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Old 02-10-2008, 01:07 AM   #1
erogers
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Modern Army Combatives

i'm a little curious to know if there are any military personal in here that are familiar with the us army's combatives program. i recently enlisted, and as someone who's studied both aikido and hapkido, i'm curious if anyone knows why the army's program focuses a lot on brazilian jiu jitsu? i've been told by a close quarter combat instructor that is here locally that, " bjj is a great sport, but anyone who's ever been in combat will tell you that if you end up on your back you're dead." i have yet to ship to bct, so i could find out exactly why when i do, but i'm just curious if there's anyone who could shed some light.
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Old 02-10-2008, 02:39 AM   #2
Michael Varin
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Re: Modern Army Combatives

Because the Gracies were great marketers.

If approached properly aikido has much more to offer as far as combat situations go. Of course most people's training methods are severely lacking, and in any case it will have to be tailored to the specific weapons you will be using.

There are a lot of good things about bjj, but going to the ground is the last option in any situation other than one-on-one-unarmed.

If nothing else, ground grappling typically builds a strong will.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 02-10-2008, 04:54 AM   #3
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Re: Modern Army Combatives

Quote:
Evan Rogers wrote: View Post
i'm just curious if there's anyone who could shed some light.
Anybody seen Kevin around?

Seriously, Evan, search the board for Kevin Leavitt. He can, and already has, answered your question, and can probably answer the questions you haven't even thought of yet.

Avery

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www.docaltmed.com
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Old 02-10-2008, 09:12 AM   #4
Aikibu
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Re: Modern Army Combatives

http://www.wabujitsu.com/combatives.htm

You can download both the Army and Marine Corps Manuals.

Matt Larsen one of the founders of Modern Army Combatives also posts on occasion at this link here

http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10166

John Lindsey the owner of E-Budo and I both served at the same time in the 2nd Ranger Batt. Allot of good Military Folks on the site with allot of real world feedback for you youngins....Just remember to be very respectful.

Good Luck Young Man.

And no Aikido does not fit well with Modern Army Martial Arts. Hapkido may have some uses however.

I HIGHLY SUGGEST you leaved your preconceived ideas at HOME when you ship out to basic and focus on the training.

William Hazen
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Old 02-10-2008, 11:44 AM   #5
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Re: Modern Army Combatives

not so much to do with the marketing I think.
I heard once that in combat the winner of the fight is the guy who's friend shows up first with a gun.

I believe a big part of the purpose of bjj in the army is that it is one of the few arts that allows you to spar full on, full resistance with minimal injury. For that reason it's great for building tenacity and fighting will without sending people to the hospital regularly.

Also if being on your back is death, the people most qualified to stay off their back and stay off the ground are grapplers.

HTH

TTT for Kevin.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 02-10-2008, 03:41 PM   #6
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Modern Army Combatives

Thanks Michael.

I was really suprised to see this post here! For MAC-P!

I can pretty much write a discertation on the subject of MAC-P, how it works or doesn't work well with aikido and why the Army (Matt Larsen) designed it the way they did, and my experiences as an aikido purist that got involved with this program as a Soldier.

I am a currently a level II instructor, a Major in the Army, and BJJ purple belt as well. I ran a successful MAC-P program as well as integrated it into combat training in Germany.

If you have specific questions about the program I'd be happy to answer them. I am not going to get into trying to explain all the complexities of this topic and the age old "ground fighting" argument.

Mr Hazen gives some good advice. Go to BCT, do what you are told, keep an open mind, and everything will work out well!

The bottom line is that MAC-P is a good program. It and the USMC's MCMAP are two unique programs that were designed with the military in mind. Not based on the latest rage in martial arts, not designed for commercial purposes, or based on ancient traditions of a koyru art, or the philosophical underpinnings of the Gendai arts.

It was designed by soldiers with soldiers in mind. It is designed to produces soldiers with the skills the need in combat and to promote and instill warrior ethos.

The naysayers out there you will find do not have a complete understanding of the program, the Modern Army, or modern martial training methodologies.

I will admit that BJJ is somewhat a part of the program, but Matt will be the first to tell you that the program is NOT BJJ. If you attended the course I just conducted last weekend, you would have an appreciation of where BJJ begins and ends in the program, and that our top instructors can competently discuss that with you.

The program does start off with groundfighting skills, much akin to BJJ. A good BJJer will have no issue with what we are teaching as it is BJJ 101. it is a fallacy, spread by those that do not really understand the modern battlefield and groundfighting that they are not good skills to have in combat. (We also don't go around jumping guard in combat contrary to what you may have heard).

If you have a strong aikido background, it won't do you much good to start out with. That does not mean that your training is for not and a waste of time. However, be prepared to have your paradigms and comfort zone destroyed in MAC-P as your Aikido skills will be of very little use until you master the basics of groundfighting, the clinch, takedowns, etc. It took me about 4 years of solid training, but now I am able to start seeing the benefits of my aikido training. Not in the literal sense of what you might consider aikido, but in the principles and subtleness.

you might also want to check out the soldierground forum on MMA.TV. Matt Larsen, myself, and most of the senior instructors and MAC-P guys hang out there. It is the most appropriate place to discuss MAC-P

http://www.mma.tv/tuf/index.cfm?FID=104&a=110&TID=0

Again, I'd be happy to answer specifically any questions you may have about the program. My best advice is to go into it with no preconcieved notions, have an open mind, and embrace it. It is a good program, it produces very competent martial artist, and we have some of the best Martial artist in the world associated with the program. Many would die to have the level of instruction and sophistication of the training you are about to recieve...for free, AND get paid to do! Hooah and good luck.

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Old 02-10-2008, 05:01 PM   #7
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Re: Modern Army Combatives

I personally find it funny how many people thing hand to hand combat matters in the scheme of things. I've had a few of my friends come back from iraq. Not a single one was ever engaged in hand to hand combat. They had buddies, rifles, and in some instances hummers and tanks. None of them, both marines and army personally knew anyone who was engaged in hand to hand combat. They told me the most important part of your training do exactly what you are told to do at all times. That's what keeps you alive, nothing more

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 02-10-2008, 05:48 PM   #8
Aikibu
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Re: Modern Army Combatives

Quote:
Don Magee wrote: View Post
I personally find it funny how many people thing hand to hand combat matters in the scheme of things. I've had a few of my friends come back from iraq. Not a single one was ever engaged in hand to hand combat. They had buddies, rifles, and in some instances hummers and tanks. None of them, both marines and army personally knew anyone who was engaged in hand to hand combat. They told me the most important part of your training do exactly what you are told to do at all times. That's what keeps you alive, nothing more
Whew Don sometimes you amaze me....

You honestly have no idea what you're talking about...

Go over to E-Budo and post the same comments on the Combatives Forum...

There are quite a few soldiers who are alive today because of this training. Just because you personally don't know any one them does not mean s**t.

I suggest you start with Google and YouTube...Text Army Combatives and Matt Larsen and take it from there....

There are HUNDREDS of documented instances of hand to hand combat in Iraq and Afganistan

Thats right HUNDREDS...

I know of one Silver Star (The Army Second highest award for valor) being awarded to a Special Forces Master Sgt who subdued and 'rendered combat ineffective" a few Taliban using hand to hand combat to save other members of his Team even though he was seriously injured.

With all due respect Don

I'll put my money all in He's not the only one.

William Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 02-10-2008 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 02-10-2008, 06:32 PM   #9
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Re: Modern Army Combatives

Don,

No disrespect, and I am glad your buddies did not have such encounters, But they do not represent the experiences and nor are they the subject matter experts on all things that are happening on the battlefield.

Mr Hazen is referring to MSG Pryor:

http://www.t-g.com/story/1094918.html

another article which "refers to hand to hand fighting"

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...=&pagewanted=1

There are more accounts if you dig around.

I have personally trained soldiers that have used the training and have come back to thank me.

Matt Larsen collects "after action reports" and feedback to make sure we are on track with our training.

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Old 02-10-2008, 06:40 PM   #10
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Modern Army Combatives

Don wrote:

Quote:
They told me the most important part of your training do exactly what you are told to do at all times.
This is also incorrect. The most important thing we teach is to do what you are TRAINED to do, not what you are TOLD to do.

To the uninitiated the distinction may not be clear.

We try not to train mindless robots that do what they are told to do, but quick thinking, responsive warriors that can make their own decisions given the orders, parameters, and constraints that are imposed.

There's a huge difference.

Sua Sponte!

Last edited by Kevin Leavitt : 02-10-2008 at 06:41 PM. Reason: spelling.

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Old 02-10-2008, 06:53 PM   #11
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Modern Army Combatives

Here are a couple of videos to check out:

A few of my soldiers at JMRC produced this one off a a script that we use in one of our discussions during our level I course:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-lxbU47pho

The next one is an Interview with SSG Mike Czarnecki, one of our Combatives Instructors when I was at JMRC:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCUfmRV89Uo

This one is the intro to MAC-P by Matt Larsen. It is a good one to give you an overview:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEDkzD0ULKo

Listen carefully to what he is saying, not so much about what is going on as far as technique. The techniques are the very first ones you learn and is not indicative of the complete program.

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Old 02-10-2008, 07:21 PM   #12
Don
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Re: Modern Army Combatives

I have really enjoyed this discussion thus far, and I have a question specifically for Mr. Leavitt. It sure seems to me that there probably is a fair fraction of people who start aikido and any martial art for that matter, because deep down, they want to be able to fend off attackers and/or fight them successfully. I base this comment both on the preponderence of discussion on this and other websites as to the real or perceived effectiveness of aikido vs other martial arts or the effectiveness of aikido in "real" situations, and on the numerous discussions with new or potential students who wander in and out of our dojo. Having been in aikido now 16 years in all, I have figured out some transference of skills from the kata we teach to (hopefully) real situations. But the way aikido is generally taught it takes a person who is willing to actively think about, experiment, and sometimes perturb their sensei.

Anyway, I digress from my question. It seems to me that given the desire of so many who want to know a real "combat" fighting art, some enterprising ex-military combatives instructor could take the military combative couse, modify it so that you are not producing killers and have a really nice "martial art" to teach and satisfy an apparently huge demand. Has this been done to your knowledge? I'd hate to think that I was the first one to ever think of this and I would not want to bet that I was! Seems like a solution to a continuing demand.
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Old 02-10-2008, 07:48 PM   #13
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Re: Modern Army Combatives

One that comes to mind in Systema. I don't know much about it other than what I have heard on the web, or seen you youtube, but it seems that they have been successful with it.

Krav Maga is another one. Sambo is another. Tae Kwon do.

There are also quite a few good what I would call "direct" combat schools out there. Tony Blauer comes to mind.

The reason I would personally hesitate to do that on my own for a couple of reasons. first, there are some good ones out there that have much more experience than I. Tony Blauer for example. If I really care about doing things right, then why would I not just do what Tony is doing?

Second, what do you mean by "combat fighting art". So, called Combat fighting is specific in nature. ie you are concerned with particular ranges and types of fighting. When you train for combat, you have to isolate out various types of training for safety and to maximize efficiency of training.

Civilianizing this type of training escapes me as to why any one would want to train this way? There are plenty of "survivalist" schools out there already. You can pay your money and go to "adult summer camp" and get "trained" in all the latest "combat tactics".

So now that leaves "combat empty hand arts". What is left?

BJJ is a decent mechanism for training ground skills. These guys do it pretty darn good. Lots of MMA schools all around the country already. Many of these guys are training MAC-P stuff already and we contract with them.

To me when you get down to empty hand you are talking about closing distance, grappling, punching, and kicking. How complicated or how much marketing do you want to add to it? Each school or group can color it however they want to so they can appeal to their market!

Outside of that, you have what else????

Internal martial arts? Lets not even open up that can of worms!

So, there are plenty of training mechanisms out there already. Lots and lots of great schools and programs. You simply have to find the ones that target in most efficiently on the things you want to improve upon and train.

To be honest, I think most of the good MMA schools that are out there are teaching about as good as you can on the things you need most in a fight. Closing distance, grappling, hitting, kicking, and blunt objects (AKA dog brothers).

I think in the future though, you will see more of this type of model pop up in a town near you!

That is, until all these guys get old, then they will start teaching the "internal secrets" of what they used to teach and calll it something else....like aikido!

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Old 02-10-2008, 08:05 PM   #14
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Modern Army Combatives

Don,

I was just reading through your post again and you do bring up an interesting point concerning 16 years of training, aikido vs other arts, real situations, and transference of skills.

This is the crux of the dilemma we face in training. i.e transference of skills.

We all tend to have a particular idea in our head on what "skills" are. What it means to transfer them. What the end state of that transfer looks like, and how we define success and measure quality.

This is where things get tricky.

It is hard for me to really talk about this in a way that I can explain it coherently.

There certainly are many, many benefits to be gained in aikido that are helpful to me, especially when I place a rifle back into my hands. That said, our objectives for training in aikido are not the same as the objectives for training a soldier. It just means that aikido is not an efficient delivery system for maximizing quickly the range of skills you need for close quarters fighting.

Again, it is hard to describe this, but because it may not be efficient, does not mean that it is wrong in the bigger scheme of things! There are some good lessons to be learn the long slow way as well.

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Old 02-10-2008, 08:29 PM   #15
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Re: Modern Army Combatives

Kevin and William

Your patience truly is amazing.

It is absolutely astonishing to me that so many years hence, with the exact same debate still continuing, and yet with so much stuff proven effective and even life saving in actual combat, by both soldiers and to a greater extent policedue to the nature of the encounters faced, that the ignorant and the fearful still impose their projections on what they think "combat" or a combative encounter (self defense/police) should be like based on adherence to an idealistic "martial arts" world view and not an experiential one.

A phrase I have settled on lately is that so many people, especially in the martial arts, simply don't know what they don't know.

Indeed, the experience of actual people is often downplayed or dismissed if it does not fit another's preconceived notion of what such an encounter is for any one of the reasons Kevin explained.

I applaud your continuing efforts at sanity and hope, I just hope, that of the many people reading this who embrace the idealistic approach, as many, if not more will go "y'know, these guys have a lot experience, they talk to and train guys who have a lot of experience, and they hear back from the same guys about what works and what didn't." I fear its too much to ask.
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Old 02-10-2008, 08:35 PM   #16
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Re: Modern Army Combatives

Thanks Kit! Good to see you back here! I trust that you have recovered well!

It is hard to conceive and it is even harder to swallow, especially when you have invested yourself physically and emotionally to a particular set of beliefs, habits, or practices. Ask me how I know!

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Old 02-10-2008, 08:38 PM   #17
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Re: Modern Army Combatives

Don (McConnell):

If you are looking for systems with a similarity in approach to Modern Army Combatives (I haven't ever trained it, but I have followed Matt Larsen's writings, I've read his comments in Greg Thompson's book, and followed Kevin's postings here...), you can check out a few systems that are gaining traction in the law enforcement community. These probably have a more direct crossover to the "civilian" self defense model outside of cuffing tactics, and direct relation in terms of lethal threats.

ISR Matrix:

http://www.isrmatrix.org/

(There are civilian and LE iterations, "Physical Management" is the civilian system)

Arrestling International Mixed Marshal Arts:

http://www.arrestling.com/

Based mainly in the Pacific Northwest, but growing in influence.

Extreme Close Quarters Combatives:

http://www.shivworks.com/

Actually civilian concealed carry, worst case scenario armed combatives though a number of LE attend the classes.
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Old 02-10-2008, 08:46 PM   #18
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Re: Modern Army Combatives

Actually Greg's book I think is a really good book. He cover's the complete range of techniques to include weapon rentention. Greg is one of our civilian SMEs on combatives.

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Old 02-10-2008, 08:48 PM   #19
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Re: Modern Army Combatives

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Thanks Kit! Good to see you back here! I trust that you have recovered well!

It is hard to conceive and it is even harder to swallow, especially when you have invested yourself physically and emotionally to a particular set of beliefs, habits, or practices. Ask me how I know!
I mainly lurk for your posts! Plus some folks here have said some very nice things that really helped me along.

Funny, when I got Greg's book I was struck by how similar it was to what Arrestling has been doing. I think with anything there is stuff I would do differently, but the fact that people dealing with real violence at close quarters, coming to the same or very nearly the same conclusions is what in law enforcement we call "a clue."

Last edited by KIT : 02-10-2008 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 02-10-2008, 08:57 PM   #20
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Re: Modern Army Combatives

Yes, in most martial arts training we assume parity, a priori, or same knowledge, and a mutual understanding/agreement of the situation.

This tends to cause us to form an idea about what fights are, how you fight them, what the rules are, and from what distance they start and end. If you training from equal ma'ai and knowledge of the situation, then you will form opinions and responses that may or may not occur on the street!

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Old 02-10-2008, 09:07 PM   #21
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Re: Modern Army Combatives

Which is fascinating.

To draw a classical combative parallel, I don't know about Daito-ryu as the progenitor of aikido, but I know some other early combat grappling koryu, swords and armor clinch stuff, have numerous kata where tori starts on the losing end of an encounter in terms of initiative, positional dominance, armament or what have you.

I think they knew that in the wide open contexts of armed men really trying to kill each other, all sorts of bad things can and did happen, and regardless of skill you might find yourself laying on your back, in the mud, having had your primary weapon break or otherwise be inoperable, and that someone on the opposing side may have taken just that gap he needed to gain an advantage, be straddling you or crushing down on your back, as you both fight over your own or each other's weapon to get some telling damage on the other guy before he gets some on you.

Things that make you go hmmm...
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:01 AM   #22
Aikibu
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Re: Modern Army Combatives

Quote:
Kit Leblanc wrote: View Post
Kevin and William

Your patience truly is amazing.

It is absolutely astonishing to me that so many years hence, with the exact same debate still continuing, and yet with so much stuff proven effective and even life saving in actual combat, by both soldiers and to a greater extent policedue to the nature of the encounters faced, that the ignorant and the fearful still impose their projections on what they think "combat" or a combative encounter (self defense/police) should be like based on adherence to an idealistic "martial arts" world view and not an experiential one.

A phrase I have settled on lately is that so many people, especially in the martial arts, simply don't know what they don't know.

Indeed, the experience of actual people is often downplayed or dismissed if it does not fit another's preconceived notion of what such an encounter is for any one of the reasons Kevin explained.

I applaud your continuing efforts at sanity and hope, I just hope, that of the many people reading this who embrace the idealistic approach, as many, if not more will go "y'know, these guys have a lot experience, they talk to and train guys who have a lot of experience, and they hear back from the same guys about what works and what didn't." I fear its too much to ask.
No truer words were spoken than these..."A phrase I have settled on lately is that so many people, especially in the martial arts, simply don't know what they don't know."

Preaching to the Choir Brother Kit! Thanks for the kind words.

Damn good to know you're healing up just fine.

William Hazen
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:04 AM   #23
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Re: Modern Army Combatives

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Thanks Kit! Good to see you back here! I trust that you have recovered well!

It is hard to conceive and it is even harder to swallow, especially when you have invested yourself physically and emotionally to a particular set of beliefs, habits, or practices. Ask me how I know!
Those that already know have no need to ask.

My fave definition of insanity... Making the exact same mistake thiinking it's going to work this time LOL

William Hazen
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:09 AM   #24
Aikibu
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Re: Modern Army Combatives

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Yes, in most martial arts training we assume parity, a priori, or same knowledge, and a mutual understanding/agreement of the situation.

This tends to cause us to form an idea about what fights are, how you fight them, what the rules are, and from what distance they start and end. If you training from equal ma'ai and knowledge of the situation, then you will form opinions and responses that may or may not occur on the street!
Concur 100% I have seen more than a few Dojo Superheros get thier butts handed to them in the real world. The same can be said of almost any athletic pursuit.

"Son I just don't understand how bad you suck in a game. You sure practice well."

William Hazen
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:17 AM   #25
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Re: Modern Army Combatives

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Don,

No disrespect, and I am glad your buddies did not have such encounters, But they do not represent the experiences and nor are they the subject matter experts on all things that are happening on the battlefield.

Mr Hazen is referring to MSG Pryor:

http://www.t-g.com/story/1094918.html

another article which "refers to hand to hand fighting"

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...=&pagewanted=1

There are more accounts if you dig around.

I have personally trained soldiers that have used the training and have come back to thank me.

Matt Larsen collects "after action reports" and feedback to make sure we are on track with our training.
Actually Sir you put up the wrong link for Tony Pryor

Here is a better one to read for you folks here...http://www.qando.net/Details.aspx?Entry=3653

Although the link you put up Sir was a about a fine young Marine who won the Silver Star too.PFC Randy McClenny

William Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 02-11-2008 at 12:21 AM.
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