Stark County Sheriff’s Office releases ‘The Beast’ during grappling training seminar – The Dickinson Press

DICKINSON — Law enforcement officers know that despite Hollywood’s portrayal of law enforcement officers as being engaged in shootings, the vast majority of use-of-force encounters involve physical scuffles.

According to a review of law enforcement use of force incidents, nearly two-thirds (62%) ended with the officer and subject on the ground.

“Use of force incidents are rare, but more often than not when they do occur, law enforcement engages with a suspect at close range in an effort to gain a physical advantage and to comply “Stark County Sheriff Corey Lee said. “That’s why it’s important to understand these techniques.”

Lee said it was this reality that prompted the Stark County Sheriff’s Office to seek training for a man who knows a thing or two in such situations.
Dan “The Beast” Severn is a combat sports legend whose list of personal accomplishments in grappling and martial arts is legendary. A member of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Hall of Fame with over 127 professional fights, Severn holds a professional MMA record of 101 wins, 19 losses and 7 draws – almost all of which have ended on the floor.

Severn is the only man to compete, hold titles and be inducted into the Amateur Wrestling, Mixed Martial Arts and Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame.

“Law enforcement, corrections, air marshals, border patrol and the US military. I work with all of these different sectors and since about 1994 these agencies started looking at this crazy thing called Ultimate Fighting Championships,” Severn said. “They saw how many times matches would end up on the ground and end up on the ground. Today, 99.9% of matches still end up on the ground. When you put yourself in the position of having to face those realities of a fight, you understand and trust.”

Accomplished grappler and mixed martial arts legend, Dan “The Beast” Severn visited Dickinson to conduct training with Stark County Sheriff’s Office deputies.

Photo by James B. Miller, Jr./The Dickinson Press

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Dan Severn is considered one of the leading pioneers of mixed martial arts and has been teaching his ground defense and evasion program since 1994 to law enforcement, corrections, the military and security communities with a great success.

Photo by James B. Miller, Jr./The Dickinson Press

On Wednesday, Severn trained around 20 law enforcement officers as part of its two-day program, “Ground Defensives and Escapes”.

At 63, The Beast was in his element on the mats showing deputies how to perform various techniques while also getting the occasional “tapping” from much younger officers.

For some, it was a surreal experience.

“I grew up watching Dan when I was in high school, so it’s nice to be able to bring him in to help with training,” Lee said. “It’s always good to be able to learn something and practice grappling. Who better to learn than Dan Severn?”

The two-day course included training on going to the ground and having the ability to escape, how to avoid a disadvantageous position, scenario-based segments teaching the concepts and principles of being on the ground .

“It’s about neutralizing 90% of an abuser’s advantages that could save a life,” Severn said. “When you have the vest, the seatbelt and all the different gear that you’re wearing, you have to realize that’s going to prevent someone from being as mobile as they would be in shorts and a t-shirt. We have so tailored our training to account for these things and provide these officers with real-world techniques that work.It’s a long, hard day of training for sure.

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