FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (March 19, 2009) - In the first Fort Leavenworth combatives tournament March 14, the home team got to keep the Commander's Cup at home.

The competition against the Fort Riley team resulted in final team scores of 20-14, with Fort Leavenworth on top. The teams earned two points for each team member who won his or her bout by submission and one point for a decision victory.

Combatives is close-quarters hand-to-hand combat. Basic combatives is one of the 40 Warrior Core Tasks taught to new Soldiers.

Fort Riley's team won the Army's combatives championship tournament in October at Fort Benning, Ga., the first with non-special operations members to win the competition. Staff Sgt. Brandon Brewer, the NCOIC of the Fort Riley team, has only been stationed there for a couple of months, but was a level III and IV combatives instructor at Fort Benning.

Brewer said many of the members of the championship team are now deployed, so he is working on restocking the team.

"These are all new guys," Brewer said. "A lot of guys, this is their first or second tournament."
Fort Riley will compete in another tournament in Omaha, Neb., March 21.

"We have been in a tournament every weekend for the last four weeks and we have three more scheduled," Brewer said. "We're trying to get the guys ready for All Army."

Brewer said he's been wrestling and boxing since he was young, and he was on the All Army boxing team when he was stationed in Korea. Brewer said he got involved in combatives after returning from a deployment to Iraq.

"I started rolling with the instructors and tapping out the instructors," Brewer said.

After winning the championship at Fort Benning and placing fifth at All Army, he was offered a job teaching combatives and said he has been doing it for about three years.

Coming in to the Fort Leavenworth tournament, Brewer said he knew it was going to be small because it was the post's first, but he was impressed with the way the tournament was conducted.
"It was up very high on Army standards," Brewer said.

Brewer said 1st Lt. Joseph Proctor, who put the tournament together, used to be one of his students. Brewer said Proctor ran it like an upper echelon tournament.

Proctor works at the Center for Army Leadership and runs a morning combatives course at Gruber Fitness Center. He is the only Level IV instructor at Fort Leavenworth.

The tournament was organized as part of the graduation requirements for the level II course Proctor was instructing. He said Level II instructors can conduct these types of tournaments.
"Hopefully it becomes a successful annual tournament," Proctor said.

Next year, Proctor said he would like to see more competitors, from Fort Leavenworth, Fort Riley, and local National Guard and Reserve units. He would also like to see the finals advance to intermediate rules, which incorporates striking.

Twenty-four Soldiers competed in five different weight classes using the standard competition rules. Combatives has a graduated rule system and only the higher levels allow striking.

At the standard level, matches last five minutes and competitors are awarded points for takedowns and dominant body positions. A submission ends the fight regardless of the score.

In the lightweight division Chief Warrant Officer 2 Eric Dietrich from Fort Riley came in first with Maj. Tim Kruettner of Fort Leavenworth in second and Brewer in third.

The welterweight division finished with Sgt. Nicholas Garrett from Fort Riley in first and Fort Leavenworth Majors Judah Lyons and Tom Lowman in second and third respectively.

Fort Leavenworth Maj. George Moore came away with first place in the middleweight division with 1st. Lt. Justin Maroney from Fort Riley in second and Fort Leavenworth's Matt Boetig in third.

In the light heavyweight division Fort Leavenworth's Maj. Brian Ducote took first and Fort Riley Staff Sergeants Ryan Kraeger and John Swan finished second and third respectively.

Fort Leavenworth Majors Mike Fazio, Dean Mitchel and Nels Hanson rounded out the first, second and third places respectively in the heavyweight division.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16