Wrist Lock

WL Media Quote & Awards Poster 1




Lightning Digital Entertainment is proud to present “Wrist Lock: The Martial Arts’ Influence on Police Use of Force”, a new feature documentary film from Producer/Director Jason Harney.  Join Master Martial Artist and retired Police Sergeant Jon Gentile, along with a group of high level Martial Artists and police trainers, on a journey to discover how the Marital Arts has influenced police use of force tactics, and how training can be improved in a manner that will create proficient and physically fit law enforcement officers capable of the performance and decision making necessary to have reasonable use of force outcomes consistently.

Assembled for the film is a cast of high level Martial Artists, who also served their communities as Police Officers, and possess decades of experience as Defensive Tactics instructors for their respective agencies including Mike Bland, Marcus Martin, Anthony Brown, Bob Hindi, Traci Leveritt, Ray Beshirs, Jared Wihongi, and Maynard Bagang.

The group is backed by a panel of experts in the Martial Arts Coaching, Police Training, Medical, and Mental Health fields, including Tony Blauer, Erik Paulson, Forrest Griffin, Betsy Brantner Smith, Dr. Jonathan Sheinberg, Melissa Wilds, Erica Gaines, and Alex Salazar, as we look to reimagine Police Culture and learn how the profession can bring our communities the professional, level headed, and respectful Police Officers needed to keep our families safe.  Training is where the foundation of skill and confidence is not only built, but maintained.

Every Defensive Tactics technique taught to law enforcement in the United States is derived from the Martial Arts.  We know Martial Artists master their respective styles through decades of consistent training and dedication to learning.  Most Police Agencies require very little in the way of Defensive Tactics training after completion of the Police Academy, and in many cases the states who oversee these departments do not require any recertification training at all during an Officer’s career.  This means  proficiency in the very tactics utilized each and every shift by Police Officers to arrest and control subjects and defend themselves or others diminish over time without the necessary practice and refresher training needed in order to successully deploy these techniques during a stressful encounter.

In addition, the law enforcement profession, much like society in general, faces an obesity emidemic caused by poor diet, lack of exercise, not enough sleep, and stress.  A condition which leads to the average Police Officer’s health remaining in constant decline throughout their respective careers.  All of which is exacerbated by potential mental health issues caused by the cumulative trauma every Police Officer will experience as they make their way through seeing the very worst of the human condition.

In order to discuss the influence Martial Arts has had on Police Use of Force, we first must understand the various arts which have been drawn from since the dawn of policing for controlling people and self defense.  Presented in 10 Chapters, we begin with Jon Gentile, a 5th Degree Black Belt in the Rossi Kun Tao System and an Apprentice Instructor under the legendary Guru Dan Inosanto, as the film follows these skilled Martial Artists while demostrating how their respective styles have been applied to modern Police Defensive Tactics.  With a Martial Career spanning over 40 years, Jon specializes in Self Defense, a crucial skill for a Police Officer’s survival, particualrly given the rise in assaults on our Cops over the last several years.

Retired Police Officer Bob Hindi provides a demonstration of the HINDI Duty Belt S.A.F.E.T.Y. System, a scientifically proven method for placement of an Officer’s life saving equipment on their duty belt, which allows for rapid deployment of these tools with either hand.  Throughout the film, Betsy Brantner Smith, a retired Police Sergeant and the spokesperson for the National Police Association, brings expert commentary on the issues surrounding the lack of defensive tactics proficiency in law enforcement and why agencies, as well as many Cops choose not to train in these perishable skills.

Mike Bland, a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Retired Police Sergeant, breaks down the crucial skills needed to be successful from all ranges of fighting while Retired Police Officer and former Professional Muay Thai fighter Anthony Brown joins Retired Police Officer and Japanese Karate Black Belt Maynard Bagang in talking about the importance of learning striking techniques in law enforcement for close quarters self defense situations.  Followed by Retired Police Officer and Judo Black Belt Marcus Martin who explores the art of the takedown as it applies to law enforcement, with some back up from former Police Officer and UFC Hall of Famer Forrest Griffin.

There are many harrowing situations an Officer can quickly find themselves in, and without the proper pressure tested techniques at their disposal, the encounter can end in tragedy.  We visit Retired Police Officer and BJJ Purple Belt Traci Leveritt to discuss the training necessary to escape attacks on the ground, while a session with Retired Police Corporal and BJJ Black Belt Ray Beshirs covers the scenario in which an Officer has a firearm pointed at them at close range.  This leads to Retired Police Officer and Edged Weapons Expert Jared Wihongi, who demonstrates the techniques an Officer must have in their tool bag in order to survive a knife attack.

Legendary Martial Arts coaches Tony Blauer and Erik Paulson then join the fray, bringing their unique training methods to the film, with Blauer’s SPEAR System and Paulson’s Mixed Martial Arts regimen.  Dr. Jonathan Sheinberg, a Cardiologist and Reserve Police Lieutenant speaks about the epidemic of obesity in law enforcement and the studies that have concluded those within the profession tend to die much sooner than their civilian counterparts.  Retired Police Officer and 9Round Trainer Melissa Wilds has a suggestion for Police Officers looking for a workout, as does TAC Mobility creator Erica Gaines who teaches Police Officers how to properly breath, stretch, and calm themselves as they deal with the ever increasing stresses of the job.  All of which is tied together by former Police Officer Alex Salazar who takes the viewer through the events which led to his career ending as a result of declining mental health and his agency's failure to answer cries for help.

The final chapter makes an arguement once and for all to change Police Culture for the good of both the citizens Police Departments serve and the health and wellness of Police Officers, who deserve to go home each night to their families unharmed.  

“Wrist Lock” was filmed on location in Henderson, NV; Las Vegas, NV; Tucson, AZ; Gilbert, AZ; Encinitas, CA; Fullerton, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Fort Worth, TX; Austin, TX; Jacksonville, FL; & Salt Lake City, UT.

“Wrist Lock: The Martial Arts Influence on Police Use of Force” is a production of Lightning Digital Entertainment

Produced, Directed, Edited, and Written by Jason Harney

Executive Producers: Jason Harney & Jon Gentile