News: Long Knives: Rulers of the octagon
Story by Staff Sgt. Renee Wilson
FORT HOOD, Texas — After enduring rounds of forceful kicks, shattering punches, and vigorous body slams, Soldiers of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Combatives Team came out victorious during the Fort Hood Combatives Tournament, here, July 1.
Soldiers from different units and of all ranks gathered at the Abrams Gym to participate in an event that would leave them physically bruised, but mentally stronger.
“For me, coming out of [Joint Readiness Training Center] it was a big challenge, because I went to sniper school, then the [brigade field training exercise] and JRTC,” said Sgt. Ryan McCracken, a sniper team leader assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div.
Although he could not train as intensely as his previous competition, he went in knowing that if he put his mind to it, he could win again.
“It was different from last year with pretty much no train up [this year],” said the Canton, N.C. native who took 1st place in the heavy weight division.
During each bout, three judges scored the Soldiers on how they stood-up after getting knocked down, how they took down their opponent and their overall ground fighting techniques. The scoring is based on a 10 point system for three rounds lasting six minutes each.
“Two out of three judges will decide who wins, but we would rather see the fighters win by submission,” said Jeff Montgomery, a tournament official.
Soldiers applied moves such as the rear neck choke, the mount and the arm bar to gain dominance over their opponent resulting in a possible win by submission.
“I’m real proud of my fighters, they fought hard,” said 1st Sgt. Daniel Pilewski, HHC, 2nd Bn., 7th Cav. Regt.
After a long night of fighting, the 4th BCT Combatives Team walked away the overall team winners.
Champions from the brigade include: Sgt. Ryan McCracken- 1st place, Heavy Weight, Spc. Jason Figgemeier- 2nd place, Welter Weight and Pvt. Tyson Johnson- 3rd place, Heavy Weight and Spc. Silvero Perez- 4th place, Light Weight.
“Am I surprised by the ‘Long Knife’ team? Not really,” said Command Sgt. Maj Antoine Overstreet. “It speaks very highly of the discipline of the Soldiers coming out of JRTC.”