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Established in 1998, the International Police Defensive Tactics Institute (IPDTI) is an organization dedicated exclusively to the teaching of empty hand, close-quarter Defensive Tactics to the international Law Enforcement community and the Security industry. While everyone in today’s World should learn Self Defense, certain groups have exceptional requirements that must be addressed in a truly specialized manner. Members of the Law Enforcement community (which encompasses City, County, State, Federal, Correction, Military Police and the private security industry) have very specific and unique needs in the area of Defensive Tactics, focusing primarily on controlling techniques, restraint and immobilization, weapon retention and disarming. The technical material must be consistent with a philosophy that promotes safety and the reduction of liability.  Most “civilian Martial Arts” approaches to Police Defensive Tactics do not meet that challenge and may actually be incompatible with Law Enforcement use of force policies.  
The IPDTI was founded by John Pellegrini assisted by several of his Instructors, all with extensive Law Enforcement background and actual street experience. They conducted in-depth research of existing Police Defensive Tactics courses and training methods, with the objective of developing a new program aimed at reducing officers’ injuries, incidents of excessive force and charges of police brutality.  The research revealed that many of the injuries and the excessive force incidents were a direct result of insufficient or inadequate empty hand Defensive Tactics training. 


To provide the most competent, effective and practical Defensive Tactics training.

To make officer’s safety the foremost priority.

To limit liability exposure to the officers and their department / agency / company.

To train & certify competent, professional Instructors.

To foster positive public relations for Law Enforcement / Security in the community by enhancing professionalism and competence.

To continue research and exchange in the field of Police Defensive Tactics.  

To educate Martial Arts Instructors in the specific needs and requirements of the Law Enforcement / Security community.

To maintain a professional association (IPDTIA). 
Today the IPDTI is recognized as one of the most professional and respected Law Enforcement training organizations in the World.  We have instructed police, correction and security officers in the US, Puerto Rico, Canada, Germany, Italy, Finland, England, Norway, Bermuda, Ireland, Costa Rica, Spain, South Korea, Panama, Colombia, New Zealand and Japan. 

IPDTI courses contain a wide range of realistic, effective and practical techniques designed to deal with most situations and all levels of resistance while remaining consistent with the principles of the “Force Continuum”.  The training is hands-on and includes easy to learn and retain techniques covering: traps & strikes, joint locks & take-downs, Tactical Pressure Points, escorts, weapon retention, disarming of weapons, Officer Ground Survival and tactical handcuffing.  All material is presented in a humane and legally sound context.  Currently the Institute offers two kinds of courses: 
Basic Defensive Tactics Course (offered in some jurisdictions as “Arrest & Control” course).  This course consists of 8 hours of instruction conducted by the Institute Faculty Instructors or by any IPDTI Licensed Instructor.  A Certificate of Basic Training is issued to all participants who successfully complete the course. Instructor Certification Course.  This course consists of 18 hours of training (3 days) conducted ONLY by the Institute Faculty Instructors.  An Instructor License valid for 3 years is issued to all participants who successfully complete the course.  Re-certification (by attending a 12 hour course) is required every 3 years to maintain a valid license. 
John Pellegrini – Founder & Director of IPDTI – 20 years of Law Enforcement / Security / Executive Protection experience.  Over 40 years Martial Arts training.  World renowned expert & authority on Self Defense for civilians, Police and Military.  Special Deputy Sheriff Buncombe County, NC, and Reserve Police Officer Argentine Township, MI.

David Rivas – Retired US Air Force.  Over 30 years Martial Arts training.  Recognized expert on Self Defense and Ground Fighting.  Founder/Director of the IPDTI “Officer Ground Survival” program.

Mark Gridley – 7 years US Army Medic.  Master Business Administration.  Over 25 years Martial Arts training.  Leading authority on Pressure Points.  Founder/Director of the IPDTI “Anatomical Control Tactics” program. 
Membership in the IPDTI Professional Association is open to all individuals currently certified and / or active in Defensive Tactic Instruction to the Law Enforcement / Security community.  All relevant Certifications and Qualifications (not just the IPDTI) are recognized and accepted. 
For more information and course dates, visit:   or email: 

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