Self Defense & Disarmament Techniques | LAPD Training Film | ca. 1949

Self Defense & Disarmament Techniques | LAPD Training Film | ca. 1949

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It is a late 1940s Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) training film. Purpose of this short film is to increase ability of their personnel to defend themselves without weapons and to disarm adversaries. The film also shows value of judo, wrestling, and similar techniques.

BACKGROUND / CONTEXT

Self defense (or self defence in many varieties of English) is a countermeasure that involves defending the health and well-being of oneself from harm. In the United States, self-defense is an affirmative defense that is used to justify the use of force by one person against another person under specific circumstances.

Physical self-defense is the use of physical force to counter an immediate threat of violence. Such force can be either armed or unarmed. In either case, the chances of success depend on a large number of parameters, related to the severity of the threat on one hand, but also on the mental and physical preparedness of the defender.

Unarmed self defense:
Many styles of martial arts are practiced for self-defense or include self-defense techniques. Some styles train primarily for self-defense, while other martial or combat sports can be effectively applied for self-defense. Some martial arts train how to escape from a knife or gun situation, or how to break away from a punch, while others train how to attack. To provide more practical self-defense, many modern day martial arts schools now use a combination of martial arts styles and techniques, and will often customize self-defense training to suit the participants’ lifestyles, occupations, age groups and gender, and physical and mental capabilities.

Police self defense:
Police self defense is a vital component of officer survival training. As a matter of fact, in order to be prepared for dangerous and unpredictable situations, law enforcement officers need to learn self defense for both armed and unarmed encounters. It’s also vital that police self defense techniques are economical, uncomplicated and effective while providing the least amount of danger, risk or injury for the officer. Simplicity and practicality are of paramount importance for the law enforcement officer who wants to enhance his or her odds of street survival. A police officer cannot afford to use complicated or impractical martial arts techniques when confronting a criminal suspect.

Self defense in jurisdiction:
In the United States the general rule is that “[a] person is privileged to use such force as reasonably appears necessary to defend him or herself against an apparent threat of unlawful and immediate violence from another.” In cases involving non-deadly force, this means that the person must reasonably believe that their use of force was necessary to prevent imminent, unlawful physical harm. When the use of deadly force is involved in a self-defense claim, the person must also reasonably believe that their use of deadly force is immediately necessary to prevent the other’s infliction or great bodily harm or death. Most states no longer require a person to retreat before using deadly force although these laws are irreconcilable with international human rights law. In the minority of jurisdictions which do require retreat, there is no obligation to retreat when it is unsafe to do so or when one is inside one’s own home.

Self Defense & Disarmament Techniques | LAPD Training Film | ca. 1949

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