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COMBATIVES Level I Handbook


The History Modern Army Combatives In 1995 the Commander of the 2nd Ranger Battalion, LTC Stan McCrystal, ordered a reinvigoration of martial arts training. It didn’t take long for serious problems with the existing program to surface. There was the feeling among the men that the techniques would not work and that it was a waste of valuable training time. A committee was formed, headed by SSG Matt Larsen, to develop a program that was more effective. The first step was to examine successful programs from around the world. What was found is that most of them had one thing in common, one underlying reason that the program was successful. Countries with an indigenous national program, Korean Tae-Kwon Do, Japanese Judo, Muay Thai in Thailand, would have much easier time developing an effective combatives program. One exception to this rule is Russia. They are one of the few who take an essentially untrained population, and yet have good success in training their soldiers. The Russian system of SOMBO was developed specifically for the Military. SOMBO combines the techniques of Judo and Greco-Roman Wrestling as its foundation. The feeling was that the success of SOMBO was linked in its similarity to wrestling, making its basic components easier to learn, and less dependent on size and strength. Another, feature of SOMBO is that it has a competitive component that serves to spur on further training. However, it also has some distinct problems, not the least of which was that the competitive form has, in the opinion of some, changed the techniques that were emphasized. Nonetheless, the Ranger committee tentatively decided that the new system would be based on grappling. Realizing that there were not enough SOMBO instructors available, the Rangers began looking for a similar system as a base for their program. Head coach J. Robinson, of the University of Minnesota wrestling program, himself a former Vietnam Era Ranger came out to evaluate the emerging program and gave some valuable advice. Finally, after looking at many different systems, the Rangers sent several men to train at the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Torrance, California. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as taught at the Gracie Academy fit almost every aspect of the Military’s needs perfectly. It was easy to learn, had a competitive form, and was proven effective within the arena of hand-to-hand fighting. It did however have some problems. One aspect of Jiu-Jitsu was principally designed for one on one arena fighting, and the other, sportive Jiu-Jitsu, had great potential to change the art into something not oriented toward fighting. With actual combat experience as a guide, the Rangers designed a system with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as the technical base that was oriented to the needs of the Army. A systematic approach to training emerged, which detailed the techniques that would be taught, and in what order. Rangers would start with the basics of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ground fighting, and progress into the throws and takedowns of Judo and Wrestling, and the strikes of Boxing and Muay Thai. All of this could combine with marksmanship and weapons training into a totally integrated system of Close Quarters Combat, henceforth, yielding Rangers who could transition smoothly between ranges of combat, with or without weapons, individually or as a group. As the Rangers who were trained in this new system spread throughout the Army, the system spread with them. COL Michael Ferriter who had learned of the system while commanding the 3rd Ranger Battalion later commanded the 11th Infantry Regiment and successfully integrated it into the POIs of Officer Candidate School, the Infantry Officer Basic Course, and the Infantry Captain’s Career Course. He, with the help of now SFC Matt Larsen laid the foundation for the Army’s train the trainer program. The program continues to grow. As of April 2009, with the publishing of the new FM3-25.150, it has become official Army doctrine.


Training should start with ground grappling, which is not only easier both to teach and to learn, but also provides a sound base from which to move to the more difficult standing techniques. Past programs started with techniques that took a very long time to master. The result was almost uniform disillusionment with combatives in general. The material covered in this handbook is considered the baseline knowledge that every soldier should know.

I. Introduction to Pummeling / Pummel from double under hooks / Pummeling from 50/50 / Pummel from inside control Pummeling: Once you close the distance and are within grappling range, you must continue to work for Dominance. You do this by “swimming” or Pummeling your arms under your opponent.  Drilled facing each other, where each fighter starts with one arm over his opponents and the other one under. 50/50  The fighter will, at the same time, pummel under the arm that they began over so that the arm position reverses.  Do this continually it forms the basic pummeling drill. Pummel Double under Hooks, 50/50, Inside ControlThey can also pummel to either the near side, each fighter alternating with only one arm, or the far side where each fighter pummel under the opposite side arm and switches sides.

II. Post/ Frame/ Hook Post (180°)  Non-firing hand forms post on enemy’s chest.  Ensure your “POST” hand is FINGERS down and HIGH on enemy’s chest (to protect the over-hand blast). Posted bicep should be protecting face/cheek. Frame (outside 90°)  Enemy closes into you, use your non-firing forearm as a frame, FINGERS flexed, direct (move) your enemy around.  Enemy Crashes into you; grab the wrist of your Frame arm and use it as a lever to create space.  Frame can be formed on either side of opponent’s neck. Hook (breaks 90°)  From frame pummel non-firing side under hook to control and direct enemy, on your underhook side place your head in opponents chin (Head Control)  Use Hand Check and the Take-Down from Under hook Position.

III. Warrior Stance The fighter’s stance will allow you to assume a posture toward your enemy that provides for immediate offense and sustain a coherent defense simultaneously.  Hands in front of your cheek bones to protect your head and face. Tuck your chin and look directly beneath your eyebrows.  Fists are clenched, but relaxed.  Elbows are close to your body to defend strikes to your ribs. Your elbows can be brought together to block uppercuts.  Weight is evenly distributed on both feet, with the majority of your weight on the balls of your feet, creating a stable base to avoid getting taken down.  Light on your feet with knees slightly flexed to allow quick movement in any direction.


WARNING: NEVER bend over at your waist, as this allows your enemy to strike your face with uppercuts. (Not a good time!)

IV. FIGHT TACTICS/TRAINING STRATEGY In order to train soldiers efficiently it is necessary to develop a systematic approach to both fighting and training. The Universal Fight Plan – To stand toe to toe and strike until one fighter cannot. The three phases of basic fight strategy are (MACP Fight Plan): 1. Close the distance Controlling a standup fight means controlling the range between fighters. The untrained fighter is primarily dangerous at punching range. The goal is to avoid that range. Even if you are the superior striker, the most dangerous thing you can do is to spend time at the range where the enemy has the highest probability of victory. When training soldiers, the primary goal should be instilling the courage to close the distance. 2. Gain dominant position Before any killing or disabling technique can be applied, the soldier must first gain and maintain dominant body position. It is the leverage gained from dominant body position that allows the fighter to defeat a stronger opponent. An appreciation for dominant position is fundamental to becoming a proficient fighter because it ties together what would otherwise be a long confusing list of unrelated techniques. If a finishing technique is attempted from dominant position and fails, the fighter can simply try again. If, on the other hand, a finishing technique is attempted from other than dominant position and fails, it will usually mean defeat. The dominant body positions will be introduced in order of precedence. POSITION BEFORE SUBMISSION!!! 3. Finish the fight When dominant body position has been achieved, the fighter can begin attempts to finish the fight secure in the knowledge that if an attempt fails, as long as he maintains dominant position, he may simply try again. STAND UP FIGHTING The Three Elements of stand up fighting are Range, Angle and Level. The fighter who controls these elements will be able to control what techniques are effective in the fight. 1. Range Their are Four Basic Ranges of stand up fighting:  Projectile Weapon Range is outside of the opponents reach. At this range, as long as it is maintained, the only effective attacks are with projectile weapons.  Striking Range is the range from which striking attacks are possible. It begins from arms length or, in the case of contact weapons, at the length of the weapon.  Clinching Range begins when you are too close for effective striking.  Grappling Range begins when the fight has gone to the ground. 2. Angle - Stepping or shooting “off-line” to improve your angel over your opponent. 3. Level - ALWAYS change at the KNEES not the waist.

V. Stand in Base / Dominant Body Positions  Stand in Base • Sit like a fighter. 4

• Knee through the armpit. • Assume a fighters stance.  Dominant Body Position •

• •

Rear Mount  Over and under hooks.  Opposing thumbs grip.  Hooks in.  Head tucked to avoid headbutts.  DO NOT CROSS FEET. When Rear Mounted  Protect ears with bicep and palm.  Keep chin tucked, protect you neck.  One hand tucked in armpit to attempt to trap. Mount  Knees as high as possible toward the opponents armpits.  Keep toes inline or inside of your ankles to avoid injury. When Mounted  Lie on your back, bend your knees, and post both feet on the ground.  Pull your elbows in tightly into your sides to prevent the high mount.  Hold your head off the ground to prevent secondary impact from strikes.  Keep your hand up to protect your head. Guard - (if you have to be on your back this is where you want to be)  Lock your ankles around opponents torso.  Control opponents arms at the elbows.  Stay light on your back, by keeping your spine curled to avoid strikes.  Control range by pushing or pulling opponent with legs and hips. When in Guard  Assume good posture by establishing a wide base with your knees, keeping your toes inside of your ankles to prevent breaking them if you are swept.  With your elbows turned inward, place your hands on your opponent’s hip flexors.  Keep a straight waist.  Keep toes inside ankles to avoid injury if swept. Side Control - (Transitioning Position)  Keep head turned away from opponents knees to avoid strikes.  Keep the leg closest to your opponents head straight.  Keep other knee in near your opponents hip.  Place the elbow closest to your opponents head in the “elbow notch”.  Use the elbow that’s closest to his legs to control the far side hip. In Side Control  Keep knees up and feet flat on ground.  Form a “table top” with the arm closest to your opponents legs.  Other arm should have and underhook.


VI. Basic Combatives Techniques Escape the Mount, Army Trap and Roll (Technique 1 of Drill 1)  Trap one of your opponent’s arms, wrap one hand around his wrist with a Thumbless grip, and with the other, grab above the elbow notch with thumb on the outside. Pull your elbow to the ground, if possible.  Plant the foot on the same side as the trapped arm on the ground outside of the opponent’s foot.  Align your opposite –knee with the center of your opponent’s spine  Thrust upward with your hips, driving your opponent’s head to the ground.  Roll your opponent over, trapping his leg.  Secure good posture in the Guard. Control your opponent’s hips. Pass the Guard (Technique 2 of Drill 1)  Establish a good base  Assume a good posture by establishing a wide base with your knees, keeping your toes in line with or inside of your ankles. Place your buttocks on your heels. Keep a straight waist to avoid having your posture broken. Keep your elbows tight, and reach your hands down to control your opponent’s hips. Place your hands outside of your opponent’s hip flexors, fingers point out.  Turn your fingers inward, and drive your hands to your opponent’s chin placing your face in the sternum. This position exposes only the top and back of your head to his strikes.  Move your arms out to control your opponent’s biceps. Roll your hands back, and cup them with a Thumb less Grip.  Post one foot, and turn your hips to create space.  Release your same side grip; drive your hand (with a knife edge) through the opening. Turn your head and eyes in the opposite direction to prevent blows to the face from the arm you no longer have secured.  Place your hand on ground. Place your knee on the ground. Scoot the same- side knee back at a 45 degree angle, and drive your shoulder beneath your opponent’s knee.  Grab opponent’s leg just above hip.  Pull your opponent onto your lap by straightening your back. Keep your head above his knee  Step toward your opponent’s shoulder with your outside leg, your knee pushing inward to control your opponent’s hip.  Reach your same side hand across and secure your opponent’s collar, thumb on the inside, fingers on the outside.  Drive your knee to the ground, toward your opponent’s ear to prevent the overhand sweep. Position yourself perpendicular to your opponent. Post your trail foot. Drive your opponent’s hips upward, and keep them in place by resting his hips on your trail knee.  Push your opponent’s knee over his head until you break the grip of his legs. Remove your arm from his bicep, and grab his belt line.  Assume good side control. Achieve the Mount from Side Control (Technique 3 of Drill 1)  Achieve good side control.  Move the hand closest to your opponent’s leg to control his hips. Be aware of his knees, and look down to avoid strikes.


 Sit through facing your opponent’s legs, and place your bottom knee against the hip. Spread your legs to avoid being thrown backward .Use the hand that was securing your opponent’s hip to control his legs.  Swing your back leg up and over the top. Secure a mounted position. Escape the Mount, Shrimp to the Guard (Technique 1of Drill 3)  You attempt the Arm Trap and Roll,  Place your leg flat on the ground, Turn to your side, side and face the opening created by your opponent .Using the space the opponent created by posting his leg, prop the opponent’s leg up with your elbow.  Turn facing the opponent’s posted leg flat. Move your knee from underneath your opponent’s leg. Turn to your other hip, and hook your opponent’s leg to prevent him from reestablishing the Mount. Use both hands to push your opponent’s hip away. Move your other knee from between your opponent’s legs, and put your weight on your posted foot. Turn your body, and face the opposite direction. Loop your legs around your opponent, and lock your feet to reestablish your guard. Arm Push and Roll to the Mount (Technique 1 of Drill 2)  Target the arm closest to the top of your opponent’s head.  Place one hand on the back of your opponent’s elbow amd one hand on his wrist, both with thumbless grips.  Push the arm across your opponent’s body in the direction of his hand.. Pin the arm with your body.  Release the grip of the hand on the elbow, and drive it under your opponent’s neck to secure his wrist with both hands in thumb less grips.  Move the hand that was on the opponent’s wrist to his elbow.  Change your posture to make room for your opponent to roll.  Use your body strength to push your opponent with your chest (using ratchet motions) until his elbow stops him from going any further.  Take your weight off of your opponent, and fold his arms underneath him while pushing him forward.  From this position, the opponent normally tries to rise using his knees. When he attempts this, sit up and hook both legs inside of the opponent’s legs. Push to straighten your arms with your hands in the back of your opponent’s collar. Escape the Rear Mount (Technique 2 of Drill 2)  Place one hand over your head, with your palm facing in, your bicep very tight to the side of your head, and you’re your hand covering your ear. Place the other hand near your armpit, with your palm facing out.  Once your opponent reaches in, the hand under your armpit secure his wrist and pull it through.  Wrap your arm around, making a figure four.  Place your back on the ground on your under hook side.  Once your body weight is on your opponent’s arm. Let go and move your shoulders to the ground, using the ground to scrape your opponent off of your back.  Push your hips through your opponent’s legs, one hand on his hip and the other on his knee to prevent him from achieving the mount.  Continue until your hips clear his legs.


 Move your hips to clear your legs. Move you’re inside leg through and to the ground, knee toward your opponent’s armpit and foot hooking his groin area. Move your opposite leg through the middle, and hook the back of his knee with your foot.  Reach your top hand into your opponent’s far-side collar (or grab the back of his head, if he does not have a collar), with your bottom hand posted on the ground. Roll into the mount, and achieve good posture. Rear Naked Choke  Achieve a rear mount, and hook both legs in place. Leaving the under hook in place, sneak the hand of your over hook arm around your opponent’s neck. Put your bicep against the side of your opponent’s neck. Roll your forearm to the other side of your opponent’s neck, with both bicep and the forearm resting against the carotid arteries. Position your elbow against the trachea. Externally, your opponent’s chin will line up with your elbow.  Place the bicep of your under hook under your over hook with a thumb less grip. Move you’re under hook to the back of the opponent’s head to the knowledge bump, as if combing his hair back. Pinch your shoulder blades together, and expand your chest to finish the choke. Cross Collar Choke from the Mount and Guard  With your non-dominant hand, open your opponent’s same –side collar. Reach across your body, and insert your dominant hand into the collar you just opened. Relax the dominant hand, and reach all the way behind your opponent’s neck, grasping his collar with your fingers on the inside and your thumb on the outside.  Release the grip of your non-dominant-side hand, and move your dominant-side forearms across you’re your opponent’s neck under the first arm, clearing his chin. Using the same grip (fingers on the inside, thumb on the outside), reach all the way back until your dominant hand meets the other hand. Turn your wrist so that your palms face you, and pull your opponent into you. Expand your chest, pinch your shoulders together, and bring your elbows to your hips to finish the choke. Bent Arm Bar (Mount and Side Control)  With thumb less grips, drive your opponent’s wrist and elbow to the ground, moving your elbow to the notch created by your opponent’s neck and shoulder (elbow notch).  Keeping your head on the back of your hand to protect your face from strikes, place your other hand under his elbow. Grab your own wrist with a thumb less grip. Drag the back of your opponent’s hand toward his waistline. Lift his elbow, and dislocate his shoulder. The Straight Arm Bar from the Mount  Decide which arm you wish to attack. Isolate that arm by placing your opposite-side hand in the middle of your opponent’s chest between his arms. Targeting the unaffected arm, press down to prevent your opponent from getting off the flat of his back. Loop your same-side arm around the targeted arm and place that hand in the middle of your opponent’s chest, applying greater pressure. Placing all of your weight on your opponent’s chest, raise to your feet in a very low squat.  Turn your body 90 degrees to face the targeted arm. Bring your foot nearest to your opponent’s head around his face, and plant it in the crook of his neck, on the opposite side of the targeted arm. Slide your hips down the targeted arm, keeping your buttocks tight to your opponent’s shoulder. Secure your opponent’s wrist with both of your hands in thumb grip.  Keep his thumb pointed skyward to achieve the correct angle. Pull your heels tight to your buttocks, and pinch your knees together tightly with upper arm trapped between your knees, not resting on your groin.


 Apply slow, steady pressure by trapping your opponent’s wrist on your chest, and arching your hips skyward.  DO NOT CROSS YOUR FEET

Straight Arm Bar from the Guard  When your opponent presents a straight arm, Secure his arm at or above the elbow. Hold your opponent’s elbow for the remainder of the move. Insert your other hand under the opponent’s thigh on the side opposite the targeted arm.  The hand should be palm up. Open your Guard, and bring your legs up, while curling your back to limit the friction. Contort your body by pulling with the hand that is on the back of your opponent’s thigh. Bring your head to his knee.  Place your leg over his head. With your leg, grab your opponent and pull him down by pulling your heels to your buttocks and pinching your knees together. Move the hand that was behind your opponent’s thigh to grasp the wrist of the arm you secured at the elbow with a thumb grip. Curl your calf downward and push up with your hips to break your opponent’s arm. Sweep from the Attempted Straight Arm Bar (Technique 2 of Drill 3)  With the hand that is behind your opponent’s thigh, pull his knee as close to your head as possible in order to position your body perpendicular to your opponent.  Swing the leg that was supposed to hook your opponent’s head in a big circle, originating from your following a path to your opponent’s far-side leg.  With the leg that is hooked under your opponent’s armpit, push toward his head so that you will roll right up into the Mount. Use the momentum from the leg that is swinging in a circle to sweep your opponent. Scissor Sweep (Technique 2 of Drill 3 variation)  When your opponent post one of his legs to create space, relax your guard, and keep your knees tight. Hang your calf on your opponent’s posted leg, and post your opposite shoulder to swing your hips toward his posted leg  Drive your leg across your opponent’s waist like a belt. Use your foot to hook his waist tightly, with your knee lower than the ankle. Position your other leg flat on the ground to trap your opponent’s non-posted leg.  Reach across your body and secure your opponent’s collar on the opposite side of his posted leg, maintaining control of the arm on the side you intend to sweep. Extend your body to take your opponent of his base, while pulling him forward by his collar.  Make a scissoring motion with your legs to sweep your opponent over.  Achieve the Mount. Front Take Down  From the modified seatbelt clinch, step slightly in front of your opponent so you can drive him off his leg. Ensure that you keep good head control to drive his upper body backward.  Release your grip on your opponent’s elbow, and reach over his arm , keeping it trapped under your over hook armpit. Secure a wrestler’s grip low on your opponent’s side at the hip near the small of his back. Pull your opponent into you with your hands, and push your upper body and head to make his back arch. Step over your opponent and release your grip, ending in the mount. Rear Take Down 9

 Step to one side so that you are behind your opponent at an angle. Place one foot on the outside of his foot so that your foot is perpendicular to your opponent.  Place the instep of your other foot behind your opponent’s far-side foot so that he cannot step backward. Sit down as close to your other foot as possible and hang your weight from your opponent’s waist.  The opponent will fall backward over your extended leg. As he does so, tuck your elbow to avoid falling on it, release your grip. Rotate into the Mount. Front Guillotine Choke  As your opponent charges your legs, direct his head underneath one of your arms, and take a step back. Wrap your arm around your opponent’s head and under his neck.  With your other hand, grasp the first hand where a watch would be, ensuring that you have not reached around your opponent’s arm. Clinch the choke by bringing your arm further around your opponent’s head, improving your grip. Sit down, place your opponent within your guard, and finish the choke by pulling with your arms and pushing with your legs.

VII. Clinches and Standing Dominant Body Positions Modified Seatbelt: This should normally be the goal when closing with an enemy. It allows for both strong takedowns and strikes.  Close the range with the Enemy  Turn your head to one side and move your arm over one of his and pull it into your armpit, grasping it at the elbow.  At the same time, you should step around the other side and clear his arm by driving your elbow up into his arm pit.  Secure your position by grasping him around the waist, continuing to control his far side arm and moving your hips away from him to avoid his attempts to take you down. Double Underhooks High/Low: principally dominant for takedowns and takedown defense.  It is achieved when both of your arms are wrapped around the enemy from the front,  Under his arms, with your hands locked together behind his back. Rear: dominant for takedowns and takedown defense.  It is achieved when both of your arms are wrapped around the enemy’s waist from the rear with opposing thumb grip,  Your head should be in the lower back of the enemy (stiff neck), low posture. Inside Control: the most dominant position for striking enemy.  Your hands are cupped behind your opponent’s head with your arms inside of his and your elbows tucked into his chest. 50/50: enables the fighter to control his opponent’s arm and body at the same time. Both fighters have the same opportunity.  One arm has and underhook and grasps opponents shoulder with a Thumbless grip.  Grasp your opponents other elbow with a Thumb Grip, pulling his arm into your armpit. Neck and Bicep: Neutral position, is a natural position that happens frequently. Allows fighter to initiate knee strikes.  Cup the back of your opponent’s neck with one hand for control.  Place the other hand on top of your opponent’s bicep.

VIII. Knee Strikes – Long, Up, and Round Knee Long Knee: used when there is space between you and your opponent and thrown straight into or slightly upward. 10

 Secure Inside control, pull opponent to you while driving your knee into enemy’s center of mass  Thrust your hips forward, while pointing your toes downward  Same side hand goes down for balance and opposite hand comes up to protect against counter strikes. Up Knee: is a rising strike (at close range) to head or chest, from front or side.  Secure Inside control, pull opponents head down towards your knee  Drive the top of your knee into opponent’s head/chest Round Knee: used from the side into the ribs or thighs.  Secure Inside control, lift your knee at a 90% angle, strike with the inside of your knee

IX. Knee Strike Defense Good Posture: best against Long knee or Up knee strikes *from neck and Bicep clinch*  It is important to maintain good posture. Head should be up and hips should be close to the enemy’s.  Cant your hips slightly to avoid being kneed in the crotch.  Continue to attempt to improve your position by swimming to inside control. Hand Check: best against Long knee or Up knee strikes *from neck and Bicep clinch*  hand that was securing the Bicep, releases and places on the same side hip (thumb-up) and tuck Hip Check: best against Round knee strikes.  Good Posture, In Neck and Bicep Clinch, move your hip inside of the knee strike  Catch your opponents inner thigh with your outer thigh  You are beating the knee strike Pull Towards the Knee: reduces your opponents ability to strike with his knees  In Neck and Bicep Clinch, as your opponent lifts his leg to knee strike, pull him towards the leg he is throwing. (snapping motion) Pull Away from the Knee: reduces your opponents ability to strike with his knees.  As your opponent throws a knee, pull him AWAY from the knee he is striking with Hip Check Turn Down: take your opponent off balance by transitioning all his weight over his “planted” foot.  Stop opponent’s knee strike with Hip Check.  Turn your opponent in tight circle towards planted foot.  Pull opponent downward. Tilt the Head: pull your opponent into BAD posture by tilting his head.  Secure Inside Control, as your opponent lifts his leg for knee strike.  Tilt (Jerk) his head in the direction of his striking knee. Pull Away from the knee, sweep: When in the clinch, an opponent may throw knee strikes. If this occurs, the fighter pulls his opponent away from the strike, steps through, and executes a sweep.  Stop your opponent's attempted knee strike by pulling away from his knee.  Step through the space between you and the opponent.  Execute a sweep with your opposite-side foot that’s closest to opponents leg that was ALWAYS planted. Pull Toward the Knee- inside hook: attack opponent with inside trip  Stop opponents strike by pulling towards his knee strike.  Sweep opponents striking leg with back of your calf just as opponents leg touches the ground, driving you knee to the ground.

X. Introduction to Weapons Transition , Control Retention and Take Away, rifle, pistol and knife. 11

In a CQB environment, ultimately the winner of the fight is the person that controls the weapon. When weapons are introduced in a confined confrontation, everything changes. The first and most important objective should always be control; take away or retention of the weapon. Retaining your weapon is vital in a hostile close quarter combat situation. If your fight with an enemy goes to the ground, you need to get to side-control or mount for leverage. If the enemy put you in his guard, you do not have as much leverage to take away or keep the weapon. This is one of the most important reasons to train in grappling. Grapplers are weapon retention experts that do not always know it. The instinct to gravitate to a leverage position is PRICELESS. From the Mount or Side-control position you can use your weight to pin and control the enemy’s weapon hand. In a CQB environment you must be able to maintain control of your weapon and have the skill set to take away your enemy’s weapon, be it a knife, gun or rifle. You must be able to transition from your primary, to your secondary weapon should your primary weapon become to cumbersome to maneuver and effectively be used (such as a rifle in the clinch) or if it fails to operate (malfunction).  Briefing about wearing of your KIT/Rig— split weapon systems (primary/secondary/auxiliary)  Rifle and MAGS  Pistol and MAGS  Knife (accessible from either hand/securable)

Engage Enemy with Primary Weapon and Strikes Muzzle Thump: When confronted with non-compliant enemy or potential enemy when just outside of contact range.  Direct a short, sharp, forceful strike with the weapon muzzle at Enemy’s chest.  Maintain your balance and only become decisively engaged if the enemy attacks. Head Butt: Frequently in close quarters fighting, an potential enemy will attempt to gain control of a Soldiers Rifle by grasping it.  If the enemy grasps the muzzle of your weapon, push it downward.  When he is within range, deliver a violent and forceful head butt.  Use the area of your helmet directly above your temple, as if you had horns Tug of War. Sometimes an enemy will grasp the end of your muzzle in an attempt to take control of your weapon.  Step back from your opponent and pull back on your weapon away from the enemy.  If he maintains his grasp on the weapon’s muzzle, the weapon’s muzzle will be pointed directly at the enemy’s stomach area as he struggles to maintain his grip.  Shoot him. Head Butt and Tug of War: Each of the preceding techniques may not be enough, by themselves. In this case you can combine them.  Enemy grasps the muzzle of your weapon, push it downward. This will bring him closer to you. When he is within range, deliver a violent head butt with your helmet.  When the enemy recoils from the blows, step back from your opponent and pull back on your weapon away from the enemy. The enemy will be pulled forward and lower in his stance if he maintains his grasp on the weapon’s muzzle. Consequently, the weapon’s muzzle will be pointed directly at the enemy’s stomach area as he struggles to maintain his grip.  Shoot him. Front Kick. Sometimes you may want to disengage from an enemy who has grasped your weapon without shooting them. In this case a front kick can sometimes break their grip on your weapon and allow you to disengage.  Use your rear foot to forcefully kick the enemy off the end of your weapon. 12

Engage Enemy with Secondary Weapon Stabbing Attacks.  Stabbing attacks are the most likely to be fatal, although they require more commitment to the attack than other types of attacks.  Most effective when targeted around the body’s natural body armor, such as under the rib cage or the front of the neck.  Slashing attacks, where there is an attempt to cut the enemy with the blade of the weapon, are seldom fatal but can be useful tactically to create an opening for more decisive attacks.  Also help to disengage.  In a life and death struggle, people are capable of continuing to fight even after sustaining fatal wounds so it is important to continue to attack until the enemy succumbs and to keep your head in the fight even after it seems to be over.

General Competition Information A look at the history of combatives systems reveals two fundamental mistakes, both of which are related to competition. The first mistake is having no form of competition. This is generally done due to the misguided thought that the techniques are “too dangerous” to be done competitively. While many techniques are too dangerous to be executed during live competition; there are great benefits to be gained by competing even in a limited set of techniques. The boxer is a better puncher than the traditional martial artist not because of the mechanics of punching but because his technique has been refined in the crucible of competition. The feel for an enemy’s body movement of most high school wrestlers is superior to most traditional martial artists for this very same reason. For military units there are many other reasons that a competitive form is useful. The problem of developing a strong unit program is really the problem of how to motivate subordinate unit leaders to emphasize the training. Competitions can be useful for this in several ways. Competitions are also a very good way to encourage the pursuit of excellence in soldiers. The other mistake is that once you have decided on a method of competition, training will naturally become focused on winning at competition rather than on winning in combat. Over time, the system changes until it bears only a slight resemblance to the original combat art. This is evident in almost every combatives system. Boxers do not concern themselves with how to defend against takedowns. Wrestlers do not concern themselves with defending against chokes. The dilemma then is how to garner the benefits from competition without falling into the trap of a competitive focus. The answer is to have a graduated system of competition rules. In this way there will not be a competitive advantage to training specifically for competitions. Those who do will find themselves unprepared for the additional techniques that are allowed at the next level of competition. This also allows for a very safe subset of techniques to be used at the lower levels without losing the combat focus. There are three sets of rules governing combatives competition. Other combative sports are also encouraged, however it should be recognized that they sometimes reinforce bad combative habits.

Basic Competitions 13

The basic competition rules are designed for entry level soldiers, or soldiers with a limited knowledge base. Soldiers will begin with a handshake, face each other on their knees and fight until submission or a designated time limit. On reaching the time limit, a winner will be designated by the referee based upon aggressiveness and display of superior technique.

Standard Competitions 1. Uniform: Soldiers will compete wearing combatives uniform. (Combatives uniform is ACU’s with no belt, badges, patches, pens, jewelry, watches, or anything in their pockets. Soft shoes may be worn if competition is held in the grass. ACU top will be turned inside out and zipped half way.) For ease in scoring, Soldiers may wear a red or blue belt. 2. Duration: Matches last six to ten minutes. Specific match duration is decided in advance. 3. Scoring: Points are awarded to establish good fight habits and emphasize the importance of dominant body position. It is important to remember that submission will end the fight regardless of the score. The point values are: 2 Points---------Take Down: From the standing position, the fighter places his opponent on the ground but fails to gain dominant position. 3 Points----------Take Down: From the standing position, the fighter places his opponent on his back and gains a position past the guard: side control, mount, knee in the stomach, north-south, etc. 3 Points----------Pass the Guard: From between his opponent's legs, the fighter clears the legs and gains side control or the mount. 3 Points----------Sweep: From the guard position, the fighter changes positions, placing his opponent on his back. 3 Points----------Knee in Chest: From side control, the fighter establishes one knee in his opponent's chest / abdomen and the other knee up and away from him and stabilizes himself. 4 Points----------Mount: The fighter establishes the mount with both knees and feet on the ground. 4 Points----------Back Mount: The fighter establishes the back mount with both feet hooked in position. 1 Point --------Stalling: From either within the guard or side control, the fighter must try to improve his position. The judge will give three warnings and then award a point to the other competitor. If the stalling continues, the judge gives three additional warnings, and then awards an additional point, continuing this pattern until the end of the match or action is conducted. 2 Points--------Passivity: Fighter disengages from the top position, the referee awards two points to the other fighter. Note: All positions must be stabilized to the judges’ satisfaction to earn points. 4. Judging: Each match has one judge and one score keeper. It is the judge’s responsibility to ensure a safe and fair match. All decisions are final. 5. Illegal Techniques: The following are illegal and dangerous techniques. Their use may result in disqualification: Strikes of any kind 14

Twisting knee & ankle locks Finger techniques Wrist techniques Grabbing the fingers Toe holds Attacking the groin Picking up the opponent to pass the guard 6. Tie Breaking: If the score is tied at the end of the allotted time, the match will continue until the next point is scored or deducted. 7. Time limits: Time limits tend to change the type of technique commonly employed. There is however a need to limit the length of matches, especially when conducting a large number of them, for instance in a tournament. It is preferable to have no time limit, the victor decided by submission. If time limits are to be employed, a specific time limit will be decided on in advance, commensurate with the number of fights to be conducted. Another technique is to have a set amount of maximum points, usually fifteen. The first fighter who reaches that limit is the winner. Everyone involved should however keep in mind that a victory by submission is far preferable to a point victory.

References AR 350-1 states: 1–25. Modern Army Combatives Program training The objective of the Modern Army Combatives Program (MACP) is to enhance combat readiness by instilling the confidence and fighting skills that are only gained through engagement with an opponent in a combat situation. Combatives training is a fundamental building block for preparing Soldiers for current and future operations and must be an integral part of every Soldier’s life. MACP applies Army-wide, to all components. This regulation establishes Army policies for combatives training and FM 3–25.150 serves as the instructional guide for combatives training. a. Commanders in both the Operating Force and Generating Force will establish combatives program consistent with this regulation, FM 3–25.150, and unit missions. Combatives programs will include individual training, competitions, and scenario based training. b. Soldiers must be willing and able to fight when called upon. Every Soldier should experience the physical and emotional demands of hand-to-hand fighting prior to engaging in combat. c. The U.S. Army Infantry Center is the proponency for combatives training. The U.S. Army Combatives School (USACS) will establish technical training standards and instructor and referee certification procedures. The USACS will conduct periodic inspection and certification of combatives instructor training courses throughout the Army. The USACS will maintain a Web site to provide all level of combatives instructors with program updates on pedagogy, risk management, standard operating procedures, and injury mitigation. d. Due to the potentially dangerous nature of combatives training, unit commanders and installations will insure that all combatives training is conducted by certified instructors of the appropriate level and adhere to the risk management process and instructional framework of FM 3–25.150. e. All Soldiers will receive combatives training during IMT. f. Chapter 4 of this regulation provides policy for combatives training in units. g. Competition is an important component of a successful combatives program. Competition programs will be established and conducted in accordance with FM 3–25.150. h. FM 3–25.150 provides guidance 4–12. Modern Army Combatives Program training in units c. Combatives training will be conducted regularly in support of mission readiness, posted on unit training schedules, and executed at company and platoon levels. (1) Combatives is a link between physical training and tactics. Combatives training should encompass training specifically dedicated to technique training as well as being integrated into both physical and tactical training. (2) Combatives instruction is not always physically demanding and should therefore never replace physical training but should be an important and integral part of it.

FM 3-25.150 is the Field Manual for Combatives Army Combatives Homepage - 15

USARAK Combatives Homepage – USARAK Combatives Sharepoint USARAK Combatives Facebook - TC 3-22-20 States that combatives will be “conducted” with PRT but not “trained” AWCA Phone Number: 384-0292


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