A Washington Air National Guard cable systems technician and 300 other Airmen and Soldiers recently competed in the 2012 U.S. Army Combatives Championship at Fort Hood, Texas.
Tech. Sgt. Christopher A. Davis, representing Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., competed in the middleweight division and finished 4th overall in his weight class.
“I am proud to be able to represent the Washington Air National Guard and the Air Force in this tournament,” Davis said.
Every service member who competed was required to be trained in the Modern Army Combatives Program, which was developed in the late 1990s by Army Rangers to train Soldiers in close quarters, hand-to-hand combat.
Some, like Davis, are more motivated to advance in training.
“I love competition,” he said. “I’ve been practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for 12 years and achieved the rank of black belt. I’m also a professional (mixed martial arts) fighter with a record of 8-0.”
The annual tournament is broken down by weight class, and each day the service members advance, the skills they are required to demonstrate increase in difficulty. Day one was about demonstrating the basic ground grappling skills. Day two added basic strikes, and day three, the championship rounds, were full contact. This format is used to determine the best competitor who can demonstrate the skills required at all levels of the program.
The tournament also serves as a motivational tool to encourage more service members to advance in their combatives training. For some, the benefits outweigh the pain.
“Training helps keep me in shape,” said Davis. “I’m also part of a community of Soldiers and fighters who love to compete.”