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MIND-BLOWING self defence moves from movie blockbuster The Matrix are to be taught to police to help protect them from increasingly violent street thugs.

Warwickshire Police are to lead the ground-breaking course called SPEAR - Spontaneous Protection Enabling Accelerated Response

Officers from 22 forces will be involved in the programme which comes in the wake of the sci-fi blockbuster where Keanu Reeves developed faster- than-the-eye defence moves allowing him to dodge bullets and punches.

It aims to train officers to manage the physical and psychological effects of fear and how to turn their defensive responses into actions which might save their lives.

PC Simon Rogers, from the firearms operations and training department at the Leek Wootton headquarters, said: "We do the Matrix Drill - the bit where Keanu Reeves stands still and just moves his body as the bullets fly past.

"That is what we teach officers to do - to dodge and move, and keep their feet still."

Part of the course will involve training officers attacking their students with a wooden stick or plastic knife.

Officers learn to dodge the blows and are trained to convert the urge to cover their heads or vital organs into an open-handed blow to fell their attacker.

It is said the training helps police on the streets to deal with so-called "laughing assassins" - offenders who appear friendly until they make a sudden attack.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:May 18, 2002
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