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NO PUNCHES TO THE HEAD - Part 2
Continuing the discussion of the inadvisability of head-strikes when trying to subdue a subject.

No Punches to the Head! - Part 2

Jack Leonard
Staff Instructor

In the previous article, I noted an example of an officer who struck a subject in the head but failed to knock him out. As a result, the officer had to deal with a subject who experienced a rush of adrenalin. The conclusion of the altercation was that the officer received a severe beating.

Since that time, I have been contacted by two other police departments inquiring about PPCT training areas. During these conversations, both the officers informed me that they had three officers from their respective departments off work on disability. They further explained that the departments had received a form of training that advocated strikes to the head. In all six instances, the officers involved struck a subject with their fist, and subsequently damaged their hands. Also of note, in all six instances, the officer disabled his dominant (gun) hand.

This is obviously not a scientific study by any means. It does, however, provide us with specific examples of why striking a subject in the head is not a good idea for members of the law enforcement community. It also reinforces the training axiom that when an officer is under stress, he/she will almost always respond with a technique utilizing the dominant side.

Finally, it should be noted that PPCT’s major exception to not training officers to strike subjects in the head is in its Impact Weapon training. If a subject resists using Deadly Force, a strike to the head using the officer's impact weapon is perfectly legitimate.