The Manuever Center of Excellence Modern Army Combatives Tournament will be May 20 at Smith Fitness Center.

FORT BENNING, Ga., -- The representatives for the 2011 All-Army Combatives Tournament will be decided May 20 when the Manuever Center of Excellence hosts its annual Modern Army Combatives Tournament at Smith Fitness Center.

Isaac Henderson, tournament coordinator, said the tournament is the biggest internal combatives tournament of the year and usually has about 120 Soldiers representing numerous different units across Fort Benning.

"We're asking every unit on Fort Benning to get a team together to participate in it," Henderson said.

Henderson said he believes the MCoE tournament brings out the best qualities any Soldier needs to survive a hand-to-hand combat encounter.

"It validates the technique you've been taught," Henderson said. "It brings out that warrior ethos. It brings out confidence in you. That's the biggest thing."

Although the MCoE is encouraging units to put together its own team to participate, Henderson said individual competitors are welcome to sign up as well.

So far, the 197th Infantry Brigade and the 198th Infantry Brigade have registered for the tournament.
On May 19, registration will end and tournament participants will be weighed in.

Though the tournament should see some high-skilled combative competitors, Henderson said experience and skill level are not a requirement to enter the tournament.

The MCoE invites the public to attend and will especially encourage the attendance of all area wrestlers, wrestling coaches and ROTC members so they can get an idea of how Army combatives might suit them, Henderson said.

"We want to let the people see that the techniques we teach can actually be applied," Henderson said. "Some wrestling seniors may come and watch and possibly want to join the Army."

Henderson said the tournament is the only way for MCoE units to be able to participate in the 2011 All-Army Combatives Championship in July.

The tournament will contain brackets for eight different weight classes and the top two finishers in each class will be offered a spot on the Fort Benning All-Army combatives team.

"You represent your unit, you represent your brigade and then, to be on this (All-Army) team, you represent Fort Benning," Henderson said. "You win, you've got some bragging rights."

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