The Cop’s Russian is an arm control that I invented while serving as a police officer in Brooklyn. It’s a sport wrestling move, The Russian Tie, modified for self-defense. The Russian Tie is used to control the arm to set up takedowns and can also be used that way in self-defense.

The Cop’s Russian is different because you are not concerned with taking a Badguy down so much as taking the Badguy across space to slam him into a wall. It can also be used to simply shove a Badguy away to give you enough space to run or reach for the tools on your belt.

In the Russian Tie for sport you put one hand on the shoulder but not in the Cop’s Russian for self-defense. In the Cop’s Russian you put the hand on the bicep instead of the shoulder to prevent the Badguy from being able to bite the hand. (I had to find this out the hard way.)

The advantage that Cop’s Russian and Russian Tie have over other arm controls is that while most of the standing arm locks and arm controls from martial arts have 2 points of control with your two hands, the Cop’s Russian has three points of control because your torso acts as a “third hand”. With three points of control, you completely isolate all three joints of the arm: shoulder, elbow, and wrist.

The Cop’s Russian is very versatile. There are literally hundreds of entries. It is good against unarmed, armed, and multiple opponents of all sizes. You can use it to set up takedowns, strikes, chokes, wrist locks, and even kill shots and you can run away at any time.

In this video, Ali Al-Abad is demonstrating the Cop’s Russian on Jon Hasan. Special thanks to both of these cool guys.


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