Correctional officers fulfill an important role in the criminal justice system. There are nearly 400,000 correctional officers in the United States alone. They are the men and women who oversee jail inmates who have either been arrested and are waiting for trial or who have already been convicted and are serving their sentences.
Correctional officers are charged with making prisons safe by preventing disturbances among inmates and taking note of the conditions in which the inmates live and work. As you can imagine, being a correctional officer is a highly physical job requiring officers to remain in good physical condition and be ready to defuse potentially dangerous situations quickly.
While correctional officers receive training, it is difficult, if not impossible, to predict every scenario that an officer may encounter throughout their career. While many days are routine, sometimes things happen in an instant, requiring a correctional officer to act quickly.
Learn What Is Jiu-Jitsu?
Recently, the use of jiu-jitsu among correctional officers has been gaining popularity. Jiu-jitsu, literally “gentle art,” is a self-defense martial art and combat sport. It utilizes a training combination of holds, grappling and ground fighting to subdue an opponent through the manipulation of the opponent’s force rather than the application of force. Jiu-jitsu allows officers to use less force to accomplish the same goals.
Read on to learn about some of the top reasons correctional officers need the self-defense martial art of jiu-jitsu and some of the benefits of utilizing its techniques.
Combats Stress and Improves Mental Health
Many correctional officers and law enforcement personnel suffer from poor mental health as a result of long working hours in a demanding environment. Regular exercise, like practicing jiu-jitsu, can work to improve overall mental health by lowering the symptoms of mild depression and anxiety.
Exercise is also a known stress reliever. In a job that is already high stress, finding ways to combat and relieve stress leads to correctional officers that are more satisfied with their jobs and performing at higher levels.
Improves Physical Health and Wellness
Any type of exercise will work to improve a person’s overall good physical health. Jiu-jitsu is no exception. An excellent physical workout, people who practice jiu-jitsu often see improved overall conditioning and flexibility from regular practice.
Regular exercise improves sleep too, making correctional officers more alert on the job.
Increases Good Confidence
A well-trained officer makes smarter decisions in stressful, high-pressure situations. During a routine shift, a correctional officer will face problems and be required to find solutions to those problems.
Part of learning and practicing jiu-jitsu requires a student to use problem-solving skills — whether learning how to escape from an inferior position on the mat or how to defend against the movements of an opponent. Learning how to resolve these problems in a low-stress environment helps correctional officers make more confident decisions when the time comes.
Requires Less Force
Rather than using force to diffuse a situation, jiu-jitsu teaches students to use the opponent’s force to their advantage, effectively de-escalating potentially dangerous situations before the use of excessive force through the use of weapons is necessary.
Without using kicks or punches, jiu-jitsu can transform the way an officer can take control over a larger opponent by using leverage and body mechanics. Additionally, officers become comfortable with physical confrontation, allowing them to remain calm in otherwise stressful situations.
Police Officers Remain Flexible and Cool with Haven Gear
Now considered standard gear among correctional officers, riot gear can certainly affect how officers respond in tense situations. If the riot gear is unyielding or not designed for use in a variety of environments, officers become overheated and may be unable to respond quickly. Haven Gear’s riot suits enable officers to protect themselves and the public with full mobility in all manner of situations. With fully customizable suits for every environment, corrections officers are comfortable in stressful, dangerous situations that may require the use of jiu-jitsu.