FORT HOOD, Texas- Josh Koscheck, a retired MMA fighter, visited and trained close quarter fighting skills with Soldiers from 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, here Feb. 6.

Koscheck, a UFC fighter best known for his appearance on the first season of the reality show, The Ultimate Fighter, spent over an hour with the Soldiers. He demonstrated various grappling, takedown and submission techniques.

The Soldiers encircled the mats in the small workout room and watched as Koscheck demonstrated a move on a Soldier volunteer. He showed them the move but then also discussed how that move could be modified if the opponent countered it. He then had them partner up and practice the move, correcting techniques or giving advice along the way.

He said that he counts his time with Soldiers as extremely important.

"I'm truly blessed to get the opportunity to come here and spend time with the Soldiers and get to tell them my story and give back," said Koscheck.

"It was a really great opportunity," said Sgt. Kalinda Ortiz from 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment. "He was an All-American wrestler and a UFC fighter, so any time you have an opportunity to train with someone like that it's really great. I feel like he really appreciates what we do."

And Koscheck does. He said that his desire to work with Soldiers has always been there, but it was after a visit to Walter Reed in 2006 that he really felt called.

"I got to visit Walter Reed back in 2006 and 2007, and I was so inspired by the Soldiers there and their ability and desire to get back into the fight, and I can relate to that," he said. It helped put things into perspective for him.

"Losing a fight inside the cage is a lot different than losing a body part, so being out there and seeing those Soldiers still walking around and getting to spend time with them is just inspiring," Koscheck said.

For 1st Lt. Tyler Berry from 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, this was an opportunity to experience some training that he could also take and use as a leader.
"I absolutely think that training combatives is beneficial for Soldiers," said Berry. "One, it builds the warrior spirit and two, it breeds competition within your unit."

Following the training, Koscheck took the time to talk to the Soldiers about some life lessons and things he learned over his fifteen years as a professional MMA fighter.

"A lot of Soldiers can get into that groove of 'Ok, I'm going to work until five o'clock and then I get off and I'm going to the bar and drink.' This is a way to distract them, a way to get them out of that routine," he said. "This is an opportunity for them to one, get outside of that rut and two, better themselves because they create a skill and develop their fitness as well."