"I can't breathe." - Last words of Eric Garner
Law enforcement officers, troopers, deputies and agents (from here on out called LEs), are historically undertrained in hands on techniques with resisting subjects since at least the 1970's. Over time police departments, agencies and training academies transitioned their focus away from hands on skills proficiency to utilizing tools like the baton, taser, pepper spray and firearm at an increasing rate. The legal landscape was turning matters of use of force into a realm of tools and machines. Perhaps it was with the best interest of the officer in mind - that if the officer could stay at a distance to the subject, they would be safer. Just look at all the tools the officer uses that are designed to maintain distance - baton/impact weapon, pepper spray, taser, sidearm, shotgun, patrol rifle. Each one of those tools is taught and trained at a police academy and their sustainment is prioritized by departments and agencies in annual, bi-annual and even quarterly refresher training and range time.
When it comes to learning something new and receiving new information, I am a copious note taker. I have been since I was young, but as I get older I get more value out of notes with each passing year. It use to be that I could simply see a move or sequence of basic to intermediate level techniques and be able to replicate them, even days afterward, with pretty decent accuracy. Albeit, they weren't ready for competition by any means. But my memory for retaining what I saw and heard on the mats was pretty decent. However, as I started attending seminars I realized that I wasn't able to retain much, if anything.
Jason Clarke. Owner & Head Instructor of Iowa City Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.