FORT POLK, La. - The 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, conducted a Basic Combatives Course level 1 from May 6 through 10, at the Cantrell Gym. Combatives is used to train leaders and soldiers in close quarters combat in order to instill the warriors ethos and prepare soldiers to close with and defeat an enemy in hand to hand combat.
The 40 hour course gives the everyday soldier a foundation to build their hand to hand skills.
“Combatives level 1 is a foundation for the average person that has no fighting or martial arts training. The course takes the Soldier that has never been in a fight, that is starting from square one, and gives them a foundation to work off of.
Soldiers that take the course are taught how to create space so they can deploy their primary weapon, they also learn how to maintain space so that they can deploy their secondary weapon and the finale thing that they will learn is to clinch or take the fight to the ground,” said Staff Sgt. Jesse Jarnagin Level 4 Combatives instructor, for Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division.
A soldier that takes the combatives course needs to be physical fit and mentally tough.
“Basic combatives and the training that you get here help soldiers obtain a level of fitness that you can’t get from other Army training such as running or doing push-ups. Combatives is more of a total body workout that helps soldiers with motor skills such as balance and body part awareness. Soldiers are put out of their comfort zone and learn new skills that will test their strength and weaknesses, and shows them what they need to improve on,” said 1st Lt. Russell Cottel, 1st platoon leader of the 705th Explosive Ordnances Company, alternate level 1 combatives instructor.
Soldiers need to be prepared to take their bumps and bruises but they leave the class more confident in their hand to hand abilities.
“The combatives course is as realistic as possible. The striking is pretty much no holding back. When a soldier is down range and they have to take down enemy down, that enemy is not going to love tap them so we don’t love tap them in the class, its part of making this course relevant to the real world,” said Spc. Dennie Morris, alternate level 1 combatives instructor, for Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. “Once soldiers go through the clinch drills, the fight house, and all the rolling around on the mats with Soldiers of different sizes and weights the soldiers understand their abilities when it comes to the physical aspect of hand to hand combat. We can see their confidence growing as the class goes by.”
Soldiers that take the combatives course should only use the skills that they learned when they have to protect themselves or others. Combatives is not a game and if used improperly you could hurt someone or yourself.
“This class is not designed to breed the next Ultimate Fighter that is going to win a MMA fight. This class is designed to help soldiers defeat an enemy in hand to hand combat and nothing more” said Jarnagin.