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SoldierGround >> Command Negatives on Martial Arts


3/19/11 1:40 PM
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Old Red Belt
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Edited: 03/19/11 1:44 PM
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I was a Military Policeman in the Army for 20 years. During that time I studied and taught the popular martial art of the time which was Karate. It went along with my Army training, and my job. But when it came down to support from the command, it was very rare. There were no officers in the martial arts due the fraternization rule they must go by as well as the fact many were just plain terrified of the fact an NCO knew something they didn't. The other factors were time, potential for injury and money. If you wanted to truly be good at a martial art you had to go outside the gate to get it and study on your own. Many such as myself did this and were successful, due to years of training. Its seemed when the Army wanted to protect its officers they came and got me and the rest of my top military students and made body guards out of us for General Officers. I was surprised to see Army Combatives in the curriculum long after I retired. Now that I'm a MMA coach for a large school just outside an Army Post its all the same thing all over. If the GIs want good training they have to go outside the gate, and they do.
3/19/11 6:14 PM
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alheymann
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As an officer AND a level four combatives instructor who used to work at the fight house please let me reply - so you are saying that having your Soldiers place greater emphasis on BRM, battle drills, making sure your stuff is operational (PMCS and PCCs/PCIs), inventories (which, btw, is mandated by "Big Army" and something no one likes) is only about OERs? "300 reported cases of Soldiers down range using combatives"? How many cases of Soldiers firing their weapons? Using their vehicles and equipment? Having to administer self-aid and buddy-aid? Calling 9-lines, executing battle drills, operating a radio IOT call for fire or close air support...shall I go on?

What do you want out of your leaders in regards to combatives training? I see no solution offered, just whining and sniping.

Remember, combatives is not, and never has been, intended to turn any of us into ninjas ("ninja, please!"). Combatives is designed to allow the "typical" Soldier to be able to handle themselves long enough so that a battle buddy can finish the fight. Just like BRM, and the ability to shoot 23 out of 40, doesn't turn anyone into a sniper.

Combatives is an important part of creating a complete Soldier, but it is just one part of many.

So, I recommend, that if you have any GFIs about how we can implement it into training more (like incorporating it into the end of PT sessions, or after hours training, etc. - all things I have done with my units), than by all means, please offer one up.
3/19/11 7:05 PM
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virux11b
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^^ I agree. I was thinking the same things before I read your post. - infantry ssg. Phone Post
3/19/11 9:26 PM
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Old Red Belt
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Like I said if you want to learn martial arts go outside the gate otherwise it is just Army Red Tape. The Army Combative Training is adequate to get you interested but its not all there is by a longshot. Is it just enough to get yourself killed, no because they dont want you killed. The Army does train you well with a weapon that is a good thing, at least they did in my day. The truth is, along with many other things before 9-11 they fell short and tried to catch up. It was all a matter of opinion, time, and money. Does martial art training help you be a better soldier, yes, will it save your life in combat, yes. Consequently, will it cause every soldier that knows it to go out and tear up every bar in town, no but it has happened. Will officers that are extreme exceptions to the rule say it isn't so, yes, will it do any good, no.
Every soldier that has a Combat MOS should be trained in Army Combative Training but it can only go so far. Certain talented soldiers should go for higher instructor training. The rest you can get outside the gate as an individual. Same with the Army marksmanship program. As far as any special unit like Delta or SF, they should go all the way.
3/21/11 1:35 AM
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Jeff Yurk
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 I don't get a chance to come on the forum much anymore, but I happened to luck across this one...




3/21/11 8:49 PM
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alheymann
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Hey Jeff! So, is your journey to the "dark side" complete?

I'd like to hear your thoughts on this "great" debate.
3/21/11 10:48 PM
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Jeff Yurk
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 Hey there A.H.!

Hope is going well for you!

I remember having very exaggerated discussions about this topic for a long time while the program was my primary job. The thing is, it seems very obvious to me that OldRedBelt just does not have the perspective to understand the situation. No amount explanation will ever be enough for a couple reasons:

1) He has a vested interest in this debate for obvious reasons. Of course he is going to say you can only get the best apples from the red house; because he works at the red house :)

2) Without hands on perspective of the actual goals of training soldiers in today's Army, no amount of reading about the program is going to help him understand. He is talking about "talented soldiers" getting more training (from the red house) because that is his perspective now; MMA and sport BJJ. In the real Army we know that "getting more training" means the CQB house with SIMS and SUITS, weapons transitions, transitions to a sidearm, dealing with non-compliant LN's, etc.

The only semblance of perspective that can be drawn from the post above is that in the end, the success of the program, and more importantly of the training will always come down to the training provided at the Unit level. If the unit level training is non-existant, then the program cannot and will not give soldiers as a whole the additional set of tools to be successful.




3/21/11 11:54 PM
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Old Red Belt
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Edited: 03/22/11 12:10 AM
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I really don't have a vested interest in Army Combatives, it only interested in training MMA fighters for the Octogon. Army Combatives is new because of the popularity of BJJ and things like that have been tried before. They always come up with something when they have a war. Heaven forbid if they ever put on a "Gi." It is surprising that they use an Italian made pistol, other than the fact the contract went to the lowest bidder. Lets see first it was hand to hand combat, then it was unarmed self defence, Then close quarter combat, and now its Army Combatives. Ever wonder why they don't call it Judo, Karate, Jiujitsu, or something traditional. Well, its because they have to have something strictly American. As you know the Russians were the same way outlawing any martial art except Sambo. With all the money spent on everything else Id hire a Brazilian or Japanese master and have them set up a regular martial art unit to train instructors as an MOS. Like the Army MTU. I guess from what I've seen its the best they can do...still if you want to go all the way you have to go out the gate. Who you go to is your business. Truth is I hope Army Combatives does work I like soldiers, because I was one for 20 years, I like to see them come home in one piece.
3/22/11 12:10 AM
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Jeff Yurk
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I think you may be missing the point of the program...it is not to teach martial arts to soldiers. What you know of the program may seem much like learning BJJ, and in a way it is. But for the soldier it is far more than that, and that training is just the most basic level. If that is all the program amounted to, I would think much like you do.

Not but respect for your time in the service, but again, like I said, you just do not have the perspective. 

The only places outside the gate that will be able to tailor training for soldiers are places that are designed to specifically teach soldiering skills; "special" situations with a dedicated curriculum. 

They may get good MMA or BJJ training outside the gate, but that will have nothing to do with the Army Combatives Program. Nothing. Period.


3/22/11 12:45 PM
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Old Red Belt
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OK so it's more than just "wraslin" that makes sense. I don't think a bayonet would do much good on an M-4 too short, but I'm sure they teach that along with close quarter weapons drills. I had the Dog Brothers explain all this to me once very impressive sale. But the Army goes on a team effort and a martial art is an individual endeavour. So if the individual wants to learn more they have to go elsewhere. I'm sure the Army program is adequate to insure the soldiers have a better than an even chance against a conscript enemy. I have discussed this with Afghan and Iraqi officers up to the rank of Lt General and have yet to see any of them display a martial art background. So the system should work. I'm not questioning the training itself, I question those who allow it to go by the wayside. The worst I have seen is the decline in marksmanship training all before 9-11. If you have an Army Martial Arts Program, which they never had during my tour 73-93, don't let it fall by the way side.
3/22/11 2:14 PM
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alheymann
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Old Red Belt, you state that "Army Combatives is new because of the popularity of BJJ and things like that have been tried before. They always come up with something when they have a war."

Just to add a little more for perspective, Army Combatives was developed in the nineties - way before 9/11 and the huge popularity of the UFC. It was not developed in response to a war, but rather a few knowledgeable and dedicated NCO's who had a visionary officer who felt that the hand-to-hand combat system the Army had "used" for years was ineffective precisely because it was based on "traditional" martial arts like judo and karate.
3/22/11 3:50 PM
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Jeff Yurk
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 ORB (There is some irony there),

Absolutely. the program is much more. To me, the training is limitless, because in the end, the real genius of the program is not "what" we train, but "how" we train it. We can adapt the training (which is continues to do) as the right people make the right choices for the training. 

Are there issues with it on some levels? Sure. But anything you are going to deal with that has to be taught to the Army as a whole will have issues on some level. There will always be resistance and/or misinterpretation when dealing with culture change on that level.

JY 
3/22/11 4:03 PM
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Old Red Belt
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Edited: 03/22/11 4:06 PM
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Sorry there never was a system of Hand to Hand based on any traditional martial art they always wanted something quick and easy. We learned a hip throw, shoulder through, and what you guys call a rear naked choke but political correctness came along and told us not to use it.<br />They had some interesting techniques that the British Commandos did in WWII, while many soldiers went to Korea and studied Tae Kwon Do like the ROK Army, or like the Marines in Okinawa with GoJuryu all on their own accord. The truth is it takes much longer to learn a martial art the correct way and that does not equate to the mass production of the Army. There are only so many things that can be done with the hands and feet, the word ineffective is a braggart's point. What makes sense and always has is use anything that works. Everything we know today came from some traditional martial art all the way back to the Greeks. Something that old would have eliminated Ineffectiveness a thousand years ago. No you go and enjoy Army Combatives, and play nice, don't get hurt or they might put their heads together and eliminate the program. What I think they really want to do and spend the money on something else anyway. I guess what counts the most is results from the field. I only have one Kill to credit Okamiryu which occurred when one of my 3rd Dans, an MP, killed an Iraqi prisoner when he broke loose and pulled a knife on (you guessed it)an officer. My student did nothing more than a side kick and killed the enemy soldier by breaking his sternum. The almost victim Lieutenant came to Nurenburg where I was a Desk Sergent and thanked me for teaching him. Big deal. But I am curious to know how this system is doing in a real situation like I just stated.
3/22/11 8:20 PM
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alheymann
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Actually, if you look at the older FM 21-150: Unarmed Defense for the American Soldier, dated 30 June 1942 there is a direct link/influence based upon traditional martial arts.

The manual states that the original development of this system is directly related to Ryoichi Taguchi's (a training partner of Kano) NY Judo club, and Danzan Ryu jujutsu.

Digging into the FM, as well as later editions, like the 1954 1971 versions, one can see techniques such as palm heel strikes, ridge and knife hand attacks, ippon seonage, and many other "traditional" martial arts techniques, to include, the extremely deadly side kick.

3/23/11 12:17 AM
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Jeff Yurk
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 A.H.,

Curiously, does the book mention how does one go about training the extremely deadly side kick?
3/23/11 6:33 AM
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alheymann
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Jeff,

It does! But sadly, it takes years of diligent study and, seeing as I have a vehicle to PMCS so that it can take me to the range, I just don't have the time to dedicate to its study.
3/23/11 8:57 AM
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alheymann
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Jeff,

I'm tapping out. this has been entertaining but I am off to the field for four days of training. Hit me up on Global if you want.

ORB,

Thank you for your service to the country, your dedication to the martial arts and for this spirited debate. Its been fun!
3/23/11 8:58 AM
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virux11b
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I wish I could become a bodyguard for officers...
3/23/11 12:04 PM
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Old Red Belt
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All the young know it alls chime in, that's good, it means your studying, of course the techniques came from Judo and Jiujitsu, but not the training. Leave it to the Army to try to learn a martial art from a book. It takes a talented instructor to teach it. I'm sure they have that now. As far as being a bodyguard for a general its boring. My subjects were Gen Graves, Sullivan and for one day Colin Powle. As far as the deadly side kick, that surprised me. Sensei John must have been pretty pissed. Talking to a vet from the 199th Inf, from Nam who killed a VC with his bare hands. He told me you can do anything if your scared shitless.
3/23/11 12:07 PM
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Old Red Belt
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Edited: 03/23/11 12:08 PM
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Oh well back to the motor pool, That is the point exactly, the Army always has something better to do...
3/23/11 5:34 PM
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kryptonjitsu
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ORB-
I read through this entire thread and I'm still not exactly sure what your beef is. Initially it seemed that it was a perceived lack of dedication to the martial arts, but then when JY shows up and explains what the purpose of the program is you kept going, so what is it exactly that is your issue with the Modern Army Combatives Program?
3/23/11 5:53 PM
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virux11b
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I'm just confused as hell. Phone Post
3/23/11 5:57 PM
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kryptonjitsu
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So its not just me then
3/24/11 3:31 PM
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Old Red Belt
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Edited: 03/24/11 3:35 PM
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Short explanation, Army Combatives are good to midland but as far as Command Support for the long run don't count on it. If you want to learn a martial art, learn it as an individual. I have better things to do and so do you...end of thread.
3/29/11 4:34 PM
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Old Red Belt
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I got to see one of the instructors from Ft Polk for the first time at our school and he was very good and professional as I would expect him to be. I just hope he gets the support he needs.

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