News: Marne Week host MAC tournament to name the toughest on the rock
FORT STEWART, Ga. — During ancient times, Spartan soldiers trained using a form of martial arts called Pankration. Loosely translated means “all powers.” Hellenistic warriors placed great emphasis on the benefits that physical combat sports endowed upon their armies by celebrating it, specifically with competitions in the original Olympic Games.
The 3rd Infantry Division hosted its own version of Pankration in the form of a Modern Army Combatitives tournament held at Vanguards gym during Marne Week, June 27-28.
Today’s modern Army is no different from its Spartan ancestors regarding the importance placed upon competitive sport combat, the building of esprit de corps and the value of healthy competition amongst the rank and file. All of these elements are a top priority for commanders.
“This MAC event uses the same rules which regulate a modern Pankration tournament,” said 1st Sgt. Robert Nicholson, a soldier assigned to the 82nd Civil Affairs Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division and the Marne Week MAC tournament non-commissioned officer in charge. “Soldiers are allowed to use open-hand strikes to the face, closed-fist strikes to the body, limited kicks and a host of submission holds much like Pankration uses.”
Though efforts to get Pankration reinstated into the Olympic Games have been fruitless thus far, amateur Pankration is recognized as a modern combat style by the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles as a form of mixed martial arts.
“This is as close to real hand-to-hand combat as one can get,” 1st Sgt. Nicholson said.
This MAC tournament seems to be well received around the Marne Division, as evidenced by the sheer number of spectators who came to watch and cheer for their favorite fighters.
“I was a little surprised how many soldiers, family members and friends packed this gym,” added 1st Sgt. Nicholson. “It got really loud during the fights almost deafening at times.”
While all the fighters/soldiers who competed deserve respect, praise and laurel reefs placed upon their heads much like the Pankratiasts of ages past, a select few warriors rose to the top of the competition and earned a the title of champion.
Standing tall and proud in the center of the mats with their hands raised in final victory was:
1ST Spc. Sara Covey (92nd EN BN)
2ND Spc. Lindsay Anderson (3rd STB)
1ST 1st Lt. Joe Crumpton (3-7 CAV)
2nd Pfc. Eli Manning (3-69 AR)
3rd Spc. Garrett Carson (92nd EN BN)
1ST Cpl. Michael Edwards (3-15 IN)
2nd Spc.Robert Sellars (3-7 CAV)
3rd Pfc. Brenton Wright (2-7 IN)
1st Pvt. Dontarious Mills (3-69 AR)
2nd Spc. Brett Burnside (92 EN BN)
3rd Spc. Manuel Camacho (6-8 CAV)
1ST Spc. Chaviano Curry (92nd EN BN)
2nd Sgt. Wyatt Barrett (1-9 FA)
3rd 1st lt. Chris Wright (3-7 IN)
1st Spc. Zane Kesecker (1-76 FA)
2nd Spc. Johnny Rodriguez (1-30 IN)
3rd Spc. D’Juan Reed (87th CSSB)
1st Cpt. Bo Villanova (2-3 GSAB)
2nd Pfc. Hiram Gutierrez (92nd EN BN)
3rd –Pfc. Anthony Koleser (603rd)
1st Spc. Nathaniel Freeman (1-3 BSTB)
2nd Pfc. Cristhian Vasquez (3-15 IN)
3rd Pvt. Kasey Cowan (5-7 CAV)
While earning a “W” was on most of the MAC fighters’ minds, some soldiers had other reasons for competing.
“This tournament is about embracing the warrior ethos, standing toe-to-toe, man-to-man and fighting,” said a triumphant Heavyweight Champion, Nathan “the Beast” Freeman, a soldier assigned to A Company 1-3 Brigades Special Troops Battalion, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. “It takes courage, heart and passion to compete in a MAC tournament; I have nothing but respect for everyone who competed.”
If “the Beast” is the caliber by which the division’s combatives team measures the worth of a fighter, then the rest of the Army better look out come the All Army Combatives tournament, because the Dog-Faced soldiers appear ready, hungry, willing and able to defeat any gladiatorial foe who steps on the mats with them.
Date Posted:07.10.2012 09:49
Location:FORT STEWART, GA, US
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