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Also at fourteen, Lou joined the Los Angeles Police Department Explorer Program. Explorers were required to wear military type uniforms and followed a highly regimented program. The explorers worked security and support functions for LAPD during community events. Over the years, Lou rose up through the ranks to become an Explorer Captain assuming a leadership role, directing and supervising the post activities. The dual experience of the martial arts and police explorer scout programs began what was to become a long and successful career in both worlds.
Upon graduation from high school Lou attended Los Angeles City College and studied in the Criminal Justice program. Attending college made him eligible to participate in the Los Angeles Police Department Student Worker program as a civilian employee. This experience afforded Lou the opportunity to gain valuable insight into the workings of the LAPD. After gaining experience in many facets of the Department as a student worker his decision to seek a future with the LAPD was solidified.
In 1973, he entered the prestigious LAPD Academy for recruit officer training. The ju jitsu training under Sensei Leff that preceded Lous Academy training set him apart from the other recruit trainees. Lou naturally excelled in the self-defense training and was especially adept at controlling and subduing larger and seemingly stronger opponents. His martial arts skills were recognized and respected by the Academy self-defense training staff.
After graduating from the Academy, Lou was assigned to Hollywood Patrol Division. The career he had dreamed of as a child was now a reality. Having witnessed several police shootings Lou soon realized that a critical component for survival on the streets of Los Angeles, other than a strong physical ability, was maintaining proficiency with a firearm.
Lou, already an expert marksman from Academy training, sought a way to further improve his marksmanship skills. He believed that the use of a firearm was in itself a martial art (Ho Jitsu), a discipline to be revered and incorporated as a way of life.
In 1975, Lou became a member of the world renowned LAPD Pistol Team. Here Lou was mentored by legendary LAPD Pistol Team members John Hurst, Jerry Kelch, Phil Harris, Fred Romero and John Pride. In order to compete in the company of world class competitors, a vigilant regimen of mental discipline and practical experience was required. Using his warrior mindset, Lou quickly rose up through the competitive ranks obtaining High Master and Grand Master rankings. The LAPD Pistol Team traveled extensively and represented the Department in national and international competition against top law enforcement agencies from around the world. Dedication to his Team and the art lead Lou to success in the form of repeated State, National and World LAPD Team championships. As an individual National Champion, Lou also set several State and National records.
During the mid 70s Lou studied under Master Takayuki Soke Kubota, 10th Dan Gosoku-Ryu and a Martial Arts Hall of Fame recipient at his Hollywood Dojo on Sunset Blvd. This Dojo was a few blocks from the Hollywood Police Station where Lou was assigned for several years.
Lou worked nine of the eighteen patrol divisions in the next several years gaining valuable experience on the streets of Los Angeles. He had the opportunity to interview countless victims of violent crimes and confront the City's hardcore criminals on a daily basis. Lou also experienced some of the City's most tragic and destructive periods, such as the riots in 1992 and the horrific earthquake of 1994. Like many officers, Lou developed a deep compassion for victims and a deep contempt for the criminal element.
Lou promoted to patrol sergeant in January of 1987. During this time, to further perfect his new found shooting martial art (Ho Jitsu), Lou traveled extensively throughout the United States seeking the knowledge of master firearm trainers. He learned varied handgun, shotgun and rifle shooting techniques as well as philosophies and combat mind set. Lou trained with firearms legends like Colonel Jeff Cooper - Gunsite Academy, Ray Chapman - Chapman Academy, Clint Smith - Thunder Ranch; and Bill Jordan - No Second Place Winners. All these hours of travel and training paid off when, in 1990 he applied for and was selected to the coveted position as director of the LAPD's Firearms Training. Achieving this position had been a long time goal for him. Lou soon became totally engrossed in his new assignment and increased his field of expertise to include standards of training, curriculum development, chemical agents, less lethal munitions, ammunition and ballistic material. Lou found the firearms training program at LAPD antiquated, unorganized and without a combat mindset. Lou set out on a mission to establish a codified system of training and a fighting (Bushido) mindset with a handgun, shotgun and rifle. To accomplish this, Lou consulted, recruited and selected an incredible staff of highly skilled, articulate and dedicated officers from throughout LAPD. Many of these officers were martial artists and understood the way of the warrior. Together they endured countless hours of testing, developing and documenting a new gun fighting method for LAPD officers. The doctrine they established significantly enhanced officers' gun fighting skills and safety. Lou's leadership and impact on firearms training dramatically changed LAPD's profile in the law enforcement community. The LAPD Firearms Training Unit became nationally recognized for its significant accomplishments in firearms training methodology and the related field performance of officers.
In the early 1990's Lou met Sensei Ken Penland a Shorin Ryu Ju Jitsu and Shorin Ryu Matsumura Kenpo Karate Master who was a civilian employee of the Los Angeles Police Department. Sensei Penland was a member of an elite cadre of martial artist assembled to develop a new system of defensive tactics for LAPD officers. They developed a friendship and Lou began training with Sensei Penland at the Police Academy. Sensei Penland was incredibly knowledgeable in countless weapons forms and a Master Ju Jitsu practitioner. Several other master martial artists joined their training sessions to exchange techniques and cross train in other arts. However, Sensei Penland's extensive amount of martial arts training experience was the cornerstone of this informal group of black belts.
In 1993, while attending a Budo Clinic with other black belts from the LAPD Dojo, Lou met the legendary Brazilian Machado brothers Jean Jacques and John. Lou was intrigued by the jiu jitsu methods used by these brothers to control and submit their opponents. The desire to further explore this new style of jiu jitsu was overwhelming for Lou. He began training at a local Machado Dojo to test his ground fighting skills and found there was much to learn. His training steadily increased from one day a week to three, then four, and then five. Lou endured many minor injures along the way but found the training intensely rewarding in many ways. He obtained a Black Belt from Jean Jacques Machado in June of 2001.
In 2002, Lou accepted the position of assistant Officer in Charge of the LAPD Tactics Training Unit. Lou brought a wealth of firearms and self-defense expertise to this new assignment that has proved extremely useful in developing curricula. He is responsible for teaching the use of deadly force as well as directly supervising tactics training. This new assignment also allowed him to develop extensive insight into law enforcement tactical situations. Lou was able to apply over twenty-nine years of police patrol, firearms training, and martial arts experience as he assessed current training standards and developed new programs. His vast police experience has been recognized by the LAPD in designating Lou as a Subject Matter Expert and Person Most Knowledgeable in police training and use of force. He routinely reviews use of force and officer involved shooting incidents and represents the City in police litigation.
In 2003 Lou established a consultant business and formed a limited liability company for related services. In the past he routinely provided his self-defense expertise to the law enforcement community and had developed specific techniques to enhance an officers survival. Lou now has made his skills and expertise available outside of the police community. Lous Tactical Grappling System, using Brazilian jiu jitsu techniques as a foundation, was previously available exclusively only to law enforcement personnel. He has now made this system available to non-law enforcement men and women for street survival, sport or physical conditioning. He is available for private and group training as well as consultation on a limited basis.
The following is a partial list of master instructors to whom Lou is particularly grateful for the training and mentoring he has received.
SENSEI NORMAN LEFF -
Sensei Norman Leff studied ju jitsu during the 1960s in Columbia, South America with a former Royal Japanese Marine. Norman Leff now has over 40 years of ju jitsu instruction and is the Menkyo Kaiden Shidan (leader/master) of The Pasadena Academy of Self-Defense.
POLICE OFFICERS JOHN HURST, JERRY KELCH, PHIL HARRIS, FRED ROMERO, & JOHN PRIDE - Champion Los Angeles Police Department Pistol Team members
MASTER TUKAYUKI SOKE KUBOTA -
Master Tukayuki Soke Kubota opened his first dojo in Tokyo when he was 18 years old and has taught law enforcement officers for over 35 years. He is highly skilled in combat Karate, Judo, Aikido, Kenpo and Iaido. He has produced numerous training videos and was the creator of the Ku-Baton, a five-inch plastic dowel, used for self-defense and subduing techniques.
COLONEL JEFF COOPER - Gunsite Academy, RAY CHAPMAN - Chapman Academy, CLINT SMITH - Thunder Ranch; and BILL JORDAN, U.S. Boarder Patrol Legend - No Second Place Winners.
SENSEI KENNETH LYLE PENLAND -
Sensei Kenneth Lyle Penland, has over 50 years of Karate, Judo, Ju Jitsu training. He first learned martial arts from his father, then in 1962 he studied Kenpo Karate under Ed Parker and studied Judo/Ju Jitsu under Harley Regan. In the 1970's Sensei Penland trained under Grand Master Fusei Kise in Kenshinkan Shorin Ryu Karate and Kobudo. He is currently a Branch Director for Shorin Ryu Matsumura Kenpo Karate. He is ranked as 8th Dan in Shorinji Ryu Ju Jitsu and 7th Dan in Karate and Okinawan Karate Kobudo. Sensei Penland founded the Los Angeles Police Department's Aiki Ju Jitsu Dojo and is the Chief Instructor. He has also completed extensive research and authored numerous articles on the martial arts.
JEAN JACQUES MACHADO -
Jean Jacques Machado is a 6th Dan in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and is one of the five Machado brothers who migrated to the United States in the 1990s along with their cousins, the Gracies. Jean Jacques bought with him an unprecedented history of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu championships and soon established himself in the U. S. as one of the top grapplers. He went on to several impressive wins at the world grappling tournament, Abu Dhabi Combat Club.
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1 | 2006 Masters Hall of Fame
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