PNP to bring back martial arts for cops

By Cecille Suerte Felipe, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jan 24 2014 04:01 AM | Updated as of Jan 24 2014 12:01 PM

MANILA - Policemen will soon be trained on the art of combat sports, including taekwondo, boxing, karate and arnis, that would provide health benefits and enhance their anti-crime fighting ability.

Chief Superintendent Reuben Theodore Sindac, head of the Philippine National Police (PNP)-Public Information Office, said combat sports included in the PNP physical fitness and sports development program would surely help police personnel perform their duty with or without firearms.

“The PNP is pushing for these combat sports to encourage our personnel to use their physical skills to defend themselves and other people against lawless elements,” said Sindac.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima and other police officials joined dance-exercise zumba sessions held at the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City, last week as part of the Integrated Health and Physical Fitness Program for policemen.

The PNP first floated in July 2012 the idea of combat sports, a program pattern after the Japanese police.

Japanese policemen practice judo and karate as their combat sports until they retire.

Sindac said the Combat Sports Training Program for policemen is actually part of the strengthened physical fitness and sports development program among the 150,000-strong police force across the country.

He said the PNP would also be conducting physical fitness tests according to age groups every year.

“This program requires all uniformed personnel, within the age of 39 years old and below, to undergo the physical fitness test at least once a year, preferably on the first week of their birth month,” he added.

Under the fitness test based on the National Headquarters standard, policemen will be evaluated in terms of stamina, strength, speed and agility through push-up, sit-up, 300-meter run and 2,500-meter run.

Elite forces such as the Special Action Force, Maritime Group and Aviation Security Group have separate physical fitness test standards that suit their personnel’s skills and functions.

Policemen are expected to obtain a passing raw score equivalent to a grade of 70 percent in each event required in their age category.

Sindac said policemen who are 40 years old and above would also be required to undergo the annual physical examination to be supervised by the PNP Health Service and health personnel.

The test is a series of medical examinations intended to address or prevent a more serious health condition before it begins to cause problems.

Sindac said assistance of medical personnel during fitness test is meant to ensure that all personnel will be able to cope with the rigors of police work through the promotion and development of sports in the PNP.

Police officials said the combat sports program would instill discipline and enhance and develop self-defense skills of all PNP personnel.