Combatives course instills confidence in Soldiers’ ground-fighting skills

| November 18, 2011 | 0 Comments
Sgt. Raul Doss (standing), battalion combatives instructor, 1st Bn., 27th Inf. Regt., 2nd BCT, 25th ID, watches as two Soldiers apply their combatives skills during the MACP level one certification course, Nov. 2.

Sgt. Raul Doss (standing), battalion combatives instructor, 1st Bn., 27th Inf. Regt., 2nd BCT, 25th ID, watches as two Soldiers apply their combatives skills during the MACP level one certification course, Nov. 2.

Story and Photo by 
Sgt. Robert M. England
2nd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Two Soldiers stood opposite of each other on a gym mat: one Soldier armed with boxing gloves, the other, bare-fisted.

As the unarmed Soldier barreled forward, the boxing gloves repeatedly connected with his face and head; yet, he pushed onward, eventually locking the puncher’s arms, so he could no longer swing them.

Seventeen Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, “Wolfhounds,” 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, participated in the Modern Army Combatives Program, or MACP, level one certification course, here, Oct. 31-Nov. 4.

Sgt. Raul Doss, mortarman, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Bn., 27th Inf. Regt., said the course teaches Soldiers how to establish dominance in ground combat through a variety of grappling techniques.

“It teaches the basics of ground fighting and grappling,” Doss said. “Once the fight goes to the ground, it’s important to gain control of your opponent, gain dominant body positions and finish the fight.”

Doss, a level four-certified MACP instructor, said the skills taught in the level one combatives courses teach Soldiers a certain escalation of force. To immobilize an enemy without the use of lethal force can be beneficial, he added.

“I think the benefits for Soldiers in this course are that they learn hand-to-hand combat,” Doss explained. “If a Soldier can take down an enemy without using his weapon, it’s better because the Soldier can actually detain him.”

Pvt. Cory Magallanez, mortarman, HHC, 1st Bn., 27th Inf. Regt., and a trainee in the level one course, agreed with Doss on the benefits of the course, and added that his experience with the current training has already surpassed what he learned in basic combat training.

“It’s a lot better than when I did it in basic training,” Magallanez said. “It’s more in-depth here. In basic, we did some sparring and a few drills, whereas here, the instruction is a lot more detailed.”

Doss said the Armywide combatives program has been moving away from its mixed martial arts roots and has begun integrating more applicable principles. An example of this, Doss said, can be found in the recent addition of the full-gear training segment in which Soldiers practice level one techniques while wearing their body armor.

Spc. Anthony Esposito, mortarman, Co. C, 1st Bn., 27th Inf. Regt., and a course trainee, said this addition to training, though much more difficult, should prove to be more beneficial for Soldiers in units preparing to deploy to combat. In a close-quarter combat situation, especially when a Soldier would not remove his body armor to engage an enemy, he said. As such, a Soldier should have experience with hand-to-hand combat while wearing his or her body armor.

“We’re training with our body armor on, which helps for missions in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Esposito said. “It’s a lot harder, but it makes sense when you think about why we’re doing it.”

With the brigade in its post-deployment reset phase, Doss said this combatives course fits right in as it returns Soldiers to the initial stage of combatives training. The training helps to establish a solid foundation from which Soldiers can expand upon in future courses.

“It’s getting the Soldiers started back at the basics,” Doss said. “It strips the Soldiers down, builds them up and keeps them fit. I’ve even seen guys losing weight here already.”

Whether the expressions painted across all 17 of the trainees’ faces were those of joy or pain, they were all expressions displayed by eager, motivated Soldiers partaking in training that they may one day need in a combat situation.

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Category: News, Training

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