Video Shows White Belt & Police Officer Controlling Suspect Using Grappling In Las Vegas

A video from June 2018 shared by Cobrinha black belt Hector Vasquez shows a police officer using his grappling skills to gain control of a suspect on the Las Vegas strip.

The officer, Derek Brundage, is a white belt who trains under Vasquez at Cobrinha BJJ Las Vegas. He told the Jiu-Jitsu Times what happened before the video began.

“During foot patrol on the Las Vegas strip, I observed this individual dealing drugs… and he saw me and attempted to run. I was able to get my hands on him and take him down to the ground where we fought for close to three minutes before others assisted due to it being a Saturday night and super busy. After the suspect was taken into custody, it was found that he was wanted for seven felony arrest warrants.”

Brundage says that he has been studying some form of martial arts since he was young, eventually finding jiu-jitsu and training under Dean Lister in 2009 and Fernando Sakai in 2012. However, he says that his training was “very sporadic” due to military combat deployments.

“I just recently took up gi jiu-jitsu under Professor Vasquez with my kids to take on a challenge as a family,” he says. “What a great decision.”

Image Source: Derek Brundage

In addition to his enjoyment of the martial art, Brundage has found it to be highly practical in his line of work.

“I am a strong believer that jiu-jitsu should be required for all law enforcement as a low-lethality tool that is still very powerful due to its ability to control another human body without causing unnecessary damage, as well as the functional protection of oneself.”

As Brundage’s coach, Vasquez also told the Jiu-Jitsu Times of his support for implementing jiu-jitsu into police training.

“Every officer should not be allowed to be an officer unless they have at least one year of training jiu-jitsu. We get a bad rep because it’s martial arts. But it can save lives and also avoid issues. I think in jiu-jitsu you learn to stay calm when you are in a bad position.”

As Brundage continues his journey in jiu-jitsu and law enforcement, he moves forward with an appreciation for how his time on the mats has impacted his safety and emotions on the job. “I have been into martial arts my entire life and have found jiu-jitsu to be the pinnacle of self-defense. In law enforcement, the practicality of going to the ground and trying to control the suspect is a given. Learning to control your emotions, your breathing, fight through to the end, and be able to think while the stress and adrenaline are at max capacity is crucial. All of this I have learned from studying jiu-jitsu.”


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