HEADQUARTERS, U.S. ARMY ALASKA, JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska – Service members of varying skill levels from Fort Wainwright and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson will take part in USARAK’s Spartan Crucible Open Combatives Tournament April 16-18 at the Buckner Physical Fitness Center here.
The tournament was originally scheduled to take place Dec. 4-6, 2018, but was rescheduled after a major earthquake struck the area Nov. 30, 2018.
Less-experienced fighters will compete in basic rules bouts April 16, while more advanced fighters will battle April 17 using intermediate rules. The final bouts will take place April 18, and will follow advanced fighting rules. Matches are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. each day, with fighters in eight weight classes from Bantamweight to Heavyweight. Male and female fighters will compete together in each weight class.
Combatives, or hand-to-hand combat, is much like mixed martial arts fighting and allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, both standing and on the ground, from a variety of combat sports. Proficiency in hand-to-hand combat is one of the fundamental building blocks for training the modern Soldier.
There are several reasons Soldiers are taught combatives:
- To educate Soldiers how to protect themselves against threats without using their firearms.
- To provide a non-lethal response to situations on the battlefield.
- To instill the ‘warrior instinct’ to provide the necessary aggression to meet the enemy unflinchingly.
Soldiers must be prepared to use different levels of force in an environment where conflict may change from low intensity to high intensity over a matter of hours. Many military operations, such as peacekeeping missions or noncombatant evacuation, may restrict the use of deadly weapons. Hand-to-hand combatives training will potentially save lives when an unexpected confrontation occurs.
More importantly, combatives training helps to instill courage and self-confidence. With competence comes the understanding of controlled aggression and the ability to remain focused while under duress. Training in combatives includes hard and arduous physical training that is, at the same time, mentally demanding and carries over to other military pursuits.
Underlying all combatives techniques are principles the hand-to-hand fighter must apply to successfully defeat an opponent. The Army’s Combatives program has been specifically designed to train the most competent fighters in the shortest possible time in the safest possible manner.