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NO PUNCHES TO THE HEAD - Part 1
Veteran Instructors and new ones as well have heard since their first training course that we avoid strikes to the head when teaching subject control.

No Punches to the Head! - Part 1

Jack Leonard
Staff Instructor

Veteran Instructors and new ones as well have heard since their first training course that we avoid strikes to the head when teaching subject control. The reasons for this cover three specific concepts.

First, strikes to the head, particularly those to the face, invariably cause highly visible injuries; frequently, excessive bleeding occurs. Second, since the officer will tend to use his/her dominant hand for such a strike, damage to the officer's "strong" hand is probably. Such damage limits the use of the hand and would certainly impact the officer's ability to use a firearm. Third, if such a strike to the head/face does not knock the subject out, the subject will experience an adrenal rush. When this occurs, the subject will become approximately two and one-half times as strong as they were prior to being struck.

This is being reinforced here because of an incident reported to Jack while he was conducting a DT Instructor School in New Jersey. One of the participants came to class the third morning to describe an incident involving an off duty officer from a neighboring department. It seems the officer and a subject got into a verbal altercation which escalated to a physical one. The officer punched the subject in the face, but the blow failed to knock the subject out. The subject subsequently displayed “superhuman strength” and gave the officer quite a beating.

The officer who related this incident to Jack mentioned that when he first heard about it, he got a slight smile on his face. The source of the information asked if there was something funny about what happened. The officer who relayed the incident to Jack told his source, "No, but our instructor told us about the potential for such a thing happening the first day of our class."

This organization prides itself on its solid foundation of research, and information such as this serves to validate one of the specifics taught in all of its law enforcement Instructor School curriculums.