Military Martial Arts

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waylon_o
1/30/08 12:21:11PM
Can anyone tell me about martial arts training in the military? I know the Army offers MMA training (depending on your base) and even has an All-Army Combatives tournament every year. Can someone tell me what there MMA programs are all about of give me any in-sight at all about this? Not just Army, but all branches of the military.
Jackelope
1/30/08 2:31:28PM
I was in the Army infantry for 4 years, so I know a little about this.

Honestly it depends on your unit. Most of what the army teaches is BJJ based. They switched over about 10 years ago when they learned that BJJ was easy to learn and easy to apply, even in combat gear. (In a novice sense compared to intricate standup)

When you go into basic training if you're in a combat MOS like the infantry they'll put you through about a week's worth of "combatives" as they call it. Every drill sergeant places a different amount of importance on the combatives experience, so at some basic training companies you might not get as much exposure. I was lucky because 3 out of 3 of my drill sergeants were airborne guys from 101st, 82nd, and 173rd in Vicenza, Italy. Those units are generally thought of as more "high speed" and accept the combatives training a little more. Especially 82nd Airborne, which is at Fort Bragg, NC.

At Fort Bragg there is the actual combatives school (there's also one at Fort Benning.. which is where if you were in the infantry you'd go to basic/OSUT) the one at Ft. Benning is where the rangers train at. To be an actual full time army combatives guy i really don't know what you'd have to do. Or if you could do it. However, you can get certified to be a combatives instructor. It works on levels, and as you got higher and higher in levels I'm sure you could eventually become a full times combatives instructor (which would be sweeeeeeeeeeeet)

Personally I got stationed in Germany, and when I got there my unit was already deployed, so there wasn't that many people to train with. Although you could usually go to the gym and pick up a training partner to roll around the mats with. Once the unit got back all army combatives stuff went to the wayside and the stupidity began. I think maybe 2 or 3 times over the course of the next 2 years we did combatives training, and this is an infantry unit. Finally we got deployed again, and while we always wrestled around amongst each other, there was never any actual "army combatives" training in Iraq. There was especially never any combatives with Iraqis.. cuz, well.. if they got that close to you they'd just cap your ass if you didn't get them first, haha.

During all that time, and after I got back from the deployment (another 6 months) I did a couple of Army boxing smokers, worked out a TON, and yet we still never really did combatives. I never once saw a germany wide combatives competition. We'd have them within the battalion (about 450-600 men) but that was few and far between. All in all for 4 years of the Army the only combatives training/experience guided by the Army I had in that whole time totalled up to maybe 3 weeks. Including basic training week long combatives. The rest of anything I accomplished during that whole time in a martial sense was completely on my own.

I know it was long winded but the whole point of the story is to show you that even if you think you're joining an organization that will utilize all of your martial abilities and help you develop them (even in the most front-lines combat unit you can get) you're probably wrong. There is too much risk associated with letting guys manipulate each other's joints/bones and unit commanders will put it to a stop quick. I'm not sure about Green Berets and Rangers, since I wasn't one, but I can only imagine it's very similar. Moreso than you would believe. Everything you do in the military will have a risk assessment associated with it, (even 3 day vacations) and if the numbers don't match up the unit commanders will put a stop to it. They'll run you 10 miles up hill every morning til your legs want to fall off and the entire unit has shin splints, but they can't set aside 1 hour to train armbars. The square wheel that keeps rolling.

By the way for my credentials I wasn't exactly a "shitbag" guy either. I was sniper trained, in the best squad in the battalion (won 3/3 squad awards on FTX's) won an Army iron man competition, and I have about 10 solid years of martial arts experience. So I wasn't the kind of guy they'd pass over for good training.
jiujitsufreak74
1/30/08 3:01:05PM
i think jackalope pretty much said everything and more than what i was going to reply. in terms of martial arts in militaries around the world, i know judo used to be used and still somewhat is used in Japan's military. However, nothing compares to Krav Maga...here's a link because frankly i am too lazy to type everything i know about it: LINK
waylon_o
1/30/08 4:16:28PM
Wow...that's kind of disappointing. I've been reading about this Matt Larson guy (wiki him) and he really talks up the mma training in the Army. Thats kind of a bummer.
Svartorm
1/30/08 5:15:56PM
One of the guys in my Somafera group just got out of Fort Bragg and hes Psyops. He basically only did the introductory BJJ stuff, and barely worked it at all.

Another guy was a SEAL for 13 years, but most of the stuff they train in knife combatives. They did have the SCARS program, but thats also not MMA related, as its mostly punches to the throat and other "kill moves".
jiujitsufreak74
1/30/08 8:12:51PM
When my uncle Pete returned from the marines for the first time (he is a Colonel now) my dad attempted to wrestle him like they used to do before he went away. just as my dad was about to grab him my uncle said this line that i will never forget, "Dan, stop trying to fight, i don't know how to fight anymore only how to kill people.? i think that pretty much sums it up for me. in the military most of the training is aimed for the kill while MMA is not. makes sense why they don't use it and like svatorm mentioned they do have minor programs but they are barely used, most of the training is involves either weapons or death blows.
Jackelope
1/30/08 8:33:10PM

Posted by jiujitsufreak74

When my uncle Pete returned from the marines for the first time (he is a Colonel now) my dad attempted to wrestle him like they used to do before he went away. just as my dad was about to grab him my uncle said this line that i will never forget, "Dan, stop trying to fight, i don't know how to fight anymore only how to kill people.? i think that pretty much sums it up for me. in the military most of the training is aimed for the kill while MMA is not. makes sense why they don't use it and like svatorm mentioned they do have minor programs but they are barely used, most of the training is involves either weapons or death blows.



That's one thing I would definitely agree with. i think the mystique of military martial arts is a bit overrated, but when we do learn we learn what to do to kill a person. I can't remember learning a single move that didn't involve transitioning into killing someone after the move was completed. Even Kimuras and arm bars eventually turned into choking the person to death or stabbing them. The "kiai" in standup lessons is "Kill" so... take that for what it's worth
roger
1/30/08 8:49:56PM
thay have that in the army? thats badass make me wanna join
waylon_o
1/31/08 8:12:03AM
I don't mean they use MMA training for soldiers in the field...I mean they have it as an option at the base. From what I have read (I haven't been in the military), they have MMA training facilities you can use to train on your own.
Jackelope
1/31/08 11:22:24PM
If you mean a gym with weights, cardio equipment, and a couple of punching bags then yes, they do have all of that on most bases free of charge. I continued with my Kung Fu stuff while I was in Germany training under a guy who was a green beret for 18 years, but I paid for it out of my pocket and un-affiliated with the Army. Even though we were both military it was completely separate from the Army's training.

As for the Matt Larsen guy- I read about him. Turns out I had heard of him but I just didn't realize that was his name.
Rush
1/31/08 11:38:33PM
One of my old martial arts instructors joined the Canadian forces. He teaches on base camp, but I am pretty sure it is unofficial, free time kind of stuff.

I have the US Army field manual and it has some really basic stuff in it (standup, ground work and some throws), really basic stuff.

It makes sense that there is limited focus on hand to hand combat. Most soldiers seem to die from getting shot or blown up from mines/rockets than melee attacks.

odogg22
2/1/08 1:27:58PM
Some army bases are putting together teams. We have one here at ft. sill. I dont have faith in the trainers they have to teach combatives. The ones around here are limited to what they can teach you. Some only know what the learn when they go to level 3 and 4 thats good in all. But MMA is all around sport that you have to be pretty good in all areas standup, ground, etc. The team here is getting better but you have to have the other dislplines to a complete fighter.
xenophon
3/1/08 2:56:26AM
MCMAP, or the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program is mandatory for all Marines. It starts in Recruit Training aka "boot camp" and continues from there. There are several belts that you can progress your way up, higher ranks having the option of being an instructor. It is a weapons oriented system, with hand to hand as a last resort.
xenophon
4/17/08 5:00:06AM
The Military Channel is airing the finals of the Army Combatives Tournament. They're calling it T.O.P. Army Fighter.
The_Notorious_ZIG
4/17/08 1:16:24PM
Yep...saw it last night. MMA in a ring with fighters from Rangers to the Army National Guard. Channel 287 on Direct TV.

I found it much more enjoyable than BET's The IronRing.
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