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

FORT BENNING, Ga. - The 197th Infantry Brigade, 192nd Infantry Brigade and 198th Infantry Brigade are among the units with the most participants already registered for the 2011 Maneuver Center of Excellence Modern Army Combatives Tournament, which will be held Friday at Smith Fitness Center.

Fifty-four participants are registered as of Wednesday. Registration ends Thursday and all competitors will be weighed in the same day.

The tournament features eight weight classes and the top two finishers from each class earn a chance to compete in the 2011 All-Army Combatives Tournament in July at Fort Hood, Texas.

The number of entries in this year's tournament is expected to be less than last year, which saw 143 competitors.

"I don't think it will be as big as it was last year, but it will run just the same," tournament coordinator Isaac Henderson said. Henderson expects the number of competitors to increase by the Thursday deadline. Last year, he said, many participants did not pre-register.

Henderson said representatives of the 2nd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment are working to encourage public attendance by making visits to college ROTC and high school wrestling programs.

On Thursday, Henderson visited Auburn and Columbus State University.

Henderson said he encouraged ROTC cadets to not only attend and watch, but also gain exponential combatives experience by registering and participating.

"They'll have one step on their peers," said Henderson, who encouraged cadets to pursue training at the Combatives School while in ROTC. "He or she will have two or three years of experience they can bring back to their ROTC program."

Jon Anderson, a captain in the 198th Inf. Bde., proved last year skill level didn't count as much as training and executing strategy.

As a Level 1-certified combatant who competed in the MCoE tournament for the first time last year, Anderson won the 185-pound weight class and went on to win the 170-pound weight class in the 2010 All-Army tournament. Anderson will be competing in the MCoE tournament again this year and said he encourages anyone looking to test the skills they've learned to register.

"(The tournament) is a great venue for putting your skills to the test and combining the best of the mixed martial arts world," Anderson said. "You don't have to be the best in any one area. In the Army, you train, train, train and it's the same thing with combatives, and those who are mentally prepared, trust in their training and know their strategy will be the most successful in this tournament."

To register online, visit the combatives website at, or e-mail forms to

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