SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — As a way to curb harmful force, Syracuse Police this year built Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu into its training curriculum. As a result of the training, results showed there were fewer overall concerns about being in the field post-academy.

The martial art is known to have other benefits and that’s why police are teaming up with a martial arts school to offer the concept to kids.

The Haven Initiative, a new non for profit, is offering the program, for free to children in underserved communities who will partner up with local law enforcement.

“It’s something you can’t do alone, just like you can’t be in a community alone,” says Haven Initiative Vice President Jason Iorio. “You need these people to help you train, you can’t train it without a partner, you need someone to kind of do the dance with you the whole time.” 

A gentle dance to build strong bonds and develop lifelong skills. 

Iorio, along with President of the Haven Initiative, Ben Tallini are looking to build the community up through this program.

They (the kids) come in they get to learn some fundamentals in Jiu-Jitsu with some of the officers so they can realize hey, the officers really aren’t out to get me we’re all kinda working together, building a good foundational relationship with each other

Haven Initiative President, Ben Tallini

For parents who are not familiar with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, it is mainly used as a self-defense martial art and is similar to wrestling. As Tallini says, it is known as “the gentle art.”

The free pilot program is set to be on October 26 at the Syracuse Police Headquarters. The program is booked already, with 20 officers from different departments and 20 kids, but they hope to grow and expand in the future after they find a bigger facility.

For more information, visit the Haven JiuJitsu website here, or email