Wiesbaden's Combat Sports Program boosts readiness, resilience
October 28, 2013
WIESBADEN, Germany - They discourage bullying. They help service members find their feet and get their careers back on track. They contributed to the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden hosting and winning the U.S. Forces Europe Boxing Championships this year.
Members of the garrison's Combat Sports Program have been hard at work promoting readiness and resiliency through the three-tiered program which was launched in Wiesbaden last year.
Combining the pillars of combatives, martial arts and boxing, the program has been capturing the attention of everyone from visiting U.S. Army Installation Management Command leaders to fellow members of Allied forces.
A group of service members traveled to the city of Fulda Sept. 28 to share aspects of the program with German Bundeswehr reservists and local citizens.
"We had 13 Soldiers go to demonstrate combatives and martial arts," said Sgt. 1st Class Adam Martinez, operations noncommissioned officer for USAG Wiesbaden's Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security.
"It's an annual event hosted by Bundeswehr reservists and features an array of folks including members of the fire departments, medics and an American presence," Martinez said. "Our goal was to demonstrate how modern Army combatives techniques have evolved."
Including everything from boxing, kickboxing to jiu jitsu and other hand-to-hand techniques, Martinez said the demonstration culminated with a tactical scenario -- "showing it's not just about any one single aspect of fighting -- it's three-dimensional and combines all of those techniques to make up what we call the modern Army combatives program."
Martinez, who coached the Wiesbaden boxing team to victory at the U.S. Forces Europe Championships in May, said Wiesbaden Combat Sports Program has been growing over the past year to include multiple certified instructors and service members from every unit in the Wiesbaden military community.
"The demonstration in Fulda was a combined team effort. Those who went to represent the garrison loved it -- there was lots of good interaction -- a great team-building event," Martinez said. "It really shows how we're building the resiliency of the program and taking it out into the streets."
Martinez praised the support of Soldiers from throughout the community -- in particular Sgt. Timothy Jenkins of the 529th Military Police Company, fellow members of the combatives team and the Warrior Transition Unit for helping spread the Combat Sports Program message of readiness and resiliency.
He also invited any individuals interested in learning more about or becoming involved with the program to check out the USAG Wiesbaden Combat Sports Program page on Facebook or to inquire at the Wiesbaden Fitness Center. That includes boxers looking for more training, anyone with martial arts experience interested in teaching or people who would like to help spread the anti-bullying message. Interested individuals can also stop by the Warrior Training Center on McCully Barracks in Wackernheim where the boxing team trains most evenings from 6:30-9 p.m., Martinez said.
All community members are reminded that the garrison hosts the Wiesbaden Boxing Tournament featuring bouts between German and American fighters from throughout Europe Nov. 16. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the fights kick off at 7 p.m.