Junior captains lock up in combatives tournament
CPT Jason Cyr, bottom, battles Marine Corps Capt. Chris Esrey during the Army Combatives tournament June 3 at Briant Wells Fieldhouse. Cyr went on to finish second in the welterweight division.

A class of more than 150 junior officers from Maneuver Captains Career Course Team 2 capped off its Level 1 Army Combatives training with a tournament June 3.

Champions emerged in six weight classifications. The event was held at Briant Wells Fieldhouse, home of the U.S. Army Combatives School.

The rules allowed for takedowns, chokeholds and various other submission locks. Fists, kicks and open-palm slaps to the head - incorporated in higher tiers of competition - were not permitted.

CPT Dan Rausch, a MCCC combatives instructor, said 99 percent of the class completed the Level 1 certification, a 40-hour process. The tournament wasn't required but has become something of a tradition within the MCCC, he said.

"It fosters competition and that warrior spirit. The Soldiers battle for bragging rights," he said. "But they also get a taste of what it takes to physically close the distance with the enemy and finish the fight."

The format was single-elimination with matches lasting six minutes, unless a fighter tapped out.

Dripping with sweat and exhausted afterward, many walked away red-faced, a result of choke techniques applied and broken. The absence of striking, however, didn't mean there wasn't any blood.

Frank Armeson overcame a bloody nose against James Prisoc in the final to capture first place in the heavyweight division. The match had to be stopped several times so he could pack his nose with cotton gauze.

"I broke my nose several years ago, and it will bleed sometimes if I get hit the right way," Armeson said. "It was intense. You see previews of a movie and think there's no way it can live up to the hype. This lived up to it."

He said football, baseball and basketball don't compare to Army combatives.

"If one link fails in a team sport, everyone loses together," he said. "You come out on the mat and lose to another guy, it's all on you. You can't blame anyone else."

Josh Silver went 3-0 to claim the welterweight title. That included a semifinal victory over Marine Corps Maj. Jackson Doan, an MCCC academic instructor and late tournament entry.

"I was surprised when he came in," the Army captain said. "I saw that as my biggest obstacle to winning. I just got after it."

Silver said he gets a rush from the sport but it takes a physical toll.

"This goes a long way toward making men out of Soldiers," he said. "It took a little while to get my wind back, but you feel elated when you recover. It's a thrill."

Jonathan Norton needed six matches to pick up the cruiserweight championship. He said the intensity was apparent from the outset.

"There were a lot of pretty skilled fighters out there," he said. "I was just going out to have fun and compete. I didn't think I'd win, but it worked out in my favor and I ended up coming out on top."

Top fighters
A look at the top two finishers by weight classification in MCCC Team 2's Army Combatives Tournament, held June 3 at Briant Wells Fieldhouse:

Lkhagvasuren Bayasgalan defeated Yimyou Molchai

Josh Silver defeated Jason Cyr

Richard Eaton won championship; runner-up's name unavailable at press time

Jonathan Norton defeated Warren Sears

Light Heavyweight
Sean Nolan defeated Thomas Whitehead

Frank Armeson defeated James Prisoc

Junior captains lock up in combatives tournament

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