Aberdeen police officers receive Jiu-Jitsu blue belts

Fadness says that Jiu-Jitsu teaches a more controlled form of self-defense, which is more applicable for a police officer’s duties.
Published: Oct. 10, 2022 at 3:38 PM CDT
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - At Wolfpack Family Jiu-Jitsu, students learn a martial art that focuses on submission holds and grappling, which are valuable skills for the law enforcement officers currently training at the facility.

Training Officer Kyle Fadness helps instruct law enforcement officers from the Aberdeen Police Department on Jiu-Jitsu during required training sessions, but he wanted to continue his training outside of work.

”This is something that we do on our own, just because we enjoy it. I learn stuff here and I bring some of it back there, and it’s a good relationship,” said Fadness.

Those training sessions are where Detective Zack Krage was first introduced to Jiu-Jitsu, but he also wanted to train in the martial art more often.

”The police department will offer some trainings here and then, just kind of refreshers that Kyle and Sgt. Mark Miller will do. To come here, it’s just different because it’s weekly. In the in-house training, I enjoyed just kind of the whole atmosphere of grappling. It’s a little more, ‘We’re going to work this skill, see how it goes.’ There’s sparring at the end of it, but it’s a slower pace and things like that. It was applicable to work, but overall, I just like the sports atmosphere of it,” said Krage.

Fadness says that Jiu-Jitsu teaches a more controlled form of self-defense, which is more applicable for a police officer’s duties.

”Jiu-Jitsu translates to ‘the gentle art.’ Often times, striking is not appropriate. Sometimes it is, sometimes it’s not, but just to take someone down and subdue them and control them, this is perfect for it,” said Fadness.

Krage says that although he isn’t on patrol, the skills he learns from Jiu-Jitsu make him more confident if a situation should arise.

“You never know what’s going to happen. I’m a detective, so I’m not arresting people like a normal patrol officer, but there’s still the risks involved in it. Anytime I’ve had to grapple with somebody at work, I’ve felt confident doing it, so there’s definitely a payback for it,” said Krage. “Just getting in that mindset and thinking about these kinds of things creates kind of like a situational awareness. You don’t want to be found flat on your back and not know what to do. That’s the last place any of us want to be in our job. So, I think there’s definitely benefits to it.”

After training for over a year at Wolfpack Family Jiu-Jitsu, Fadness and Krage both received their blue belts Friday. Blue is the second level of five belts in Jiu-Jitsu.

Joshua Citrak, the co-owner and head coach at Wolfpack Family Jiu-Jitsu, says he’s proud to train Aberdeen law enforcement to help keep the community safe.

”I think it’s very important, not only for their own safety, but for the citizen’s safety. Jiu-Jitsu is a great self-defense art, and to be able to give that to the police officers to help keep people in our community safe, that just means the world to us,” said Citrak.