GREYWOLF Soldiers dominate combatives tournament
October 11, 2011
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq -- The story of modern Army combatives (MAC) began in 1995, when the commander of the 2nd Ranger Battalion ordered a reinvigoration of martial arts within the battalion.
In 2001, Sgt. 1st Class Matt Larsen established the United States Army Combatives School at Ft. Benning, Ga. and helped publicize the U.S. Army field manual for combatives, FM 3-25.150 in 2002. The regimen is focused on teaching Soldiers how to train using easily repeatable drills, rather than attempting to give them the perfect techniques for any given situation.
For example, drill one teaches several techniques: escaping blows, maintaining the mount, escaping the mount, maintaining the guard, passing the guard, assuming side control, maintaining side control, preventing and assuming the mount. The drill can be completed in less than a minute and done repeatedly with varying levels of resistance to maximize training benefits.
Soldiers from the 3rd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, competed against other Soldiers from different brigades on the last MAC event held by the 20th Engineer Brigade in the Memorial Hall on Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq, Sept. 30, 2011.
Several events took place over a three-day period leading up to the tournament in order to select the strongest, leanest and meanest.
The competitors had their height and weight checked in order to place them in the correct fighting categories before several bouts took place between the best fourteen fighters from the different brigades in attendance.
A total of seven bouts at various weight classes were set for the final day.
Soldiers have trained through the Modern Army Combatives program where they can attain their first through fourth degree in MAC. Another type of training is civilian training offered by different schools, or a combination of both. Some of the Soldiers have experience through these different civilian schools, ranging from just a couple of months to multiple years of training.
"I've been training for about eight years myself and teaching other people in combatives back home. I'm an instructor, and in the Army, I am a level 3." said Cpl. Brian Geiger from the 805th Military Police Company, 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, and an Orlando, Fla. native.
The GREYWOLF team trained for several months preparing themselves for the final bouts. Some Soldiers attained the role of trainee, while the most experienced became the instructors. The only motivation Soldiers had in mind was to represent the GREYWOLF Brigade.
"We trained for about three and a half months for this and a lot of the other guys that fought today, trained alongside me." said Geiger.
Soldiers enjoyed training and preparing themselves for this final day of fighting, a chance to show what they are made of and where they come from. All Soldiers came from the same family, the GREYWOLF pack.
"We had a good time training for it, we are proud to represent GREYWOLF Brigade and get a victory tonight." he said.
From the first fight that was held, a bout between two female combatants, up to the last, the afternoon was filled with action and adrenaline.
The different teams were competing for the outstanding brigade award by attaining the most wins and points of the afternoon. Brigade, battalion, and company level leadership showed up at the tournament and gave a motivating speech or coached their Soldiers through the fight.
The 3rd AAB, 1st Cav. Div. team dominated the competition and had the most wins ending the tournament with the most points.
The 20th Engineer Brigade awarded the winning Soldiers with several tokens, and presented a coin to the winning brigade.
"Since GREYWOLF team won the tournament we got that huge coin from the 20th Engineer Brigade. GREYWOLF was the overall champion, out of six teams competing from the brigades and several individuals that entered the tournament the GREYWOLF team took first place." said 1st Sgt. Torry Rice of Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3rd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division.