When training staff in using physical force it’s necessary that the techniques provided empower staff to achieve the desired result, i.e., the physical management of someone with minimal risk to all concerned or the successful defence of a person likely to be assaulted. Therefore, it’s fundamentally important that the physical abilities taught to employees complement their capacity to achieve the desired result.
Physical use of power, like any other physical activity, requires the use of various physical motor skills. Motor skills can be described as movements that are performed using a desirable goal in mind. In sporting environments this might mean achieving such goals as holding a handstand in gymnastics. In bodily restraint it means achieving the purpose of staff being able to utilize a technique to physically restrain a violent individual whilst reducing the harm to them and others, and in self-defence it’s the capacity to defend oneself quickly and efficiently.
There has been a whole lot of research recently concerning the relationship between motor abilities and performance, particularly how particular skills react when used in circumstance of distress or higher pressure and the findings are extremely important for all of us who use or teach physical pressure. To understand this a bit better lets firstly define what a’Gross’ and a’Fine’ motor ability are. A fine motor ability is one that is done by the smaller muscles in the body like the hands of hands and which involve great hand-eye co-ordination.
Activities like playing the piano, handwriting or typing could be considered fine motor skills. Fine motor skills work best and achieve optimum performance in situations of reduced stimulation. For instance, if a concert pianist is going to walk on stage at the Royal Albert Hall the audience will be silent to permit the pianist to focus on the complexity of what he or she’s about to perform. In many hospitals today classical music is performed in the operating theatre to decrease the stimulation of a surgeon about to undertake brain surgery on a sedated patient.
Gross motor skills are abilities which generally involve the activities of their larger muscle groups and cases of gross-motor activity would be walking, running, pushing or pulling movements. Gross motor skills are also called’strength occasions’ because it normally happens in situations where a high degree of arousal is occurring, which serves to raise the perfect performance level of their gross motor skill being used. Therefore, if we want to prepare individuals to use force for their defence or to have to restrain an aggressive or violent person, in situations of high emotional arousal, the people need to train them in methods which involve gross motor-skill structure if they are to succeed in what they do whist optimising their personal energy stores economically.
Training someone in techniques which involve ‘fine’ or more ‘complicated’ motor skill construction is only going to work if they are to be utilised in situations of reduced or non-existent strain and intensity. However, if the man is subsequently expected to utilize these techniques in cases of high emotional arousal then the procedure is extremely likely to fail and the margin for error for an accident or a fatality increases. Another element that increases the possibility of failure is that people are educated too many techniques in self defence and restraint courses. The net consequence of this is they will forget what they have been educated. In the former individuals get hurt and hurt others because they hesitate, they doubt their ability and this increases the margin for error. In the latter individuals ‘revert to type’. What this signifies is they will default to a technique which is more effective they can do that they’ve learned elsewhere.
Although this isn’t so much of a problem in a self defence situation, it may cause problems in an arrest / restraint and control scenario and can result is somebody using a full-nelson or a choke hold or throwing someone into the ground and then putting a knee on their back or neck. Although these techniques may be effective, they can also be fatal. Traditionally (and even today) use of force training by many businesses is taught in’inactive’ surroundings where a skill is practiced with no pressure.
This is primarily because most businesses don’t want to train employees in pressurised situation situations for fear of someone being hurt and the organisation being sued for the harm. However, the dichotomy is that if businesses don’t train people properly to satisfy the demands of the job they are expected to tackle then it’s highly possible that whatever is taught in a’fine’ and’secure’ environment, is extremely likely to potentially fail when the member of staff is finds themselves in a hostile and violent confrontation.
Employees enjoy the training since it’s’fun’ so the feedback is great because they’enjoyed it’. However, it’s a false economy. The pleasure they had in training is very likely to turn into actual distress when what they have been taught fails in a confrontation, and there’s more bad news also. Some firms, in an effort to avoid being held accountable, will really make the employees feel as if they are responsible by stating that the technique failed because’they likely didn’t do it correctly’, and to prove this they’ll show them their own feedback in the path which reflects that they’loved’ the course and so could do exactly what they were shown.
However, what they have been shown was only designed to operate in situations of no pressure. The net result a member of staff is hung out to dry. When we refer to ability, we draw reference to secure and enduring traits which for the most part, are genetically determined and as such underlie a person’s proficient performance. However, there’s also the difference in sex to take into account. This is an important element to think about whether the training is to be offered to a mostly female workforce who are, by way of instance, expected to control male service users. Recent studies have highlighted some basic differences between women and men concerning aspects of personal skill.
Therefore, even though people should be equal concerning their rights of chance and the right to exercise their full potential, women and men are definitely not identical in their innate abilities. And if these basic differences aren’t addressed in a competent training package, they will only serve to increase the risk to those concerned. For example, the Allied Dunbar National Fitness Survey discovered that men are taller and heavier than women and that men have more active muscle tissue and an increased blood volume than females, leading to them being faster, stronger, stronger and having higher endurance. Women and men have the identical amount of muscle fibres.
However, the muscle fibres in men are usually larger and this is considered to be connected to the male hormone testosterone. Because of this men are usually stronger and stronger than girls because they have a higher lean muscle mass. Men have 10% bigger hearts than girls therefore having a greater capacity to pump more blood and oxygen around the body to nourish the increased muscle mass. Men have 10% bigger lungs than girls leading to a higher capacity to oxygenate the higher blood more effectively.
Men also have 1 – 1.5 litres of blood over girls and within the bloodstream men have roughly 5.4 million blood cells per microlitre of blood whereas girls have 4.8 million red blood cells per microlitre of blood. It follows that men have a greater capacity for carrying oxygen in their blood compared to their female counterparts. Women also carry 10 percent more of the overall weight as fat compared to men. Therefore, the feminine heart must work harder to be able to supply the identical quantity of oxygen to working muscles in a particular time interval, leading to men having more active muscle tissue compared to females contributing to them being faster, stronger, stronger, having higher anaerobic and aerobic power and higher endurance, compared to typical female.
What this study shows is that the physical and physiological differences between the sexes means that guys have disproportionate levels of strength, endurance and power than females do. In personal security terms this means that guys will have the ability to rely on larger reserves of strength, endurance and power during a physical battle situation. In the context of using physical force this means that guys will have the ability to rely on larger reserves of strength, endurance and power during a physical battle situation.
On that basis girls who will be expected to use physical force will require more effective procedures of control, particularly if they’re expected to control a man. Men, by contrast, should, generally, have the ability to use less power to accomplish the same outcome. So why is this significant? Under the Corporate Manslaughter & Corporate Homicide Act 2007 Courts are now permitted to examine the culture of their organisation. They’re permitted to look at what’s being taught and why. We can demonstrate what works and what does not.