CAMP CARROLL, South Korea - More than 80 competitors battled in the Area IV Better Opportunities for Single and Unaccompanied Soldiers Combatives tournament here Apr. 16.
After 152 bouts at the 498th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion's fight house and the Camp Carroll Gym, in what may be more appropriately named the "All Areas" tournament, the top competitors of the six weight classes were named. Fighters from as far north as Camp Stanley participated in the competition.
King of the lightweight division was Joe Clark. Clark, the flyweight division winner of the 2009 U.S. Army Combatives Tournament held at Fort Benning, Ga., said it's good to have fighters from the different areas competing against each other.
"It's an essential part of being a Soldier," said Clark of the Modern Army Combatives Program. "It plays into other Soldier tasks, like when conducting patrols in a combat zone. Sometimes you gotta be ready to fight."
Staff Sgt. Anthony Wikstrom, the NCOIC of the 498th CSSB's MACP, and his team helped organize the event.
"Being the first peninsula-wide intermediate combatives tournament we've hosted, I think things went well," said Wikstrom.
Based off the success he says has come from this tournament, Wikstrom added that he plans to organize future events.
This is likely to be supported by Wikstrom's unit and the Area IV Installation Management Command's top-enlisted Soldier.
"What's happening this weekend is constructive training," said Command Sgt. Maj. Gabriel Arnold, the Area IV IMCOM CSM. "This [combatives tournament] serves to maintain combat readiness for Soldiers across this peninsula."
Arnold added that he hopes leaders recognize the value of having combatives as part of their training programs.
"There's risk involved," explained Arnold of the MACP. "But Soldiers have to engage in tough training."
1st Place: Jorge Laguna, 168th Multifunctional Medical Battalion
2nd Place: Sydicious Miranda, 602nd Aviation Support Battalion
1st Place: Joe Clark, 2nd Infantry Division
2nd Place: Vinh Oh, 602nd Aviation Support Battalion
1st Place: Matthew Heim, 498th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion
2nd Place: Tyler Moyer, 2nd Infantry Division
1st Place: David Sorensen, 142nd Military Police Company
2nd Place: Darek Gorring, 604th Air Support Operations Squadron
1st Place: Darrell Macklin, 55th Medical Group
2nd Place: Michael Rowley, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion-Korea
1st Place: Joshua Langlois, 188th Military Police Company
2nd Place: Jonathan Mandrell, 2nd Infantry Division
1st Place: Jeff Deickman, 168th Multifunctional Medical Battalion
2nd Place: Deshawn Chenault, 602nd Aviation Support Battalion