Combatives Tournament tests competitors' mental, physical toughness
June 17, 2014
WIESBADEN, Germany - Wiesbaden Soldiers got a chance to show off their proficiency in Modern Army Combatives during a tournament at the Wiesbaden Fitness Center May 30-31.
Soldiers trained in modern combatives levels one through four used the two-day tournament to show application of the skills they've learned through instruction during the year in the Combat Sports Combatives Program and other combat sports activities and seminars.
Though some might compare combatives to ultimate fighting and confuse its purpose, Army leaders highlight the necessity of equipping Soldiers for close encounter confrontations, especially in light of deployments to diverse battlefields around the globe.
"It's important for me having the ability to teach a Soldier how to defend himself," said Dwan West, U.S. Army Europe, who is level four trained in Army combatives.
"It matters how tough you are," said West, who said the importance of combatives became very relevant after enduring the rigors of a deployment to Iraq with 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. "A Soldier's bread and butter is shooting and fighting -- being able to survive. Things changed daily and fast there."
West, who won the 205-pound weight class, said he has experience in the sport at the All-Army level and has been training in combatives since 2009. And while his level of skill appeared to outmatch his opponent in the finals, he said he believed that mixing it up with opponents of lesser skills was beneficial for all.
"I want to bring that experience back to enhance mental toughness of other Soldiers," said West. "It takes a lion to raise a lion. Sheep can't raise lions."
An example of West's view was displayed when the audience watched the 125-pound final bout between Josdin Creger and Shakina Minnifield, May 31. West said he watched Creger and Minnifield the evening before and took the latter aside to offer a few pointers that might give her a stronger show against the more technically sound Creger for their next matchup.
"It was an entirely different fight," said Minnifield. "With more skills you go from running from your opponent to running at them."
Resultingly, Minnifield seemed to dominate her opponent much of the bout. However, a miscue ended the match prematurely. It was recorded as a loss to Minnifield by submission -- victory to Creger.
During the tournament three exhibition matches featured local and international martial artists of Team Choco who demonstrated ju jitsu and mixed martial arts application.
Results: 107-pound Richard Taylor first place, Spencer Bolduc second place and Deshad Amos, third place; 125-pound Josdin Creger, Shakina Minnifield and Jamie Casdillo; 140 Brandon Alexander, Michael Hardman and Isaiah Sweeney; 155 Melvin Carter, Donovan Cox and Tyler Reynolds; 185 John Bailey, John Rolfe and Cliford Hyppotite; 205 Dwan West, Sherman Cottingham and William Alfonsi; +205 Steven Brown, John Wade and Aime Lurhuma. Team overall: 24th Military Intelligence Battalion earned 138 points and 2nd MI earned 96.
Team Resilience through Sports is seeking to get more people involved as participants and supporters to highlight more sports offered in the community. The following classes will be conducted at the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Combat Sports Facility at McCully Barracks in Wackernheim: Basic Level July 8-11 and July 28 to Aug. 1; and Tactical Level 2 Sept. 8-19. Contact the USAG Wiesbaden Combat Sports Program points of contacts Sgt. 1st. Class Adam Martinez at mil 337-6838 or Sgt. Mitchell Openbrier at mil 334-4360 for more information.