News: Champions named during MAC tournament
Story by Staff Sgt. Christopher Blakeslee
FORT STEWART, Ga. - During ancient times, Greek warriors trained for war in a discipline of martial arts known as pankration, which loosely translated means “all powers.” Hellenistic warriors throughout history placed great emphasis on the benefits that combat sports granted their warriors and Olympic athletes by celebrating it - specifically with pankration competitions in the original Olympics.
Paying homage to the warriors of yesteryear and blazing a trail into the future of combat sports, the 3rd Infantry Division hosted its own version of pankration in the form of a Modern Army Combatives tournament held at the Vanguard’s gym during Marne Week, Nov. 18-22.
“We’re holding a MAC tournament as part of Marne Week 2013,” said Capt. William Bader, a soldier and tournament official. “Much like modern pankration tournaments, soldiers are allowed to utilize limited open-hand strikes to the face, round closed-fist punches to the body, limited kicking, and a plethora of wrestling and grappling techniques.”
Though efforts to get pankration reinstated in the Olympic Games have thus far proved fruitless, amateur pankration is recognized by the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles as a form of mixed martial arts.
“MAC is very effective as a mixed martial art, and as part of our soldiers’ combat training regime,” said Col. Robert Ashe, commanding officer of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. “There’s documented proof of it being utilized in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. “As a commander, I fully support all soldiers becoming certified in it.”
One might ask, how important is the training in hand-to-hand combat for Dog-Faced soldiers? The top noncommissioned officer of the 1ABCT added a few words of wisdom to answer this question.
“It all goes back to our warrior ethos,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Herbert L. Kirkover. “We train for full-spectrum operations, and we train as we fight … as soldiers and warriors, we must be ready to fight in any environment, any place, any time.”
Just like the Greek hoplites and Spartan warriors of centuries past, there can only be a few select combatants to earn a laurel crown of victory, representing them as champions. The following soldiers earned their places as tournament finalists, signifying that they are the cream of the crop and the top of the rock.
1st place: KRISTA MAAG (82ND CIVIL AFFAIRS)
2nd place: DAVID SEIFERT (2-3 BSTB)
3rd place: RASHEETEA FIELDS (3-69 AR)
1st place: ROGELIO VELASCO (1-64 AR)
2nd place: PAIGE SIMES (603RD ASB)
3rd place: FORFEIT
1st place: THOMAS TUBEROSA (4-3 AVN)
2nd place: ROBERT SELLERS (3-7 CAV)
3rd place: VANESSA ILOVAR (82ND CIVIL AFFAIRS)
1st place: STEPHEN SEARS (1-30 IN)
2nd place: NOLAN DAVIS (3-7 CAV)
3rd place: BRANDON BERRY (1-76 FA)
1st place: CONNO DONNELLY (3-7 CAV)
2nd place: DEVIN MEDRANO (1-9 FA)
3rd place: DAVID WAHLERS (1-10 FA)
1st place: VINCENT FAIRBAIRN (1-10 FA)
2nd place: JOSHUA VERMOTE (1-41 FA)
3rd place: WILLIAM LEUENBERG (82ND CIVIL AFFAIRS)
1st place: LINNEL EVANS (1-3 ARB)
2nd place: ERICK CABA (1-3 BSTB)
3rd place: JOSEPH POWERS (3-7 IN)
1st place: ANTHONY QUINTERO (3-7 IN)
2nd place: ANDREW FANT (2-7 IN)
3rd place: JOSEPH WILLIAMS-ARTIS (1-3 BSTB)