Scott, couple of questions

Scott, I have a couple of questions if you have time :)
1. would it be accurate to say that to cause sinew separtions you need traction and then torsion? 2. is it beneficial to work the IOUF concepts in slow motions while training? 3. a LEO asked me the other day if loading the diaphram was dangerous to subjects, especially if you bounce on them while they inhale? He was worried the ribs/sternum would fracture and be accused of excessive force. I believe I know the answer to #3 but I would like to hear your take on that. 4. any word on your new project release date? Thanks. Training is progressing well, still working through the AK material...continue to be amazed at things I missed the first few viewings. Get your rest where you can!


Bruce, great questions...

1. Yes.

2. Yes... from SOFT-WORK to HARD-WORK.

3. The application for maximum effectiveness lay below, not beneath, the ribs/sternum, firstly, so pressure does not impact the ribs/sternum.

Secondly, and more importantly, reasonable force equates to applying that proportional force necessary to cease his will to fight; true in any commonwealth. If the subject sustains hostilities (resistance or aggression), the "will to fight" continues within him. Force exceeds the reasonable when the subject's will to fight ceases, yet the actor increases force application.

Subjects get injured; it's unfortunate, but true. However, a competent actor must articulate precisely the events as they unfolded, and demonstrate why his force was reasonable. The courts hold LEO to a higher ethical standard than civilians, and therefore, force proportionality must be courtroom defensible.

Bluntly, if he bounces his knee all around center mass breaking sinew and bone, infrequently inhibiting the diaphram, then tell him, "yes, that's excessive." However, applied to the proper area with enough force to cease the subject's will to fight, the actor would be hard pressed to cause injury.

Finally, force-on-force training simulations afford actors with the ability to discern proportionality as well as tactical effectiveness with diaphragmatic inhibition. Send him to if he's interested in his department hosting some intensive Force-Responsive Subject-Control training.

4. No updates yet.

Keep up the good work, my friend.



Scott, thanks. With regard to #3 that is almost exactly what I told the LEO. As you well know, LEO admins. want a "magic bullet" that will control all resistive subjects, all the time with 100% sucess. Doesn't exist, never will...but they keep trying! Pepper spray, taser, weird baton configuarations, etc. He argued to use pepper spray, because it is "100% safe and works". I pointed out that there have been at least 3 deaths attributed to pepper spray, he was shocked! His benign magic bullet has consequences. Well, thank you for the advice/answers. I did direct him to your website, BTW. How's the baby girl?


I'd like to address this in this way:

Excessive Force:

Force which is not justified in light of all the
circumstances" (From Black's Law Dictionary)

The factors for Reasonable use of force are these:

The severity of the crime at issue (the crime to
which the LEO is immediately responding with
force, not the call he responded to..)

The immediate threat of the suspect to the safety
of the officer or public.

The officer's REASONABLE perception of the
suspect's active resistance to arrest or attempts to

Note that reasonable here is the reasonable
OFFICER standard....what would another officer
with like or similar training and experience, facing
like or similar circumstances do. It does not have
to be the BEST decision, it just has to be

There is no "necessary" requirement for use of
force under Federal Law...the use of force only has
to be reasonable. In Washington State, use of
force also has to be necessary, which means:

" No reasonably effective alternative to the use of
force appeared to exist and that amount of force
used was reasonable to effect the lawful purpose

However, the general yardstick we are given in our
agency (in WA state) is that if the use of force is
justified (i.e. reasonable and necessary) the
amount of injury sustained is not an issue. Sounds
weird at first but read it carefully and it makes
perfect sense.

Oh yeah,

Where did you get that pepper spray data?

Hisho, Dept. of Justice link. Article search of use of force, fbi article came up (one of several hundred, of course). The first incident cited in the article occurred on July 11, 1993 in Concord, NC. A 24 yr. old disorderly conduct suspect sprayed, c/o shortness of breath and was transported to the station. He collapsed there and died a short time later. The coroner report, cited in the article, ruled the cause of death "IMO, the cause of death in this case is asphyxia die to bronchospasm precipitated by inhalation of pepper spray". They cited another incident in 1993 involving a 34 yr. male who died of cardiac arrest secondary to being sprayed. January 1994, a 37 yr. old male EDP died when officers attempted to subdue him (he was being involuntarily committed by his family) with pepper spray...he died at an area hospital a short time later. The title of the article is, "Controlling Subjects: Realistic Training vs. Magic Bullets". The link is FYI, to put what I wrote Scott in perspective there have been numerous lawsuits recently here (Portland, ME) that have gone against the officers. Your description above is very well written and correct. But, even though the officers were technically correct, the city has settled suits without trial. This has set a climate where adms. are hyper-paranoid of ANY use of force, obviously this handcuffs the officers on the street and is affecting officer morale. They are being discouraged from attempting ANY empty hand control in favor of the chemical route. My question was in no way critical of LEO's...I am a tactical medic and DT trainer and have been since the mid 1980's. I addition to the magic bullet comment re: pepper spray, it was supposed to be the answer to most (if not all) use of force I'm sure you have seen, it does not work on everyone/it can affect officers in the immediate environment/it is mechanical and therefore occasionally fails and occasionally causes MORE resistance from of subject. One of my good friends is Mike Brave, an attorney that is part of the legal team at Calibre Press. He has told me on numerous occasions that generally he sees cases where the officers did the correct physical techs. appropriate for the situation at hand (as you described above) but they find themselves in a bind because they can't/don't CLEARLY articulate what they did/why thet did it/etc.


Oh I agree. Frankly cities usuallly settle suits even
when the officer is 100% in the right because it is
cheaper to settle than to fight it. We need to turn it
around and sue the bad guys so they learn it cuts
both ways.

My posts above are basically the legal language
verbatim, from Graham v. Connor and RCW (WA
state). I simply wanted to inject them here to
deepen the conversation.

I'll check those links. Personally I have always
been under the impression that sudden in-custody
death syndrome vis-a-vis pepper spray was
usually linked to factors OTHER than the spray, or
over and above the use of the spray. That first
example you mention seems to put the lie to that.

Still, I know there has been debate back and forth
between different medical professionals on these
matters, which is I am sure why most of us still
have OC on our Sam Brownes and departments
nationwide have not yanked them due to fear of
liability for killing people with it...especially
considering that it is such a low force option
(meaning the bad guy doesn't have to do much to
get a face full.)

Personally I almost never use it. Not that I don't
believe in it, it has its place. I have seen people
stopped by it, and people not stopped by it. It just
seems most people that use it manage to spray all
the good guys with it at the same time, or rely on it
too much when they should be gettin' busy!

Hissho, boy your points are dead on correct! Especially you last sentence. I too believe that OC has its place, but only as a part of a TOTAL options package. I have been in rooms when the bad guy is the only one not gasping as the sprayer's aim was less than ideal under stress! :-( As a career firefigter/paramedic I have personally seen some hellacious respiratory reactions as a result of being sprayed (asthmatics) that nearly died (but luckily didn't). I also was on a call when OC first started being used that injured a suspects eye. The stream from the OC directly injured the eyeball itself. For many LEO's the use of OC is their ONLY option, they aren't provided the training and tools to access other options in the police arsenal.


" I also was on a call when OC first started being
used that injured a suspects eye. The stream from
the OC directly injured the eyeball itself. "

This is a good point. I think this is a deployment
problem. I guess some would argue training
issue, but I disagree, in that the way OC is
deployed in general could result in this kind of

Minimum distance is often around 12-18" for
deployment. Realistically this range is when
everyone around the bad guy gets sprayed as well.
Practical, useful applications that I have
experienced, and where everyone else doesn't get
a dose, are a lot closer.

At the academy, I got doused as part of the
program. The drill was stand there with eyes
closed, count to 3, and throw your eyes wide open.
I did so as did many others and was looking
wide-eyed at a can that was at most 6" from my
eyes. WHAM. One guy in my class did get an eye
injury from it.

But this is realistic distance for the street though.
The best uses of OC I have seen have been:

1) Mental charged a DT instructor, who jammed
him with a kick, placed the OC nozzle right on the
bridge of the guy's nose and gave a short, small
blast.. Two officers (myself included) were within
two feet of this incident and only caught minor
whiffs. The mental, admittedly a rare case, gave up
IMMEDIATELY. This was the most skillful
application of OC I have ever seen, though and
would not count on the rank and file, or myself
frankly, being able to do this.

2) Several guys I know use it after the guy is taken
down, but keeps fighting. When he is sufficiently
controlled but still won't give up, give contact or
near contact blast to the face. Usually a very short
blast / small amount. Does not contaminate the
area and has had good success for those that
have used it. I have personally never tried it this

3) On the idiots who want to head butt or kick out
windows in the back of a car. Close the door and
he'll stew for a few minutes, then open the door
and tell him the fire department is on the way to
douse him with cold water, so long as he behaves
himself. This works well. I had one little punk
ordering his mom to blow on his face to cool him
off after he received this treatment. Sad thing was,
mom did it.

But remember, you gotta drive him to jail in the
same car...; (

4) The runner who hides in an enclosed area.
Empty a can or three into the crawlspace, the travel
trailer in the back yard, or the shed that he has
holed up in and wait for the effects. Not always
effective, but in the instances I have been present
for it has worked well.

I find that it is also useful if your mexican food is not spicy enough. :0

Great thread. It seems that OC is most useful when applied with other well-trained options.

From my own experience with some mace I would fall on the ground and cry like a baby if I was sprayed with OC, but I know of cops who took the same test as Hissho and seemed to not be that affected by the spray.

Just goes to show that combinations are the best way to go. IE - Kick, precise OC can placement- Precision dose.


Robert, read (Parts I - V). Think of progressive "Aliveness" from slow, low-intensity, isolated simulations to ballistic, high-intensity dynamic scenarios.