The Gracie Survival Tactics (GST) instructor certification course is a 5-day “Train-the-Trainer” course during which all participants learn the techniques and teaching methodologies necessary to return home and effectively transfer the GST system to the other members of their organizations. Although no experience is necessary to participate in the 30-hour course, only the participants who meet the Gracie University quality standard for technical execution and instruction will qualify for certification.
"Reduced liability for me and my agency."-Mark Ammerman, Police Officer in Virginia
“Without a doubt, the best training I’ve ever had in any subject."-Danny Savery, Police Officer in Rhode Island
"Amazing course…especially for women with no previous experience." -Danielle Desanctus, Police Officer in Virginia
The 5-Day Breakdown
Altogether, the GST course is five days long, with six hours of training per day, totaling 30 hours of instruction. Absolutely no experience is necessary to participate in the course, and the techniques are designed to work for anyone regardless of age, gender, or fitness level. The first three days of the GST course are dedicated to technical instruction. Course participants will be introduced to all GST techniques in a calm and cooperative setting, and then they will strengthen their confidence through a series of Reflex Development Drills. The fourth day of the course is dedicated entirely to instructor training. Course participants will learn the Gracie teaching methodologies that have been perfected over nearly a century. For most participants, this is the highlight of the week as the teaching methodologies can be applied to any skill, not just defensive tactics. The last day of the course is when the final evaluation takes place. Course participants are tested in their comprehension and execution of the techniques as well as their ability to teach the techniques using the Gracie methods.
Program of Instruction
Each course participant will receive a GST Program of Instruction (POI) which outlines all the techniques and teaching methods covered during the week. Not only will the POI help the course participants keep track of everything they learn throughout the week, but it will serve as an invaluable reference manual when the instructor returns home and is required to teach the GST techniques to their colleagues.
The GST Level 1 Instructor Certification Program consists of five modules:
- Surprise Attack Counters: The surprise attack by a suspect who has feigned compliance is one of the most common and most dangerous situations. While most officers learn to recognize and prevent imminent attacks by employing a belt full of weapons, use of these weapons becomes very difficult and risky at close-range. The GST course specializes in defeating the worst-case, close-range attacks.
- Survival & Escape Strategies: One of the worst-case scenarios for a law enforcement officer is to be taken to the ground by an aggressive subject. The GST course trains participants to use reliable leverage-based techniques to neutralize the initial barrage of strikes and escape from underneath the subject to regain a position of advantage. Additionally, since the techniques do not rely on strength, speed, or athleticism, they can be employed by smaller officers against larger, stronger subjects.
- Weapon Retention Techniques A number of law enforcement officers who are killed in the line of duty are shot with their own weapon. The GST course teaches a series of simple yet highly-effective weapon retention principles that will defeat an attacker’s attempt to disarm the officer from any position in the fight, standing or on the ground.
- Arrest & Control Procedures: In a physical altercation with an actively aggressive subject, the fight isn’t over until the threat has been neutralized and the subject is in handcuffs. The GST course features several highly effective handcuffing procedures that can be applied from any position in the fight and are effective in both solo and multi-officer arrest scenarios.
- Gracie Teaching Methodologies: The GST course introduces participants to the time-tested Gracie teaching methodologies – perfected over nearly a century. Upon learning these skills, Gracie University certifies course participants to return to their organizations to share the invaluable survival skills with their colleagues.
Upon successful completion of the Level 1 GST Instructor Certification Course, we will issue you an instructor certificate valid for 18 months. During this period, if any excessive force allegations arise involving the use of the GST techniques, members of the Gracie family will be available to testify as “subject matter experts” on behalf of your department or agency. After the 18-month certification period expires, you must attend a 5-day recertification course in order to renew your certification. If you do not recertify, you may still practice/teach the techniques at your organization, but the Gracie family will not be able testify on your behalf in excessive force cases. The other significant benefit of recertification is the opportunity to learn new/modified techniques based on the feedback from users. That said, even if you are never able to recertify, you will benefit immensely from taking the GST course only once.
Free Online Access
As an actively certified GST instructor, you will be granted free access to the online GST Level 1 video library for the duration of your certification period. Anytime new techniques is added or existing ones are modified, you will be notified so you can incorporate them into your training program.
Level 2 Instructor Certification
Although the Level 1 GST course addresses the most common threat scenarios facing law enforcement professionals, there are several critical threat scenarios that simply don’t fit into the five days allocated for Level 1 training. We created the Level 2 GST course to address these threats. To qualify to attend the Level 2 GST course, participants must have completed Level 1 no more than two years prior to their Level 2 course participation date. Not only does Level 2 course completion certify participants as Level 2 GST instructors, but it also serves as Level 1 recertification. Additionally, GST Level 2 graduates are granted access to the Level 2 online video library for the duration of their certification period.
In addition to reviewing all the Level 1 GST techniques and teaching methodologies, here are some of the concepts that will be addressed in the Level 2 GST course:
- CQB Strategies for Domestic Disturbance Calls
- Two-Man Takedown / Handcuffing Procedure
- Edged Weapon Defense (Standing & Ground)
- Advanced Weapon Retention (Standing & Ground)
- Rear Attack Defenses (Standing)
- Submission Counters
- Vehicle Extractions
- Advanced Gracie Teaching Methodologies
- And more…
WATCH: 2 Cops vs. 1 MMA Fighter
Instructor Certification vs. Online Course
Over the last few years, one of the most common question we get is: “Should I purchase the online-course or attend the five-day instructor certification course?”
The most important consideration is whether or not the GST course is intended for department-wide integration, or solely for personal use:
- Full GST Integration: By all accounts, if you are currently a Defensive Tactics instructor in your department, and your goal is to implement some or all of the GST techniques into your existing DT program, you should do the live instructor certification course. Not only do you get online access for free, but the five-day course will officially qualify you to teach the entire program to your colleagues. As an actively certified instructor, the Gracie Famliy will be available to testify on behalf of your department if the need arises. Additionally, since you’ll be learning directly from a Gracie University head instructor, you will be able to ask questions and get answers through hands-on interaction that isn’t possible online.
- Personal Use Only: If you aren’t a Defensive Tactics instructor, but you are an officer at a department or organization that does not provide effective hands-on solutions to keep you safe, then the online GST course is all you need (as well as a dedicated training partner to practice with). You will learn all the techniques, exactly as they are taught in the live GST course, but you won’t learn any of the teaching methodologies, so you won’t be qualified or authorized to officially teach them to other officers. Although the majority of GST instructor course attendees are DT instructors, about 15-20% of attendees are law enforcement officers who do not have any intentions to teach, but opted to do the live course anyways since it is the fastest way to learn the techniques and there are plenty of great training partners to learn with.
Contact & Registration
For National Security reasons, additional information requires our personal attention. Please contact the GST Director by sending an email to: GST@gracieuniversity.com or calling (817) 692-8303.