Warmasters battle it out during tournament
Spc. Robert Miner grapples for a dominant position during a combatives tournament held by the 230th Military Police Company, 95th Military Police Battalion, Oct. 25 on Sembach Kaserne in Germany. Miner won the match and the unit's middleweight belt.

SEMBACH, Germany - The 230th Military Police Company Warmasters held a combatives tournament Oct. 25 on Sembach Kaserne to find the best hand-to-hand fighter in the company.

The tournament had 12 competitors and two weight classes: lightweight and middleweight, and followed single-loss elimination rules. After a champion was found in each weight class, the two champions had to fight each other to earn the title Warmaster Champion.

The middleweight belt was awarded to Spc. Robert Miner, while the lightweight and the Warmaster Championship belt were awarded to Sgt. Samuel Da Giau, who also holds the title 18th Military Police Brigade's noncommissioned officer of the year.

Da Giau has done combatives training "off and on for about six years," he said and was level-one certified by the 230th MP Company.

Da Giau had been invited only one week prior to the tournament but he said that did not hinder his performance. Da Giau had done combatives training for the NCO of the Year and the Warfighter Competition, along with some training from his unit.
"I think I did pretty well, (but) they had some tough competitors, a lot of strong folks out there," Da Giau said.

Sgt. Robert West, the level-three certified combatives instructor for the 230th MP Company, said he was impressed with the tournament.
"I would say this, by far, is the best tournament we've had, as far as how the matches went. There were some very exciting fights. I'm very proud of these guys," he said.

The skills displayed in the event can be attributed to additional combatives training the Soldiers participate in and the regular combatives physical training sessions the unit holds every Thursday.
"A lot of the guys do this in their off time," said West. "There's a garrison tournament for Kaiserslautern in November. Several of the guys who fought today are going to fight in that tournament, so they have been training extra hard for that one. They were training for two tournaments, basically," he said.

This was the third combatives tournament held by the 230th MP Company Warmasters since West became the instructor last February.

"I think combatives is very important. It can come down to life or death on the battlefield. When your weapons go down you've got to have another way to defend yourself and that's where combatives comes in," said West.
In combatives, the Army teaches Soldiers more than how to have one-on-one fights.
"They've completely revamped the combatives program to add more scenario-based training in there because if you look up the stories online - if you go to the combatives Web page and you read the testimonials - you see first-hand how much the combatives program itself can help you downrange," said West.

Combatives is not only important for deployment-based scenarios, it is an extremely important form of training for military police Soldiers, according to AR 190-14, Carrying of Firearms and Use of Force for Law Enforcement and Security Duties.

The regulation states a number one rule for MPs is to use the minimum amount of force necessary at all times. If verbal persuasion does not stop an offender, unarmed self defense is the next level of force they must use out of seven possible levels.

"A lot of this especially is good for MPs because we have to deal with some of this stuff when we're doing law enforcement duties," West said.

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