World-renowned jiujitsu legend trains metro police officers in self-defense

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Metro police officers got to train with a mixed martial arts legend on Friday.

"Hold on, hold on, hold on. You don't put your elbow down like this because you're going to smash his nose in and the department is going to have to pay for his treatment," Royce Gracie said.

That's one of many lessons he wanted officers to learn before going back onto their shifts.

Gracie is a world-renowned Brazilian jiujitsu instructor best known for winning three of the first four UFC tournaments.

"You don`t have to be big. You don`t have to be strong. You don`t have to be fast," he said. "So it helps law enforcement subdue the opponent without having to hurt the opponent, without having to beat him up."

Gracie and his family are known around the world for their Brazilian jiujitsu training, which he teaches to officers across the country.

"The most important part, why I like to teach law enforcement, is because they are the ones protecting me," Gracie said. "These are the ones protecting my family."

They're skills that Lawrence Franklin and Rachele Foltz said help make their jobs safer.

"You learn movements and ways to keep yourself safe, to keep the suspect safe if it comes a time where you have to go hands on with a suspect," Foltz said. "Where you`re able to keep both of yourselves safe and still do your job adequately."

"Going to work tomorrow, it makes me feel more confident as in being able to get out of a situation as opposed to being stuck into it," Franklin said. "I can think about the 'how can I get away' instead of blanking out and wanting to drill in like a bull."

Gracie said the skills learned Friday aren't just for grappling suspects but to also help these officers shine brighter as leaders of the community.

"I`m not just teaching them self-defense," he said. "I`m teaching them how to serve as an example for the new generation."

"Every time they come to class, we do mention a little bit about eating better," the mixed martial arts legend said. "Maybe you should get in shape. Maybe you shouldn`t drink or smoke. It`s not good for you. So that`s why we say jiujitsu goes beyond the mat.