by Kerstin Lopez
Fort Carson’s Modern Army Combatives Schoolhouse hosted the third All Fort Carson Combatives Tournament at the Special Events Center Jan. 12-13.
The tournament is designed to find the best fighters to represent the Mountain Post in April at the Championship Combatives Tournament at Fort Benning, Ga., said Sgt. 1st Class Vincent Miller, combatives instructor and event organizer.
On day one of the tournament, 106 competitors participated in preliminary rounds to narrow down the number of fighters for the final rounds on day two. The remaining 32 Soldiers competed for first, second and third place in eight weight categories.
In 1995, the Army ordered a reorganization of combatives and hand-to-hand techniques. In 2009, Fort Carson implemented the Modern Army Combatives program and since has trained and certified more than 1,100 Soldiers, Miller said.
“The modern Army combatives program is designed from combat experience and lessons learned in the field. It teaches Soldiers to control the situation whether standing, on the ground, moving through a marketplace or in the villages and valleys of our contemporary operating environment,” Miller said.
Modern warfare requires the skills and confidence to control the situation with minimal force, and modern Army combatives instills that confidence through physically and mentally demanding training, Miller said.
Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. James A. Kilpatrick commended the fighters for their desire to compete and urged them to be professional and disciplined with their combatives training during the tournament.
“As we continue our operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, combatives is very important, because we do a lot of up-close type fighting today in an urban environment,” Kilpatrick said.
“Combatives have morphed into something much greater, and we have honed in on some of the greater skills of our Soldiers. So, when they’re in close battle, they understand there’s two types of fighters. There’s one type of fighter that’s going to get killed, and there’s a second type of fighter that’s going to do the killing.”
Miller said combatives is more than being a good hand-to-hand fighter in the cage – it’s having the courage and confidence to engage the enemy as well.
“We do believe we will win this war on terror because what it means to be a good hand-to-hand fighter is the willingness to close the distance with the enemy,” Miller said.