Defensive Tactics flashcards |

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  • Ability

    The capacity a subject has to carry out his or her intent

    Active resistance

    A subject's use of physically evasive movements directed toward the officer; examples include bracing, tensing, pushing, or pulling to prevent the officer from establishing control over the subject

    Aggressive resistance

    A subject's attacking movements toward an officer that may cause injury but are not likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the officer or others


    The officer's elevation and assignment of challenge or threat value to a stimulus


    The officer's elevated mind-body state that occurs in the presence of a perceived challenge or threat

    Auditory distortion

    A survival stress reaction in which hearing may be diminished or amplified


    A position in which the head is over the hips, and the hips are over and between the feet; necessary for performing defensive tactics

    Balance displacement

    A controlling technique used to break the subject's balance through the use of leverage principles

    Binocular vision

    A survival stress reaction in which both eyes remain open, and it is very difficult to close just one eye


    Reactionary techniques using the arms, legs, or body to deflect or redirect a subject's impending strike to other certain areas of the body

    Body movement

    Refers to how an officer approaches a subject or enters a scene


    A type of chemical agent commonly used by law enforcement usually in the form of hand-held canisters and chemical projectiles

    Cardiovascular training

    Any exercise that elevates the heart rate to a range between 60 and 85 percent of the maximum rate

    Command presence

    The way an officer carries him or herself


    The exchanging of information through verbal and nonverbal methods; provides valuable insight into the likelihood of cooperation and compliance of a subject

    Complex motor skills

    A combination of fine and gross motor skills using hand/eye coordination timed to a single event


    The verbal and/or physical yielding to an officer's authority without apparent threat of resistance or violence

    Critical incident amnesia

    A temporary or sometimes permanent condition, following an extremely stressful situation, where short and long-term memory loss may occur

    Custodial search technique

    A complete search of the subject used when a subject is taken into custody in an unsecured environment

    Danger zone

    The area within the reactionary gap

    Deadly force

    Force that is likely to cause death or great bodily harm

    Deadly force resistance

    A subject's hostile, attacking movements, with or without a weapon, that create a reasonable perception by the officer that the subject intends to cause and has the capability of causing death or great bodily harm to the officer or others


    Decreasing the use of force or resistance

    Defensive tactics

    A system of controlled defensive and offensive body movements used by criminal justice officers to respond to a subject's aggression or resistance


    Controlled, nonemotional communication between an officer and a subject, aimed at problem solving and communication

    Direct line of attack

    The direction that a subject comes from


    The discontinuing of commands or the physical use of force; breaking away from a subject

    Distraction technique

    A technique that interrupts the subject's concentration so that energy is redirected from the current focus

    Electronic control device

    A device that uses a high voltage, low power electrical charge to induce involuntary muscle contractions to temporarily incapacitate a non-compliant subject (also known as electronic immobilization device, conducted energy weapon (CEW), or conducted energy device (CED))

    Empty hand striking technique

    Any impact technique using hands, arms, elbows, feet, legs, knees, or head to strike a subject in an offensive or defensive situation


    Increasing the use of force or resistance


    A technique used to move a subject from one point to another without using pain compliance; provides minimal control of the subject through leverage

    Evasion technique

    Shifting one's body or side stepping to avoid an attack

    Excited delirium

    A state of extreme mental and physiological excitement due to extreme drug use; characterized by extreme agitation, hyperthermia, hostility, and exceptional strength and endurance without apparent fatigue; can lead to death

    Eye gaze

    The tendency of your eyes to fixate to one location

    Fear induced stress

    Survival stress

    Fine motor skills

    The muscle control required to make small, precise movements

    Fluid shock principle

    The principle that describes the result of strikes that are delivered utilizing penetration of the muscle or nerves of the target area so that the striking object stays on or indented in the target for an instant, which allows for a full transfer of kinetic energy that displaces the water content in the muscle and creates a shock wave, greatly multiplying the effect of the strike by producing intense pain and immobilizing the subject

    Foot stomp

    A distraction technique applied with a downward thrust to the subject's foot to inflict pain, temporarily divert the subject's attention, and redirect the physical power of the subject's attack

    Force Guidelines

    A framework for making decisions involving the reasonable use of force by criminal justice officers


    The use of body mechanics to control a subject

    Gross motor skills

    The movements of the large or major muscles of the body


    Temporary restraining devices used frequently to control a subject

    Head butt

    A distraction technique using the frontal lobe or back of the head to make contact with the subject's face, head, or other target area to inflict pain, temporarily divert a subject's attention, and redirect the physical power of the subject's attack


    Mental shortcuts that allow people to solve problems and make judgments quickly and efficiently

    Impact weapon

    Any object used for striking


    A reasonably perceived, imminent threat to an officer or another person

    Intermediate weapon

    A tool used when empty-handed control is ineffective, but the subject's level of resistance does not merit deadly force; baton, OC spray, dart-firing stun gun

    Interview stance with an impact weapon

    A low profile stance with the weapon held partially hidden behind the leg

    Joint manipulation

    A method of gaining control over a subject by bending or twisting a joint in a direction that will cause pain or discomfort to the joint


    Using a great force against a weaker resistance

    Limbic system

    The parts of the brain that control emotion and motivation

    Mechanical compliance

    A method used to gain control over a subject by applying pressure or leverage on a joint by locking it up so that no movement of the joint is possible, causing the subject to comply with verbal direction

    Motor dysfunction

    A method of gaining control over a subject by using an incapacitation technique that causes temporary impairment of muscular control

    Nonlethal weapon

    A weapon that is not fundamentally designed to cause death or great bodily harm


    A type of chemical agent commonly used by law enforcement, usually in the form of hand-held canisters and chemical projectiles

    Objective reasonableness

    A term the courts have used to describe the process for evaluating the appropriateness of an officer's response to a subject's resistance

    Offensive ready stance with an impact weapon

    A high profile stance with the weapon held at a shoulder position to enable a rapid strike

    Officer presence

    An officer's ability to convey to subjects and onlookers that he or she is ready and able to take control


    A subject's capacity for carrying out an intention to cause death or great bodily harm to others

    Pain compliance

    A subject's response to a combination of pain and verbal commands to stop resisting

    Parasympathetic nervous system

    The part of the autonomic nervous system that is concerned with controlling the body during normal, routine situations

    Passive resistance

    A subject's verbal and/or physical refusal to comply with an officer's lawful direction causing the officer to use physical techniques to establish control

    Pat down

    A physical frisk of a subject conducted in a predetermined pattern to locate weapons

    Pepper spray

    An inflammatory agent that causes tearing and involuntary closing of the eyes, nasal discharge, sneezing, disorientation, and perceived respiratory distress; also known as OC

    Perceptual space distortion

    Objects appear to be closer or farther than they actually are

    Perceptual time distortion

    Occurrences seem to be faster or slower than they actually are

    Physical control

    Achieving compliance or custody through the use of empty-hand or leverage-enhanced techniques, such as pain compliance, transporters, restraint devices, takedowns, and striking techniques

    Plain feel doctrine

    Permits an officer to seize any object "whose contour or mass" he or she identifies as apparent contraband during a pat down


    Supporting the balance of the body using a limb


    Behavior in which a subject acts verbally and physically as if he or she may resist

    Pressure points

    Techniques used to control resistant behavior by utilizing pain compliance

    Prone position

    Lying on the stomach face down

    Quadrant search approach

    Dividing the body into four sections horizontally and vertically during a search

    Reaction time principle

    The amount of time it takes for the brain to process a physical threat and for the body to respond

    Reactionary gap

    The distance an officer must keep between him or herself and the subject in order to react effectively against a sudden threat

    Reasonable suspicion

    The facts or circumstances that reasonably indicate that a person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a violation of the law


    Using one's hands to move the subject away

    Relative positioning

    An officer's position in relation to the subject

    Restraint devices

    Tools such as handcuffs designed to temporarily restrain a subject's movements

    Scoville heat unit

    A measure of the heat properties (burning sensation) of capsicum in OC spray


    A government intrusion into a place in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy

    Shin scrape

    A distraction technique applied by raising the foot and applying downward pressure on the subject's shin to inflict pain and temporarily divert an attacking subject's attention


    The movement in a hip escape; moving from side to side while avoiding or defending against an attack

    Slide step

    Used when preparing to engage or disengage from a subject in close proximity

    Snap back

    A strike that is retracted very quickly, thus enabling multiple strikes, creating distance, setting up the next techniques, and causing distraction to the subject


    Immobilizing the subject's head so the subject cannot move or escape


    A tactical method of safely controlling a suspect until an officer can physically recover, reassess the situation, or backup arrives


    Forcefully blinking the eyes using all the muscles in the face, including those in the forehead


    To completely relinquish control to another

    Supine position

    Lying on the back face up

    Survival stress

    A measure of anxiety caused by an appraisal of a stimulus that leads to an extreme state of arousal (also known as fear-induced stress)

    Sympathetic nervous system

    The part of the autonomic nervous system that is concerned especially with preparing the body to react to situations of stress or emergency


    Techniques used to bring a resisting subject from a standing position to the ground, making it easier to control him or her


    Small eye, hand, or foot movements in the direction that an officer plans to move

    Temporary motor dysfunction

    A type of incapacitation that causes temporary impairment of muscle control

    Totality of circumstances

    A term the court uses to refer to all facts and circumstances reasonably perceived by the officer as the basis for a use of force decision


    Nonthreatening, noncustodial physical contact that can be used to support or emphasize a verbal command

    Touch pressure

    Touching the location of a nerve or sensitive area and applying continual, uninterrupted pressure with the tip of the finger(s) or thumb until the subject complies


    Techniques used to move a subject from one point to another with pain compliance and/or mechanical compliance (also known as come-along holds)

    Tunnel vision

    A loss of peripheral vision and depth perception that often occurs during survival stress situations

    Vascular neck restraint

    A physical restraint compressing certain veins and arteries in the neck to cause a subject to lose consciousness for a brief period of time


    Blood flow is restricted from the extremities and skin


    Blood flows into the larger muscle groups providing oxygen to power flight and aid in escape

    Verbal direction

    The use of proper, clear, and concise commands to let a subject know what an officer needs or expects him or her to do

    Visual control

    The ability to see both the subject's hands and to know that those hands hold no weapons

    Visual distortion

    When experiencing survival stress and physiological changes in the eye, vision may become distorted

    Weapon of opportunity

    An item an officer has at hand that can be used as a potential impact weapon when needed, such as a broomstick, flashlight, clipboard, or radio

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