GURPS Martial Arts/Technical Grappling: Arrest Techniques

Forum poster Icelander wanted to create a special martial arts style for actually being trained to arrest and detain folks. It’s based on how they do it in Iceland, I think, and is derived from the Passive Restraint style found in the Technical Grappling book. I asked for permission to repost it here on the blog, which he granted. For more discussion, go here.

Arrest Techniques

6 points

This represents the training police officers or other law enforcement personnel receive in arrest techniques, control tactics and the use of force continuum, excluding tactical shooting and the handling of firearms, which will usually be considered its own style. Teamwork is a vital part of this style and the Perk can be chosen as soon as the style has been learned, even if the character does not have 10 points in its skills.

This write-up is skewed toward the arrest techniques taught by the Icelandic police, as that is what I had the best access to, but will describe many typical British, Danish, German, Norwegian and USA training programs as well. Staff as an Optional skill is rare in Europe and the US, but more common in Asia, where the lathi stick and other long staves are common law enforcement tools. Shield is a primary skill for riot police and their batons are often long enough to use Broadsword skill.

Gunnar, my friend who is a serving police officer, member of a riot team and a certified arrest technique instructor, has visited and/or hosted police visitors who have from the above-mentioned countries, observing their training, trained with them and exchanged tips and tactics, in addition to some twelve years of experience here in Iceland.

Unfortunately, he hasn’t trained with anyone who graduated from Quantico, FLETC or other federal training facility, so I can’t be certain this fits for federal law enforcement agents in the US. His last experience with US police was with the Miami-Dade Police Department and this style would fit well enough for them. From what I’ve heard from other cops here who have gone on patrol or trained with US police, it also seems to work for several other Florida deparments, the NYPD and others.

In general, courses in proprietory systems like the SPEAR Fighting System, CQD or others do not mean that the graduate needs to take another Style Familiarity Perk, as most such courses are not long enough for that. SPEAR Fighting System, popular in the UK and allegedly having been taught at the FLETC and Quantico at some point in the 2000s and 2010s, is basically just adding a point in Brawling and maybe Judo, which are already Optional skills precisely because of a tendency to teach these skills in some training programs. The first point in an unarmed skill, particularly Brawling, doesn’t actually require much time to gain, so it’s fairly realistic that a good instructor can teach it in a course that takes less than a week. It’s gaining higher levels of skill that takes a lot of time.

Skills: Diplomacy; Intimidation; Liquid Projector (Sprayer); Shortsword; Wrestling.

Techniques: Arm Lock (Shortsword or Wrestling); Armed Grapple (Shortsword); Change Position (Wrestling); Close Combat (Shortsword); Disarming; Force Posture Change (Wrestling); Handcuffing (Wrestling); Low Fighting; Pass Limb (Wrestling); Retain Weapon (Shortsword); Sweep (Wrestling); Targeted Attack (Liquid Projector (Sprayer) Jet/Face); Targeted Attack (Shortsword Swing/Arm); Targeted Attack (Shortsword Swing/Leg).

Perks: Grip Mastery (Baton); Licence; Off-Hand Weapon Training (Liquid Projector (Sprayer)); Passive Restraint Certification; Teamwork (Arrest Techniques); Technique Mastery (Change Position; Force Posture Change; Handcuffing; Pass Limb).

Optional Traits

Advantages: Combat Reflexes; Legal Enforcement Powers; Police Rank.

Disadvantages: Code of Honour (Police); Sense of Duty (Blue Line).

Skills: Body Language; Brawling; Broadsword; Fast-Draw (Sword); Holdout; Judo; Law (Police); Observation; Professional Skill (Law Enforcement); Search; Shield; Staff; Streetwise; Sumo Wrestling.

Techniques: Break Free (Wrestling); Choke Hold (Shortsword or Wrestling); Elbow Strike (Brawling); Escaping Parry (Wrestling).

Perks: Quick-Swap (Baton); Off-Hand Weapon Training (Shortsword); Shoves and Tackles (Shield or Staff); Style Adaptation (BJJ; Glíma (Belt/Jacket Wrestling)* or MMA); Sure-Footed (Any appropriate for typical duty environment).

*Replace with any culturally relevant style for other countries.

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