View Full Version : Police combat tactics, vol. 1 & 2 (VHS)

Seppo Vesala
01-20-2004, 10:46 AM
Producer: Turtle press, 2003

Instructor: Kevin Dillon

Run time: 1:11 (vol. 1) & 1:03 (vol. 2)

This is a two-tape series of self defense techniques aimed for police officers. The emphasis in this film is more on general principles than it is with other self defense films I have watched.

At the beginning of the first tape, Dillon presents some exercises which help you to maintain good physical condition, but at the same time help you to practice self defense principles (like doing sit-ups with your chin tucked into your chest, helping you to practice falling while you are working on your abdominal muscles). This is a neat idea, and although there are not that many exercises, you can expand the idea further.

The main portion of the first tape in devoted to concept what Dillon calls ”flash bang tactics”, meaning explosive action with feint attacks. Dillon also teaches the progressive use of force principle, and tells you that you should always use force one step higher in the use of force ladder, than your opponent is using. This is fine by me, but in combination with the advise that you should always perform at least three different, separate attacks on your opponent, this makes a very aggressive combination. Tactically thinking this is wise, but depending your local laws, your departments use of force police and so on, it could very well mean using excessive force.

The majority of the second tape is devoted to actual techniques, rather than principles. The techniques handle situations like defending against knife attacks, what to do when held at gun point, some handcuffing techniques and so on. Dillon does not present the techniques very well, in my opinion. He shows the techniques in stages, and explains what he is doing while performing the technique, but he does not pay attention to detail. As many of the techniques depend on performing the moves in exact manner, just grabbing your opponents´ arm, for example, does not cut it in many cases. But the main issue is that these techniques don´t seem very realistic (at least for the average, non martial artist street cop). In the film, there is a severe ”uke effect”, when the suspect freezes his action to help Dillon to finish his technique. It may be because it makes it easier to learn the techniques, but in my opinion it seems that the techniques don´t work that well, if the opponent is really fighting (and if he is not fighting you, then why would you have to fight at all?).

There are also some shorter chapters on various issues dispersed on the tapes (in some cases, a chapter can be as short as ten seconds, or two sentences, which makes is somewhat ridiculous). The issues handled include awareness (actually, Dillon uses the term ”visualization” in this context), key striking points on a human body, overcoming fear, color codes of awareness (explained quite poorly, in my opinion), effect of stress on fine motor skills, and so on.

The production of the tapes is average. The sound and picture quality are good, but they have used only one camera in shooting the film. On some occasions, the camera is shooting a too close-up picture, making it hard to get the whole picture of the technique presented. For example, the camera may be shooting Dillon from the waist up, not showing his arms at all.

It would be better, if the tecnique portion and the concept portion would be on separate tapes. Therefore, you could buy only the concepts tape, and save your money to buy a better tape on techniques. I don´t think these tapes are a waste of money, but you should look at the techniques presented with a critical eye.

The set is also available on DVD.