Totowa MMA: A look inside NJ United Mixed Martial Arts Academy

Why EVERY Police Officer Should Be A Good Martial Artist

Ask any martial artist worth his or her salt, and they’ll tell you that it’s imperative for police officers to learn and regularly practice a solid martial art. This isn’t due to bias and preference; it’s due to the simple nature of what happens when a suspect resists arrest and, quite simply, puts you in a fight for your life. It’s one thing to be proficient at a wide range of self-defense moves in isolation. However, it’s an entirely different thing to be able to consistently protect yourself as you face down and subdue a wildly resisting, unpredictable opponent. Sadly, there are many officers who have learned this the hard way. Officer Sean Hyman is among them.


Officer Hyman’s struggle with Lance Carr is an unnerving but valuable cautionary tale about being unprepared in basic self-defense situations.

Alone on patrol late at night last November, Hyman received a noise-complaint regarding a white car whose driver was playing music too loudly. The driver turned out to be 25 year-old Lance Carr, who was wanted on a felony theft warrant. Upon discovering this, Hyman asked Carr to step out of his vehicle. Carr complied, and things seemed to be going pretty routinely until Carr spun around and attacked Hyman. It was only a few seconds into their struggle that both men fell to the ground. Take a moment to watch the dash-cam recording of the incident here. When Carr quickly gets the upper hand on Hyman, and when Hyman realizes his helplessness, things get harrowing and unpleasant, to say the least.

Hyman did not have to be a world-class grappler to subdue Carr. If Hyman possessed a thorough, well-practiced knowledge of grappling basics, then the altercation would have likely turned out favorable for him. In fights, things happen for technical reasons – not just because one person was stronger or faster than the other.

At 1:30 into the video, Hyman and Carr have gotten back up to their feet and are clinched. However, Carr is able to bring Hyman down again with surprisingly little effort. When Carr gets on top, he looks to be shambling and have poor posture, but he’s still able to keep Hyman down! There are plenty of opportunities for Hyman to get superior grips on Carr and perhaps clinch with him in a neutral position. But Hyman doesn’t have this knowledge, and he begins screaming for help early. And unfortunately, that’s all that he’s able to do throughout the beating that ensues. There were many opportunities to exploit Carr’s sloppy punches, bad posturing, and poorly applied choke hold. However, Hyman couldn’t see them. The experience was completely foreign to him.


It took about three minutes for backup to arrive and help Officer Hyman. Shortly thereafter, he collapsed from his struggle with Carr.

The solution to Hyman’s problem is that he should have been simulating this experience regularly, with knowledgeable training partners and instructors in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling. This is not to say that Hyman should have made grappling his life, but rather a facet of his life. This is especially true since he’s in a profession where the likelihood of needing such training is a lot higher than it is in most other professions. It makes perfect sense: If you drill techniques and spar with quality instructors and students of the grappling arts, then your encounters with people like Carr will be much more manageable. And if you train consistently for a few years, then some such encounters can even be easy.

JJ Mike

Come train at NJ United Mixed Martial Arts and take advantage of our 7-day free trial offer! Whether you’re an aspiring competitor or casual student, you will benefit from training in our friendly, professional, and ego-free environment. Call us at 973-638-1570 to schedule your first class, and visit us on the web at for more info.

Be Sociable, Share!

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.