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    Operation Phantom Warriors Fight it Out



    Story by Staff Sgt. Charlene Moler 

    7th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    FORT HOOD, Texas – Phantom Warrior Soldiers from across III Corps participated in a three-day combatives tournament on West Fort Hood as part of Operation Phantom Warrior Salute, Oct. 16-18.

    The tournament allowed Soldiers the opportunity to practice and hone their hand-to-hand combat abilities against fellow Soldiers and highlight the skills acquired in the Army combatives program.

    The tournament was set up with a graduating set of rules, increasing in difficulty and severity as the participants advanced through the preliminary rounds on day one to the semi-finals on day two.

    “Competitors come in on day one and they will use the standard rules format where they only use ground fighting techniques,” said Sgt. Aaron Reposa, the Master Fitness Trainer for 7th Infantry Division. “Day two is intermediate rules which combines ground technique with open hand strikes to the head, kicks, punches to the body, and knees to the waist and below.”

    Day three progressed to advanced rules in which competitors used a combination of standard Army combatives and martial arts. These rules allowed them to strike and kick anywhere on the body with the exclusion of the back of the head and the groin area.

    Combatives is one of those skill sets that Soldiers are put in an uncomfortable situation to allow Soldiers to learn how to react and adapt, Reposa said.

    The competitors were spread over eight weight classes. The competition was double elimination; a competitor was out of the competition if they lost a second match. The third, and final day of competition was for first, second, and third places overall in the tournament.

    “Soldiers are able to implement the modern Army combatives program through a controlled environment,” Reposa commented.

    The weight classes are based off the max weight allowed for a participant to compete in that category. They start at flyweight at 125 pounds, bantamweight is 135, lightweight is 155, and welterweight is 170. The weight classes increase with middleweight at 185, light heavyweight at 205, cruiserweight at 225, and ending with heavyweight at 265.

    “I had a round-robin because there were only two other females in my weight class,” said Sgt. Sharon Jacobson, the bantamweight winner from 4th Infantry Division. “I faced the best out of those two [for the finals]. She was a tough competitor.”

    The winners were: Alexander Stewart, flyweight; Sharon Jacobson, bantamweight; Matthew Francis, lightweight; Marco Lara, welterweight; Justin Salinas, middleweight; Chandler Smith, cruiserweight; Zachary Bregovi, light heavyweight; Panagiotys Gounaridis, heavyweight.

    “You always want to be the best,” said Jacobson. “It feels good to take another step toward that.”



    Date Taken: 10.19.2018
    Date Posted: 10.19.2018 14:21
    Story ID: 297045
    Location: FORT HOOD, TX, US 

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    Operation Phantom Warriors Fight it Out