The Gracie Survival Tactics (GST) is a self-defense system developed by the legendary Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu family, the Gracies. The GST system was created to provide people with the skills and knowledge necessary to protect themselves in real-world situations. GST primarily serves military and law enforcement personnel as a revolutionary defensive tactics system based on Gracie Jiu-Jitsu that incorporates time-tested techniques into an easy-to-learn system designed to help officers humanely prevail against larger and stronger opponents. The GST system is based on the principles of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu (GJJ), which emphasizes leverage and technique over strength and size. It is designed to help individuals defend themselves against larger, stronger attackers by subduing and control them.
History of Gracie Survival Tactics
The Gracie family has been involved in martial arts for generations, tracing their roots back to Helio Gracie, who developed Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the 1920s. Helio’s sons, Rorion and Royce, are credited with popularizing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the United States through their Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). In 2003, Rorion and Royce created the Gracie Survival Tactics program to teach self-defense techniques based on their family’s martial arts lineage. Rorion’s sons, Ryron and Renor Gracie, have further developed the program to fit the needs of both law enforcement officers, security professionals, and military personnel. Since then, GST has become one of the most popular self-defense systems in the world.
Benefits of Gracie Survival Tactics
GST provides students with a comprehensive set of skills that can be used to defend themselves against attackers of all sizes and abilities. The system emphasizes leverage and technique over strength and size, allowing smaller individuals to effectively defend themselves against larger opponents. Additionally, GST teaches students how to recognize potential threats before they occur so they can avoid dangerous situations altogether.
Medically and Legally Reviewed
The GST System has recently been reviewed both medically and legally for use in law enforcement. Furthermore, although GST was developed for its tactical effectiveness, its leverage-based techniques are less likely to cause serious injury to both the officer and arrestee. Also, GST’s benign appearance has a greater acceptance from a viewing public, which has been increasingly scrutinized because of televised videos of police actions.
Tactical Gear Tested
Every technique in the Gracie Survival Tactics course has been tested in body armor and a duty belt. In fact, the online system includes a full tactical gear demo for Level 1 and Level 2 techniques in the GST online video courses. At the five-day instructor certification courses, the techniques are practiced in duty gear to ensure universal effectiveness.
POST Certified Nationwide
For nearly three decades, the objective has remained the same: create an arrest and control program that provides the optimal solution to help law enforcement officers do their jobs as safely as possible while navigating the constantly evolving tactical, legal, and political environment of the nation. Gracie Survival Tactics (GST) is that solution. In recent years, GST has worked very closely with State Commissions, further modifying the GST program, to ensure that we meet highest standards when it comes to civilian safety and tactical de-escalation. The GST course is now POST Certified in almost every state, making Gracie University the only jiu-jitsu organization in the country to achieve this distinction!
Educated Subject Tested
MMA is the fastest growing sport in the world, and the general public’s knowledge of basic fighting strategies and techniques has never been so high. There is a very real risk that a law enforcement professional will encounter a subject with some form of martial arts training. The GST program is designed to give law enforcement professionals – regardless of age, gender or athletic ability – the skills to: 1) Neutralize the threat, 2) Retain control of their weapons, and 3) Achieve a position of advantage so they can utilize appropriate force. Remember, while you are reading this, the subject may be training.
Principles of Gracie Survival Tactics
Through the GST program the goal isn’t merely to teach defensive tactics to an agency but rather to provide the agency with the tools to completely transform its culture form the inside out. This culture shift occurs when the following five pillars are in place at an agency.
Above everything else, GST teaches systems and strategies to reduce the intensity of each encounter, gain voluntary compliance, and mitigate the need for a higher level of force. Once this culture of de-escalation has permeated an agency, the questions isn’t “What’s the highest level of justifiable force for this encounter?” but rather, “What’s the lowest level of force needed to neutralize the threat and/or take the subject into custody?”
Sound Decision Making
GST attempts to condition officers to make effective decisions under the most challenging of circumstances. The “Amygdala Highjack” is known to occur when an officer experiences loss of control in a high-stress situations, at which point they are no longer able to make effective decisions. By teaching officers how to calmly and effectively manage physical encounters, they’re able to maintain the cognitive function of their Prefrontal Cortex so that they can make sound decisions even under the most stressful of circumstances.
Mission Specific Tactics
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a rapidly growing sport, but at most BJJ schools, the practice of the art is tailored to sportive grappling competition rather than self-defense. Unless the art is adapted for military and law enforcement applications, there are many facets of BJJ that would not only be ineffective in law enforcement but could potentially increase liability for the officer and the agency. GST is the most widely adopted jiu-jitsu based defensive tactics program in the world because every technique has been highly scrutinize and specifically adapted for law enforcement application.
Injury Reduction on Both Sides
At most agencies, defensive tactics training is conducted with a “fight club” mentality, which not only leads to higher rate of training injuries, but it discourages the officers who need the training the most from attending. In GST graduates are empowered with a turn-key curriculum and the time-tested Gracie Teaching Methodologies that will make DT classes safe, productive, and encouraging for all officers at the agency, so that they want to come back of more. Best of all, because of the control-based nature of the techniques, published data at agencies where officers engage in regular jiu-jitsu practice has revealed a reduction in officer field injuries by as much as 48% and reduction in subject injuries by as much as 53%.
Community Trust Building
There is nothing that erodes trust in a community more rapidly than when law enforcement officers use force that is perceived as inhumane and/or excessive, particularly in situations where a lower level of force could have reasonably been applied. Since GST teaches techniques that are so humane in their application and so benign in their appearance, the chances that an officer uses force in a manner that is likely to incite the community is drastically reduced, and only in the absence of inciting incidents can the foundation for a trust-building relationship with the community be established.
Techniques Taught in Gracie Survival Tactics
GST focuses on teaching students how to use leverage and technique rather than strength or size when defending themselves against an attacker. It is primarily built off of the Gracie Combatives system created for civilians. Techniques taught include joint locks, chokes, throws, sweeps, takedowns, ground fighting strategies and more. Students also learn how to use weapons such as sticks or knives for self-defense if necessary. Additionally, GST teaches students how to recognize potential threats before they occur so they can avoid dangerous situations altogether. Here are some of the strategies utilized in GST:
Survival & Escape Strategies
One of the worst-case scenarios for a law enforcement officer is to be taken to the ground by an aggressive subject. The GST course trains participants to use reliable leverage-based techniques to neutralize the initial barrage of strikes and escape from underneath the subject to regain a position of advantage. Additionally, since the techniques do not rely on strength, speed, or athleticism, they can be employed by smaller officers against larger, stronger subjects.
Weapon Retention Techniques
A number of law enforcement officers who are killed in the line of duty are shot with their own weapon. Furthermore, when a subject disarms a police officer of any of their less lethal weapons, chances of the officer having to escalate to deadly force increase exponentially. The GST course teaches a series of simple yet highly-effective weapon retention principles that will defeat an attacker’s attempt to disarm the officer from any position in the fight, standing or on the ground.
For most, de-escalation is limited to the verbal strategies, but in the GST course officers learn the great extent to which de-escalation is also physical. Since the techniques are all based on non-violent control holds, and do not emphasize the use strikes, they are inherently de-escalatory. So even in the middle of what would otherwise be perceived as a violent physical encounter, a GST-trained officer can stay calm and mitigate the need for a higher level of force.
Arrest & Control Procedures
In a physical altercation with an actively aggressive subject, the interaction isn’t resolved until the threat has been neutralized and the subject is safely in custody. As such, the GST course specializes in the application of easy-to-learn highly effective handcuffing techniques that can be applied from any position in the fight and are effective in both solo and multi-officer arrest scenarios.
Gracie Teaching Methodologies
The GST course introduces participants to the time-tested Gracie Teaching Methodologies – perfected over nearly a century. Upon learning these skills, Gracie University certifies course participants to return to their organizations to share the invaluable survival skills with their colleagues. At many agencies, including the Los Angeles Police Department, the Gracie Teaching Methodologies are said to have completely changed the culture of the defensive tactics programs at the agency.
The Gracie Survival Tactics system provides individuals with a comprehensive set of skills that can be used for self-defense in real-world situations. It emphasizes leverage and technique over strength and size so that even smaller individuals can effectively defend themselves against larger attackers if necessary. Additionally, GST teaches students how to recognize potential threats before they occur so they can avoid dangerous situations altogether. Active-duty law enforcement professionals, as well as military personnel and first responders, can access the GST system and become Certified Instructors via a Live Instructor Certification Program (Live ICP) or via a video-based Online Instructor Certification Program (Online ICP). If you’re looking for a comprehensive self-defense system that will give you peace of mind knowing you have the skills necessary to protect yourself in any situation – then look no further than Gracie Survival Tactics!