FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- Soldiers, both students and permanent party, assigned to 187th, 264th and 232nd Medical Battalions competed for the title of best combative fighters during the Fort Sam Houston Combative Tournament Feb. 6 at Jimmy Brought Fitness Center.

"Today we had the Fort Sam Houston Combative Tournament with both students and permanent party category. With the students, we are trying to build confidence, skills and abilities. With permanent party we are trying to select the All-Army team that will represent Fort Sam Houston at the All-Army Combatives Tournament in September at Fort Benning, Ga.," said Lt. Col. Scott Fischer, commander, 264th Medical Battalion.

"We had very good representation from across the installation, much more representation than before," said Fischer.

Soldiers representing Brooke Army Medical Center, 470th Military Intelligence Brigade, Sheppard Air Force Base and the 717th MI, Brooks City Base also competed.

Combatives or hand-to-hand fighting is a struggle between two or more people. Students competed against students and permanent party against permanent party in seven weight divisions during the preliminaries on mats. The goal was to compete in the finals inside the center ring.

"Finals in the ring add a little difference in intensity, and every year we try to make it (the tournaments) a little better and more realistic," said Fischer.

Sgt. 1st Class Veronica Soto, a combative instructor, said, "The combatives tournament is a great opportunity [for the students] to face their own fears, you never know when you might need to help out in the battlefield."

We are extremely pleased that we could expand our brigade tournament to include all tenant units from Fort Sam Houston. It is great having this competition with our sister units like Brooke Army Medical Center and the 470th Military Intelligence Brigade," said Col. Randall Anderson, commander, 32nd Medical Brigade.

"The 264th Medical Battalion has done an excellent job running this installation event. Not only has it been very professionally executed, it has been run safely and was very exciting for the thousands of Soldiers and spectators that have been here today."