FORT STEWART, Ga. - Fort Stewart will hold the Marne Combatives Tournament at Newman Fitness Center May 25, and everyone is invited to come out and show their support during the day-long event. Admission is free.

The Army Combatives Program blends several martial arts techniques into a combat focused training program and develops physical and mental endurance while teaching Soldiers battlefield survival skills.

"The eight weight classes of the combatives tournament is open to all 3rd Infantry Division Soldiers and teams from Fort Stewart, Hunter Army Airfield and Fort Benning for all levels 0 through 4," said Sergeant 1st Class Robert Nicholson, 2011 Marne Combatives Tournament director.

The top two competitors from each weight class will represent Fort Stewart in the annual Army-wide Combatives Tournament at Fort Hood, TX.

"Everybody within the 3rd Infantry Division is going to try and be represented in this tournament," Sgt. 1st Class Nicholson said. "The competition is going to help us identify the 3rd ID All Army Team that will represent us at the U.S. Army Combatives Tournament at Fort Hood, Texas in July."

"We're not trying to build cage fighters," Sgt. 1st Class Nicholson said. "The big thing we are trying to do is allow our Soldiers to become more confident in themselves and their ability. We deal with a lot of folks across the globe that may be noncompliant, we need to be able to handle them and subdue them in [non-lethal] ways and combatives is used in different theaters of operations."

The U.S. Army Combatives Tournament began in 2005 which, until this year was held at Fort Benning. This year the tournament is scheduled to be held at Fort Hood, Texas, July 20-23, after III Corps team won the Lacerda Cup there last fall as team champion.