US Army Combatives School

Enlarge picture
Matt Larsen demonstrating a straight ankle lock
The US Army Combatives School was founded in 2000 by then Sergeant First Class Matt Larsen and is located at building 69, Fort Benning, Georgia. It teaches a martial art unique to the United States Army called Modern Army Combatives (MAC).

History

After years of developing the elite 75th Ranger Regiment's hand to hand program, Larsen was assigned to the Ranger Training Brigade, the Combatives proponency at the time, to rewrite the Field Manual FM 21-150. Upon finishing this, it was published in 2002 as FM 3-25.150 (Combatives), he was asked by the 11th Infantry Regiment (a TRADOC unit) to develop a training course for their cadre. Proponency for Combatives doctrine was transferred to the 11th Regiment to follow SFC Larsen. An old, disused warehouse in Fort Benning, Georgia became the site of the school. Soon, units from around the Army were sending Soldiers to this course. Over the next several years the program was developed around the idea of building virtually self sustaining Combatives programs within units by training indigenous instructor cadre. With the continued success of this approach, the school became the recognized source of instruction for the entire US Army.

Training

Larsen recognized in the development of the Modern Army Combatives Program that previous programs had suffered from the same problems. Invariably, the approach had been to pick a small set of what were deemed simple, effective, easy to learn techniques and train them in whatever finite amount of time was granted on a training calendar. This “terminating training” approach, which offered no follow-on training plan other than continued practice of the same limited number of techniques, had failed in the past because it did not provide an avenue or the motivation for continued training.

Instead, his approach was to use the limited amount of institutional training time to lay a foundation for ever more realistic training around the Army. Basic techniques were selected not simply because they were simple and effective, but also because they were representative of classes of techniques. These basic techniques were put together in a series of simple drills so that through repetition, such as during daily physical training or as a warm-up exercise, Soldiers could be expected to not only memorize but master the basic techniques.

Drills

Drills were designed to rapidly teach core concepts to students. The first and most widely taught drill is known as Drill One and is as follows:
  • Student A starts in the mount on student B
  • B escapes from the mount by trapping one of A's arms and rolling him to his back
  • A holds B in his guard
  • B passes A's guard to side control
  • B achieves the mount
  • B is now in the same position that A was in the beginning of the drill
  • The drill is repeated, with the roles reversed
Such drills serve many pedagogical functions. They instill basic movement patterns and so internalize the concept of a hierarchy of dominant positions. When used as a part of a warm-up they maximize the use of available training time, allowing instructors to review the details of the basic techniques without taking time away from more advanced training. New techniques can be taught in context, for example a new choke can be practiced every time the appropriate position is reached. They allow students of different levels to work together. An advanced student will not necessarily pass the guard or achieve the mount in the same way as a beginner but the drill still functions as a framework for practice. The drills also allow Combatives training to become a routine part of every Soldiers day. During physical training for instance Soldiers could be asked to perform the drills interchangeable with callisthenic exercises.

Submission techniques

Enlarge picture
A sleeve choke executed from the mount
Since submission techniques can often directly end a fight or cause an immediate benefit for the soldier that successfully applies them, they are very much preferred over striking.

The most beneficial category of submission technique is the chokehold. Students are taught a variety of different chokes and are taught how a properly applied choke feels so that they know the difference between a choke that they must break or submit to immediately and one that they can safely ignore if they have an opening for a submission hold of their own. A properly applied blood choke will prevent the flow of blood to and from the brain, resulting in unconsciousness in approximately 10 seconds. The best known example of this is the rear naked choke.

Enlarge picture
The straight armbar, originally known as juji-gatame
Less preferred, but also effective techniques are joint locks. Joint locks are not the preferred method for attacking an enemy, because they do not completely disable the enemy. Joints locks do inflict large amounts of pain and can secure compliance from the enemy. This makes them especially useful in controlling opponents during crowd control operations or when someone is being clearly threatening, but the rules of engagement prohibit killing them. If compliance cannot be secured or is not desired, the joint lock can be extended fully, breaking the applicable joint. Students are taught the difference between pain that signals a joint lock is in progress and simple discomfort. The most common joint lock in combatives is the straight armbar.

While small joint locks and spinal locks are applicable, they are generally not taught in the combatives courses. Small joint locks are not proven methods of ending fights, nor are they especially disabling. While spinal locks can completely disable or kill an enemy, practicing these methods are not safe and thus are not taught.

Courses

There are four different courses taught at the Combatives Center:
  • Combatives Train the Trainer – Skill level 1: a 40-hour, one week course. It is tailored for developing the instructor base necessary to get basic combatives to every soldier. Students learn to teach the techniques of basic combatives. The Army's goal is to have one skill level 1 trainer per platoon.
  • Combatives Train the Trainer – Skill level 2: an 80-hour, two-week course that builds off of the skills introduced in the basic course. It is tailored to teach the more advanced techniques which illuminate why the basic techniques are performed as they are as well as the teaching philosophy/methodology of the program. The Army's goal is to have one skill level 2 trainer per company.
  • Combatives Train the Trainer – Skill level 3: a 160-hour, four-week course that builds off of the skills taught in the previous two courses. It is designed to take the skills that have been until now been stand alone, and integrate them into unit-level training. The Army's goal is to have one skill level 3 trainer per battalion.
  • Combatives Train the Trainer – Skill level 4: a 160-hour, four week course designed to provide master trainers. The Army's goal is to have one skill level 4 trainer per brigade.
Trainers at skill level 3 are or higher are certified to teach all courses lower than their certification level. Skill level 1 and 2 courses are now usually taught and participants certified at the unit level. Skill level 3 and 4 courses are usually held at Ft. Benning, GA. A Soldier who has a level 3 certification can certify other Soldiers to be skill level 1. Soldiers who are skill level 4 can certify other Soldiers to be skill level 1 or 2.

Competitions

One of the fundamental aspects of Modern Army Combatives training is the use of competitions as a tool to motivate Soldiers to train. Realizing the inherent problem with competitive systems, that competitors will focus their training on winning and therefore only train the techniques that are allowed in competition, Larsen designed a system of graduated rules. More liberal rules are used for higher level of competitions.

There are four levels of competition;
  • Basic- For competition for new Soldiers such as basic trainees or for squad and platoon level, Competitors start grappling from their knees and no leg locks are allowed.
  • Standard- For company level competition and for preliminary bouts in any tournament above company level, Competitors begin from their feet. Straight leg and foot locks are allowed and points are awarded in a scoring system based the way takedowns are scored in Collegiate wrestling and positional dominance in ground grappling from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
  • Intermediate- For the finals at Battalion and brigade level and semi-finals at division and above, Intermediate rules allow limited striking. Open hand strikes are allowed to the head and closed fist strikes to the body. Kicks are allowed to any target except the groin while standing and knee strikes are allowed to the body while standing and to the legs while on the ground. The fight consists of one ten minute round.
  • Advanced- For finals at division level and above, the advanced rules are essentialy Mixed Martial Arts.

References

FM 21-150 by US Army, 2002 Edition
US Army Combatives School home page

Sergeant First Class (SFC) is the seventh enlisted rank in the U.S. Army, just above Staff Sergeant and below Master Sergeant, and is the first grade at which a non-commissioned officer is considered a senior non-commissioned officer.
..... Click the link for more information.
Matt Larsen is an American Combatives instructor known as "The Father of Modern Combatives" for his complete rewrite of the United States Army's combatives doctrine and establishing the US Army Combatives School.[1][2]He was the author of the U.S.
..... Click the link for more information.
Fort Benning is a United States Army base, located southwest of Columbus in Muscogee and Chattahoochee counties in Georgia and Russell County, Alabama. It is part of the Columbus, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area.
..... Click the link for more information.
State of Georgia

Flag of Georgia Seal of Georgia
Nickname(s): Peach State, Empire State of the South
Motto(s): Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation

Official language(s) English

Capital Atlanta

..... Click the link for more information.
Combatives is a term popularized by the US Army for hand-to-hand combat training. It now encompasses various hybrid martial arts, which incorporate techniques from several different martial arts and combat sports.
..... Click the link for more information.
75th Ranger Regiment, the modern incarnation of the United States Army Rangers, is an elite light infantry special operations force of the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) headquartered in Fort Benning, Georgia.
..... Click the link for more information.
Ranger School is an intense nine-week long combat leadership course, oriented towards small-unit tactics, and conducted in three separate three-week-long phases - at Fort Benning, Georgia, U.S.A.
..... Click the link for more information.
11th Infantry Regiment is a regiment in the United States Army.

History

Civil War

The 11th Infantry was constituted on 3 May 1861 by President Abraham Lincoln.
..... Click the link for more information.
United States Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) is a military command of the United States Army. It is charged with overseeing training of Army forces, the development of operational doctrine, and the development and procurement of new weapons systems.
..... Click the link for more information.
mount or mounted position is a dominant ground grappling position position, where one combatant sits on the other combatants torso with the face pointing towards the opponent's head. This is very favourable for the top combatant in several ways.
..... Click the link for more information.
guard (in Judo sometimes referred to colloquially as do-osae1, "trunk hold"[1]; in Catch Wrestling, the "front body scissor") is a ground grappling position where one combatant has his or her back to the
..... Click the link for more information.
citation, footnoting or external linking.


Side control (often also called side mount or sometimes cross mount) is a dominant ground grappling position where the top combatant is lying perpendicularly over the face-up bottom combatant
..... Click the link for more information.
guard (in Judo sometimes referred to colloquially as do-osae1, "trunk hold"[1]; in Catch Wrestling, the "front body scissor") is a ground grappling position where one combatant has his or her back to the
..... Click the link for more information.
mount or mounted position is a dominant ground grappling position position, where one combatant sits on the other combatants torso with the face pointing towards the opponent's head. This is very favourable for the top combatant in several ways.
..... Click the link for more information.
chokehold or stranglehold1 (in budo referred to as shime-waza, 絞技, "constriction technique"[1]
..... Click the link for more information.
The rear naked choke (often abbreviated RNC) is a chokehold in martial arts applied from an opponent's back. Depending on the context, the term may refer to one of two variations of the technique. Either arm can be used to apply the choke in both cases.
..... Click the link for more information.
joint lock is a grappling technique involving manipulation of an opponent's joints in such a way that the joints reach their maximal degree of motion.

In budo these are referred to as, 関節技 kansetsu-waza, "joint locking technique"[1]
..... Click the link for more information.
rules of engagement (ROE) determine when, where, and how force shall be used. Such rules are both general and specific, and there have been large variations between cultures throughout history.
..... Click the link for more information.
platoon is a military unit, typically composed of two to four sections or squads and containing about 30 to 50 soldiers. Platoons are organized into a company, which typically consists of three, four or five platoons.
..... Click the link for more information.
company is a military unit, typically consisting of 75-200 soldiers. Most companies are formed of three to five platoons although the exact number may vary by country, unit type, and structure. Several companies are grouped to form a battalion.
..... Click the link for more information.
battalion is a military unit of around 500-1000 men usually consisting of between two and six companies and typically commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel. Several battalions are grouped to form a regiment or a brigade.
..... Click the link for more information.
brigade is a military unit that is typically composed of two to five regiments or battalions, depending on the era and nationality of a given army. Usually, a brigade is a sub-component of a division, a larger unit consisting of two or more brigades; however, some brigades are
..... Click the link for more information.
Collegiate wrestling (sometimes known as scholastic wrestling or folkstyle wrestling) is the commonly-used name of the form of amateur wrestling practiced at the college and university level in the United States.
..... Click the link for more information.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a martial art and combat sport that focuses on grappling and especially ground fighting with the goal of gaining a dominant position and using joint-locks and chokeholds to force an opponent to submit.
..... Click the link for more information.
Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a combat sport in which a wide variety of fighting techniques are used, including striking and grappling.

Modern mixed martial arts tournaments as a popular phenomenon emerged in 1993 with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, based on the
..... Click the link for more information.
United States Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) is a military command of the United States Army. It is charged with overseeing training of Army forces, the development of operational doctrine, and the development and procurement of new weapons systems.
..... Click the link for more information.
The U.S. Army Accessions Command (USAAC) was established by general order on 15 February 2002. It is a subordinate command of TRADOC charged with providing integrated command and control of the recruiting and initial military training for the Army's officer, warrant officer, and
..... Click the link for more information.
The Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL) collects and analyzes data from a variety of current and historical sources, including Army operations and training events, and produces lessons for military commanders, staff, and students.
..... Click the link for more information.
U.S. Army Combined Arms Center (USACAC) is located at Fort Leavenworth and provides leadership and supervision for leader development and professional military and civilian education; institutional and collective training; functional training; training support; battle
..... Click the link for more information.
Combined Arms Support Command (CASCOM), a subordinate command of the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), is located at Fort Lee, Virginia.

Mission

Logistics Center of Excellence for the United States Army.
..... Click the link for more information.


This article is copied from an article on Wikipedia.org - the free encyclopedia created and edited by online user community. The text was not checked or edited by anyone on our staff. Although the vast majority of the wikipedia encyclopedia articles provide accurate and timely information please do not assume the accuracy of any particular article. This article is distributed under the terms of GNU Free Documentation License.