• FORT HOOD, Texas--Spc. Ike Mathes (right), a supply clerk assigned to E Forward Support Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, and native of Detroit, Mich. throws a punch against his opponent.  This Combatives tournament was held Feb. 16, 2012 at the Abrams Physical Fitness Center located at Fort Hood, Texas.

    FORT HOOD, Texas--Spc. Ike Mathes (right), a...

    FORT HOOD, Texas--Spc. Ike Mathes (right), a supply clerk assigned to E Forward Support Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, and native of Detroit, Mich. throws a punch against his opponent...

  • FORT HOOD, Texas--Lt. Gen. Donald M. Campbell Jr., commander for III Corps and Fort Hood, Texas poses with Spc. Josh Bird (left), a rifleman assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, and native of Salem, Ore. and his opponent after winning this fight through submission where his opponent was forced to tap out. This Combatives tournament was held Feb. 16, 2012 at the Abrams Physical Fitness Center located at Fort Hood, Texas.

    FORT HOOD, Texas--Lt. Gen. Donald M. Campbell...

    FORT HOOD, Texas--Lt. Gen. Donald M. Campbell Jr., commander for III Corps and Fort Hood, Texas poses with Spc. Josh Bird (left), a rifleman assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, and...

  • FORT HOOD, Texas--A ringside assistant applies petroleum jelly to 1st Lt. Michael Williams, a platoon leader assigned to Company D, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, and native of Salem, Ore. before going into the cage as part of a hand-to-hand combat tournament on Fort Hood, Texas.  The Combatives tournament was Feb. 16, 2012 at Abrams Physical Fitness Center.

    FORT HOOD, Texas--A ringside assistant applies...

    FORT HOOD, Texas--A ringside assistant applies petroleum jelly to 1st Lt. Michael Williams, a platoon leader assigned to Company D, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, and native of Salem, Ore. before...

FORT HOOD, Texas--Modern Army Combatives is being taught throughout the military as a self-defense tool for deployed troops in combat operations. MAC adopted Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, a fighting style that encompasses takedowns, breaking or dislocating bone joints and several neck chokes.

In order to gain Soldiers interest in MAC and to keep Soldiers trained in this type of military fighting style, Fort Hood conducted a Combatives Tournament Feb. 16, 2012 at Abrams Physical Fitness Center here.

Some Soldiers that participated in this event have previous experience in self-defense by attending Karate, Taekwondo or even participating on a high school wrestling team for years. Some Soldiers have the sole experience of going through the MAC courses that the Army has taught them, but at the end, they say they have the instincts of a warrior.


"I have not been certified in any Army combatives level yet, so what I use in the tournament are moves that I was taught in my last year of high school wrestling and now in the Army through sparring and MAC certified trainers," said Spc. Josh Bird, a rifleman assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, and native of Salem, Ore.

There were three Soldiers from the 'Charger' Battalion to represent the GREYWOLF Brigade in the championship semifinals. None of the three Soldiers have MAC experience but said they were excited about gaining the experience the tournament offered.

"I'm pretty new at the Modern Army Combatives and I am not certified in any MAC program but I do look forward to joining one of the level one classes that is coming pretty soon," said 1st Lt. Michael Williams, a platoon leader assigned to Company D, and native of Springfield, Va.

"I used to wrestle since the eighth grade up to my senior year in high school," he said.

Four different levels of MAC certify Soldiers to train elements as large as a brigade upon graduation. The classes range between two and four weeks in length.

The Army's goal in these classes is to teach Soldiers how to defend themselves during close quarters combat, where the struggle to save your life depends solely on your hand to hand fighting experience.

"Its one of those crucial elements of being able to fight. Being a well-rounded warrior you have to be dangerous at every level either using your weapons system or just your hands," Williams said. "At the end of the day you have to be a deadly weapon at any point; ready to close on the enemy."

The Army is about professionalism, teamwork and unit cohesion and this tournament enveloped each of these qualities as it progressed. The Fort Hood leadership that attended the event said they were pleased with the outcome of the four-day competition.

"I am very glad on how this event came up this year and how all the units participated. This is an individual sport but very team focused and that's what it is about, every single Soldier won; they all contributed to the team championship," said Lt. Gen. Donald M. Campbell Jr. commander for III Corps, Fort Hood.

By the end of the tournament, participants said they like the teamwork and sense of camaraderie that developed amongst the competitors. Win or lose, troopers agreed the experience was positive.

"The tournament was well organized, it's been a great team experience within all the competitors, everyone is here to win and everyone is here to help you," Williams said.

Page last updated Mon February 27th, 2012 at 00:00