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U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Woodard, S-4 non commissioned officer in charge for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Inf. Div. utilizes the rear mount position during combative physical training at West Fort Hood Gym. U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Adam Buehler
Army Team Implements Hand-to-Hand Combat
By U.S. Army Pfc. Adam Buehler / 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs

FORT HOOD, Texas, March 9, 2005 – The 4th Brigade Combat Team continues to work to forge well-rounded and combat-ready soldiers with the implementation of hand-to-hand combat training once a week in place of normal physical training.

Regardless of their military occupational specialty, soldiers train to develop an understanding of the physical and emotional strain of hand-to-hand fighting prior to actual combat.

"Young soldiers need to know how to defend themselves. This program will help save lives."
U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Woodard

“Combative training is branch and military occupational specialty immaterial,” said Col. Michael Beech. “It’s all about building the warrior ethos. As soldiers, we are first and foremost warriors.

Not every soldier will close with and destroy an enemy in close combat, but every soldier needs to be willing to do this and have the training to be successful.”

Soldiers should be ready for any situation, said Capt. Klaudius Robinson, commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade Combat Team.

“It is about shaping the complete soldier,” said Robinson. “Soldiers have to be able to shoot, move and communicate. They have to be able to operate any assigned equipment, and this training falls into that realm of responsibility. The more rounded a soldier is, the better he or she will perform in a combat environment.”

Robinson said the fighting style is one which will enable those who are not physically intimidating to be able to hold their own against larger or stronger opponents.

“The combative physical training we teach is based on jujitsu, which originates in Brazil,” said Robinson. “Ninety percent of fights end up on the ground, so combatives train combatants to close with their enemy and defeat them on the ground. As well, it teaches good methods of subduing or defeating an opponent by non-lethal means.”

The training should reassure soldiers about their ability to serve in combat, said Pfc. Ryan Mendoza, an M1 armored crewman with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade Combat Team.

“I like that the Army is applying the training to everyone,” said Mendoza. “Soldier’s who work in an office all day might think they don’t need the training, but it’s good to have. If someone finds themselves in a bad spot, they will have the knowledge and training to overcome the situation.”

Beech said the program is a natural fit during the morning physical training hours and the training is really about two things.

“One: building the warrior ethos and two: being physically fit,” said Beech. “The combative program is driven by physical readiness, so the two are really inextricably linked.”

The training is not only necessary for safety, but also to create an aggressive attitude for soldiers to carry into combat, said Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Woodard, the S-4 noncommissioned officer in charge for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade Combat Team.

“Young soldiers need to know how to defend themselves,” declared Woodard. “This program will help save lives. Soldiers are learning how to evade, escape and get the best of their enemy in close quarters. The knowledge is important for safety and also in sculpting the complete soldier.”

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