Photo: DVIDS/Daniel Cernero
The Army says proficiency in hand-to-hand combat is a solid part of the modern soldier’s foundation.In a world full of high-tech weapons and remote-controlled hardware, still knowing how to kick arse the old-school way is a valuable asset.
The Army’s combatives training program points out that there are military operations, such as peacekeeping or conducting an evacuation, where soldiers won’t have access to an arsenal of deadly weapons. Soldiers have to rely on themselves and their training when unexpected confrontations pounce.
Hand-to-hand combat training develops soldiers into more confident, self-aware and controlled troops — and those kinds of traits will have a positive impact on other military pursuits, says the Army.
The military holds combatives tournaments every year, with warfighters entering the spotlight to fight their own brothers-in-arms in hand-to-hand combat. Women also compete, and are paired up with male opponents. No special treatment.
Earlier this year, Army base Fort Hood, Texas, held its annual Combatives Tournament. A brave female soldier and a male comrade reached the finals of their bantamweight division. We selected some highly-charged photos from their showdown, and assembled them using the Army’s Combatives Field Manual (FM 3-25.150) to bring you some insight into the modern soldier’s greatest weapon — his or herself at very close range.
Sizing each other up, they get closer to striking range — the Army says the primary goal of training is to instill courage in soldiers to close the distance
When tables turn and you're caught in aggressive 'bear hug', the Army says to push the enemy's chin upwards to break his grasp — finish with a knee strike
She's stuck in his guard but has an advantage — her hands are free to strike. Moving her weight back, she should try to stand up
Soldiers gain the ability to remain focused while under duress, and learn the art of controlled aggression
Slammed to the ground, a head-lock or a choke could finish a fight — the best way to incapacitate an enemy
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