The first SWAT team was established by the Los Angeles Police Department in 1968.
Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) and US Navy Sea, Air and Land (SEAL) teams have one important thing in common: their versatility. Whether assaulting a building or conducting a hostage rescue, these small units are highly trained operators and retain a standard many other groups aspire to match. With that in mind, the same techniques they use can be applied to other organizations and individuals, and officers from both organizations have been called on to train others.
1. Working on your basic fitness is the most important element of learning fight like SWAT or the Navy SEALS. Focus on your cardiovascular fitness in particular, with running a particularly good way to improve your cardiovascular fitness. A good initial fitness goal is to see how long it takes you to run a kilometer. Try this, being sure not to push yourself, and record your time. Then, each time you run a kilometer again, try and shave a little off your first time.
2. Improving your cardiovascular fitness is the first step, and leads directly into the next step: weight training. If you’ve never done it before, join a local gym and attend their beginner’s course. This will walk you through the ways to operate the weight machines safely, assess your fitness and give you a tailored program, which will help you build muscle bulk and focus on the areas you want to work on.
3. Close quarters unarmed combat is equally important, and the SEALs in particular incorporate elements of Judo, Jujitsu, Muay Thai Kickboxing and Krav Maga into their unarmed combat training. SWAT team combat techniques tend more toward boxing and Jujitsu, focusing on rapid application of force, immobilization and incapacitation. Studying a mixture of these styles will give you a similar skill set and further enhance your fitness.
4. Almost all Navy SEAL and SWAT operations take place in what is referred to as Close Quarter Battle, or CQB, conditions. This involves very rapid assaults by small groups of people to take over a building or vehicle. This sort of rapid, team-based assault is highly effective and is based entirely on training with and working with a small group of people. If you can, do your fitness training with friends or form a paintball team or something similar. This will give you the sense of camaraderie and trust that SWAT and SEAL teams rely on.