Robert Koga first began studying martial arts as a preteen living in a Japanese internment camp in Topaz, Utah, at the start of World War II. He went on to join the LAPD in 1955 and retired in 1979 as a training officer.
Along the way, Koga obtained black belts in several martial arts disciplines, eventually earning entry into the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame. His most notable impact was adapting Aikido, which heavily employs joint locks, to law enforcement training in subduing and later handcuffing suspects.
He also devised a series of tactics used to control civil unrest while minimizing injury to demonstrators, which was spurred by his experiences in Los Angeles. Koga would go on to train a wide array of squads including the Secret Service, Navy SEALs and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Koga was the Lifetime Achievement recipient of the California Governor’s Award for Excellence in Peace Officers Training in 2000, and was the first president of the California Asian Peace Officers Association.