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  • US Army Goes Gracie


Click Here to view 2018 GST Course Dates and Locations.

The Gracie Survival Tactics (GST) Military/Law Enforcement Instructor Certification Course is our highly specialized program for Military and Law Enforcement professionals. Developed and refined over nearly two decades, the techniques featured in the GST program have been adopted by virtually every federal and state law enforcement agency in the US as well as all five branches of the US Armed Forces, to include the special operations community. GST is a “living program” that is continually evolving based on feedback from those who are using it in the field. Today, the GST program offers multiple levels of instructor certification as well as a fully interactive online learning course for those who can’t make it to the hands-on instructor courses.

Bonus Gracie Video: What sets GST Apart?

To learn more about what makes GST unique, continue reading below, and then feel free to explore the subcategories on the left to see a complete list of GST certified organizations and to learn more about hands-on vs. online training, upcoming course dates, frequently asked questions, and more.


After the UFC took the world by storm in 1993, people all over the world realized that Gracie Jiu-Jitsu was the only system that would give someone a realistic chance against a larger, more athletic opponent. The US Army was among the first to recognize the effectiveness of our self-defense system. In 1994, they contacted Rorion Gracie and asked him to develop an intensive course based on the most effective techniques of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, which would give soldiers maximum hand-to-hand combat effectiveness, in the least amount of time, with the least amount of injuries. The result was Gracie Combatives. Since the inception of the Gracie Combatives course, we have taught the techniques to special operations forces including US Army Special Forces, US Army Rangers, and US Navy SEALs, the CIA, and conventional units in the US Army, US Navy, US Air Force, US Marine Corps, and US Coast Guard. In January 2002, the US Army officially adopted Gracie Jiu-Jitsu as the foundation for its Modern Army Combatives Program (MACP) with the publication of a manual based primarily on the original program designed by Rorion Gracie.

Bonus Gracie Video: US Army Rangers Adopt Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

Concurrently, members of the law enforcement community asked Rorion to develop a program that police officers could use that was non-violent and court-defensible. The result was G.R.A.P.L.E. (Gracie Resisting Attack Procedures for Law Enforcement), a specialized defensive tactics program that has since been adopted by virtually every federal law enforcement agency, including the FBI, US Secret Service, and US Border Patrol, along with countless state, county and local law enforcement agencies.


Today, assaults against law enforcement officers and excessive force allegations are at an all-time high. Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks it is also common for military personnel to be assigned humanitarian missions, which often consist of performing police duties in foreign countries. In order to accommodate the needs of our clients during these changing times and blurred lines of the battlefield, we have merged the highly-effective, easy-to-learn techniques of the original Gracie Combatives military course with the court-defensible G.R.A.P.L.E. course to form Gracie Survival Tactics (GST), the ultimate combatives/defensive tactics solution for any military or law enforcement organization.


According to the FBI in 2009, there were 57,268 sworn law enforcement officers assaulted in the line of duty. The largest percentage of victim officers (32.6) were assaulted during disturbance calls (family quarrels, bar fights, etc.). Of the assaults, 81.4 percent (46,616) were committed by unarmed perpetrators who only used their personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.) to assault the officer. A problem well understood is a problem half solved.

An encounter between a military/law enforcement professional and bad guy is vastly different from an MMA match. Yet, some combatives/defensive tactics programs taught by professional martial artists make no distinction. GST is the fastest growing combatives/defensive tactics program in the world because it is the only “jiu-jitsu based” program that is 100% law enforcement applicable and has also been proven time and time again in actual combat by US military troops deployed globally. The GST program was developed and refined over nearly 20 years based on these three truths:

1. The bad guy always has the ambush advantage.
In a real fight, there is no referee to start or to stop the fight when you are getting assaulted, and there are no weight classes, time limits, or rules to save you either. Only the bad guy knows when and how he will attack. Any time you are close enough to conduct a pat-down, or to exchange documents, you are close enough to be ambushed. In the GST program, we teach simple and effective sudden assault defense strategies that enable you to neutralize the threat and achieve a position of advantage while minimizing injury to yourself and the bad guy.

2. Never grapple with the bad guy by choice.
If you enter into a "grappling match" with the bad guy, you put yourself in great danger since the bad guy could take your weapons and use them against you. If, however, the fight goes to the ground against your will, you must know what to do. In the GST program, we teach time-tested escape techniques that can be used to get you off the ground and back to your feet so that you can establish distance and utilize the appropriate force option to neutralize the threat. GST also features a series of leverage-based weapon retention principles you can apply in any grappling scenario to keep your weapons secure until you have the opportunity to disengage from the ground fight. Our philosophy is simple: "Learn how to fight on the ground, so you don’t have to."

3. In a street fight, there is no "tap-out."
In MMA and sportive jiu-jitsu matches, the tap-out works immediately; in a fight for your life against someone who wants to injure or kill you, a tap-out will not save you. For military and law enforcement professionals, we understand that victory isn’t achieved until you neutralize the threat and apprehend the bad guy. In the GST program we have devised a series of simple, yet reliable, handcuffing procedures you can use from virtually every position in the fight, and the techniques are applicable to both solo and partner arrest scenarios.


With dozens of new defensive tactics courses popping up every year, it’s hard to differentiate between one course and the next. Aside from the fact that the program has been developed and refined over nearly two decades, here are some of the key factors that set GST apart from the rest.

5-Day Instructor Certification
The GST Instructor Certification Course is a 30-hour hands-on course that takes place over five consecutive days. The course is held 5-10 times per year at various military bases, police departments and federal agencies throughout the U.S. and abroad. There is no experience necessary to participate in the course, and upon completion, course participants are certified to teach the GST program to their colleagues using the Gracie systems.

Universal Applicability
The techniques in the GST program are designed to be effective for any military or law enforcement professional regardless of age, gender, size, or athletic ability (we recommend a minimum level of fitness). While most other defensive tactics programs rely on the strength, speed, and coordination of the user, all the techniques in the GST program are based entirely on leverage, timing, and efficient use of energy so that they can be successfully applied by anyone against a larger, stronger subject in the field.

Reduced Liability
One allegation of excessive force can undermine a Law Enforcement organization’s authority and jeopardize its relationship with the community it serves. All the techniques in the GST course are specifically designed to be maximally effective, while at the same time minimally injurious to the subject on whom they are being applied. Nearly all of the organizations that have adopted the GST program have reported a significant decrease in the number of excessive force allegations.

GST Online Video Course
To increase technical retention and to make the GST course available to as many military and law enforcement professionals as possible, we digitally captured the entire course and made it available via streaming online video through Graduates of the 5-day Instructor Certification course are given free access to the online course so they can review their techniques 24/7 and remain up to date on any new/modified techniques. For those who cannot make it to a hands-on GST course, the online GST course can also be purchased for $395. For more information and to watch a free video breakdown, go to

Tactical Gear Tested
There are many martial arts techniques that are perfectly applicable and highly effective when wearing normal street clothes, but are totally useless when applied by someone who is wearing restrictive body armor or a bulky duty belt. Before any technique is added to the GST program, it is thoroughly tested to make sure that it can be applied in the restrictive tactical gear. In fact, in the online GST course, we included full tactical gear demos so that you can see how effectively all techniques can be applied, regardless of the body armor and duty belt restrictions!

Multiple Certification Levels
There are currently two levels of certification in the GST program. Level 1 is the 5-day course that provides participants with the core techniques, as well as the most important Gracie Teaching methodologies. Upon successful Level 1 integration within their departments, the instructors qualify to attend the Level 2 GST Instructor Certification Course. This course is also 5-days long, but it provides the participants with an entire arsenal of new techniques, including, but not limited to: Advanced Weapon Retention, Multi-Officer Arrest and Control Strategies, CQB strategies for domestic disturbance scenarios, Edged Weapon Defenses, and much more!

A "Living" Curriculum
Gracie Survival Tactics (GST) is a living curriculum that is constantly evolving to meet the needs of those whose lives depend on it. Since 1993, our techniques have been taught to hundreds of thousands of Military and Law enforcement professionals by GST certified instructors. Over the years, we’ve received hundreds of reports from professionals who have used the techniques in the field. With their feedback, we’ve been able to modify, adapt, and, on some occasions, add new techniques to the GST program, so that it continues to serve as the most cutting-edge, yet user-friendly, combatives/defensive tactics program in the world today.

The 4-hour GST Training Module
Although the exact amount of combatives/defensive tactics training time varies from one organization to the next, from what we’ve gathered over the years, most Law Enforcement agencies provide somewhere between 4 and 8 hours of defensive tactics training to their in-service officers each year. In the Level 1 GST Instructor Certification Course, not only are the course participants certified to teach all GST techniques, but they are given precise instruction on how to administer a condensed training course for their colleagues in 4-, 8-, or 12-hour training blocks.

Dealing With Educated "Bad Guys"
MMA is the fastest growing sport in the world, and the general public’s knowledge on basic fighting strategies and techniques is at an all-time high. Consequently, there is a very real risk that a military or law enforcement professional will encounter a bad guy with some form of mixed martial arts training. Fortunately, the GST program is specifically designed to give any military or law enforcement professional – regardless of age, gender, or athletic ability – the skills to: 1) Neutralize the immediate threat from an aggressive subject, 2) Retain control of their weapons during the fight, and 3) Achieve a position of advantage so they can utilize the appropriate force option.

Remember, while you are reading this, your enemy is training.


For more information on GST, including program options (hands-on versus online), upcoming course dates, pricing, and the benefits of hosting a course at your department/base , simply click on the additional links found on the upper left-hand side of this webpage.


For National Security reasons, additional information requires our personal attention. Please contact the GST Director by sending an email to: or calling (817) 692-8303.