Step Inside The Cage And Learn Hand-To-Hand Combat — Army Style

Combatives

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.

Enter the cage here >

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. 

In the red corner, meet Pfc. Greg Langarica representing 41st Fires Brigade

And his opponent Staff Sgt. Jackelyn Walker in blue — Let the fight begin

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

Looks like she's confident enough to attempt a takedown — but he bounces out of reach

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

Pain is weakness leaving the body

Grit your teeth and get back in there

A one-hand neck press can be attempted against a wall, but be quick

Or else you may be over-powered and taken into a ground fight

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

It's called passing the guard — keep striking as you do so

Gotta beat him down

Achieving the mount — as dominant as the name suggests

A throw is a ballsy move — use your hips to lift the enemy clear over your shoulder

Or you might end up like this — at a big, painful loss

Combatives training is mentally demanding and that's why the Army is all for it

Soldiers gain the ability to remain focused while under duress, and learn the art of controlled aggression

If he hadn't reached around her arm, a front guillotine choke would have been a cinch

Slammed to the ground, a head-lock or a choke could finish a fight — the best way to incapacitate an enemy

Medics are called into the cage

There can only be one winner

And it's not SSgt. Walker — she's carried out in a stretcher, her neck stabilised in a brace

The Army trains the warrior spirit into its soldiers — And it reigns

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