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September 20, 2004

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Police Magazine Featured Articles
with Police Magazine

Take it away---illustrated disarming techniques

Step-by-step instructions and photos show you how to disarm a suspect carrying a gun or a knife.

Taking Away a Gun When Attacked from the Side

The following series of photos shows the technique that Police Combative Training Academy (www.policecqb.com) teaches for disarming a suspect who holds a pistol on you from the side. The moves are demonstrated by Academy principal Hans Marrero, a 10th-degree black belt in Kobushi Sessen-Jutsu and former chief instructor of hand-to-hand combat for the United States Marine Corps.

1. The suspect has the drop on you. Make him believe that you are submitting, but assume a relaxed combat stance with your weapon side leg slightly to the rear. (For training safety, don’t use real weapons. Also keep your fingers out of the trigger guard or cut off the trigger guard on your training models.)

2. Spring the attack. Clear your body from the line of fire and deliver a strong elbow to the face as you step in.

3. Grab the suspect’s weapon with both hands.

4. Perform a “C” move with your right leg, sweeping it 180 degrees.

5. Strip the weapon away from the suspect while controlling him with a reverse wrist lock. A reverse wrist lock uses basically the same technique that we detailed in the example titled “Taking Away a Gun” on page 64 of the August 2004 issue of Police. The difference is that the attacker’s arm is locked straight and extended with his palm facing up. In a real attack, this wrist lock can be devastating because it puts you in a position where you can easily dislocate the attacker’s elbow or shoulder or even break his wrist.

WARNING: Apply wrist locks slowly until you have a feel for them. By applying too much force you can easily injure your training partner. Always allow your partner to tap out or speak up if he or she feels too much pain.

6. Drive the suspect to the ground, maintain the wrist lock, and place him in a handcuffing position.

Taking Away a Knife During an Overhand Attack

The following series of photos shows the technique that Police Combative Training Academy (www.policecqb.com) teaches for disarming a suspect who attacks you with a knife from the front with an overhand motion. The moves are demonstrated by Academy principal Hans Marrero, a 10th-degree black belt in Kobushi Sessen-Jutsu and former chief instructor of hand-to-hand combat for the United States Marine Corps.



The attacker stabs at you overhand. Block or strike the knife arm with your reaction side arm and deliver a blow to his throat with the web between the thumb and index finger of your weapon hand. Strike hard with aggression and rotate your hips for maximum power.

Now bring your reaction arm under the attacker’s knife arm and grab your opposing forearm (the one you just used to attack your assailant’s throat). This will give you the leverage necessary to control or dislocate the attacker’s knife arm.


Drive the attacker to the ground and place him in handcuffing position.

WARNING: Don’t use a real knife for this training even if it is closed.

About the author

For more articles and information visit the Police Magazine web site. Subscribe to the print version of the magazine, Visit Police Magazine.com.






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