I have been a police officer for the New York Police Department for about 7 years and I have been training with the Krav Maga Institute NYC for approximately one year.
As a police officer in the NYPD working in some of the toughest neighborhoods in Brooklyn, I needed high quality self defense training in order to stay safe and do my job effectively. With all the Self Defense Classes NYC has to offer, I spent a long time searching for the right martial art or self defense system. I needed something practical that would help me to continue meeting the increasing demands of my job. As a police officer I need to always be prepared and act quickly. This requires me to stay alert, fit, and responsible at all times and this institute and training meets those needs.
I discovered the Krav Maga Institute NYC through an article in TIME magazine. It seemed like a great fit since I wanted something that was going to be easy to learn and didn’t require years and years of training before I learned anything worthwhile. That was essential, as with my irregular schedule, it’s sometimes hard to make it to training as much as I would like. After reading the article, I signed up for a one off introduction class with them that covered some of the foundations of the system. It helped me understand what makes Krav Maga so different. It has been an adventure full of challenges, achievements and quite a few bruises ever since!
I have learned how basic self defense techniques and awareness can make a difference between being able to take care of myself and others confidently and effectively and failing to do so altogether. As an NYPD officer, it is really important to make sure that my response is quick, proportionate, effective and appropriate in the circumstances. You need to have good judgment and training in the right skills to respond quickly and effectively. If you think about it, when you are in a position of responsibility as an NYPD officer, you have a duty to the public and your colleagues as well as to yourself. It is not an easy job.
Krav Maga has provided me with the right training in several ways. Firstly, it has shown me the importance of awareness, self-discipline and control when dealing with an aggressor and what to look for when in a confrontational situation. The right training can, when carrying out my job, make a very big difference. I have to know what to do and when to do it. When I am faced with a confrontation and the adrenaline is pumping, I have to make quick decisions under pressure. The wrong decision can cost someone their life or cause serious injury, so I have to be confident I am doing the right thing. This requires the highest quality training under stress or pressure drills.
I now use the tactics and techniques I learn in class every day in real life situations. For instance, I have used the lessons I’ve learned in classes to defuse and subdue subjects when it’s too late to manage the situation with words. A few real life examples: I recall an event where a belligerent and drunk individual challenged me tried to punch my partner. This situation could have ended badly. Thankfully, I was able to control the subject and prevent the attack or any injuries to all parties involved using skills I had practiced in class. On another occasion, an aggressive individual under arrest decided to not follow instructions and make threats to the officers with me. Thanks to the techniques I learned in class from a guard position, nobody sustained any injuries when controlling the individual and the prisoner was subdued with the least force needed. For all law enforcement officers, especially those in high-pressure environments such as New York City, I strongly recommend Krav Maga to be the weapon (and shield) of choice.
I am confident that what I have learned can get me out of difficult situations. It has definitely improved my cardiovascular endurance and stamina, helped me to avoid injury and enabled me to keep up with much younger and athletic criminals on the street. The discipline and tactics taught in class can keep you and those with you safe. I find myself mentally practicing the techniques sometimes, so be warned it is very addictive! I also visualize how to apply what I learn to the possible ‘what ifs’ while on duty. It helps keep me a step ahead of those who intend to do me and my colleagues harm.
In closing, I appreciate my family at the Krav Maga Institute NYC and everything Krav Maga has done for me to the streets of New York City. I am eager to learn more and to apply it to my career as a police officer, but I’ll keep my skills stuck to the mat until I meet someone who foolishly decides to challenge Officer Rios!