”
Gallegos believes the training will help reduce the number of injuries and lawsuits alleging use of excessive force. He also commended the police department for using Jiu-jitsu to train cadets, as it has become a more popular style of defense and fighting on the streets, he said.
(Find the full article at www.caller.com)
Andy Gonzalez is a coach at Aces Jiu Jitsu Club. He has earned his purple belt under Professor Mikal Abdullah. Follow Andy on Twitter at @GoGoGonzilla
Andy lives in Austin, Texas with his wife Amanda and their 3 beautiful children. Andy is also the father of a Marine who is honorably serving in the United States Marine Corps.