By Ms. Chrystal Smith (IMCOM)April 10, 2014
WIESBADEN, Germany - To the untrained eye, Army Combatives appear to be "a bunch of backyard wrestling" -- two people rolling around on the floor jostling and grappling for dominance.
But to the learned, it is the quintessential example of a sport that proves one's resilience.
Wiesbaden community Soldiers got a chance to prove that attribute and test their proficiency March 29 during a, basic rules, Community Intramural Combatives Tournament at the Wiesbaden Fitness Center, where more than 29 individuals competed across seven weight classes.
"The tournament gave Soldiers a chance to solidify their training, enforce the techniques and instill confidence," said Sgt. 1st Class Adam C. Martinez, Team Resilience through Sports captain, who said the competition allowed Soldiers to demonstrate their ability to execute the basic techniques before evolving to the next level.
Spc. Joshua Donohoe of the 24th Military Intelligence Battalion was a bit anxious to compete at first. Despite being overcome by his first opponent, he bounced back to get a win in his second match of the day.
"I was afraid that these guys would be much more experienced that I am," he said after his second bout that paired him against the person who took down the person who defeated him earlier that day. "I was a little surprised that winning that match would be that easy."
Donohue, who will report to airborne training this month, said that participating helped reinforce his core fortitude.
"If anything, it?'s helping me to dig down and fight through," he said, commenting that he employed a strategy involving constant motion to offset his opponents. "When things get tough you can fight through, even when you?'re nervous."
Sgt. Ron Anderson, 2nd Military Intelligence Battalion assistant coach, could be seen watching and heard coaching and cheering his Soldiers on from the sidelines throughout the day.
"They know I care about them. I give 100 percent to them," he said, explaining his intense focus on the sidelines that led to the 2nd MI team winning the overall event. "They kept their heads up, listened to what I said and kept going for it."
Anderson too agreed that the sport exemplifies resiliency.
"It's not over until the referee calls it or the bell rings," said Sgt. Ron Anderson, mentioning how at any time in the match one may be ahead in points, but the underdog can rally through a submission move before the final horn to claim victory.
Donohoe finished atop his class for the gold and said he was in high spirits.
"I'm feeling good now. I was focused on trying to win. I wanted to be good with myself so I would know I tried as hard as I could," he said. "I will do this again. I want to get more experience (for the next level)."
The tournament was one of three intramural-level events that will be offered in the community. Unit teams that compete earn points towards capturing the commander's cup.
Results: 125-pound: Justin Cregger first place, Alyssa Briggs second place; 140: Donovan Cox, Brandon Alexander, Justin Cregger; 155: Andrew Hernandez, Sidney Johnson, Kristopher Dimond; 170: Joshua Donohoe, Michael Horner, Jake Maytum; 185: Steven Bernstein, Zachary Caufmen, Mickael Wheelock; 205: Charles Webb, Henry Gundacker, Jason Lee; +205: Steven Brown, Felipe Tristan, Derrick Davis. Team overall: 2nd Military Intelligence Battalion earned 137 points and 24th MI earned 114.
Team Resilience through Sports is seeking to get more people involved as participants and supporters to highlight more sports offered in the community. It holds its next combatives tournament May 10, and volleyball and softball intramural seasons are in progress. Contact Jon Lacy at the Wiesbaden Fitness Center for more information at mil 337-5541 or civ (0611) 705-5541.