Monday, January 16, 2012

Combatives Training

My first time donning the ACU. 

Last week, I went through the Level 1 Modern Army Combatives Training. 

From U.S. Army FM 3-25.150 Combatives:

1-1. Hand-to-hand combat — Hand-to-hand combat is an engagement, between two or more persons, with or without hand-held weapons, such as knives, sticks, or projectile weapons within the range of physical contact.
1-2. Combatives — Combatives are the techniques and tactics useful to soldiers involved in hand-to-hand combat. Proficiency in Combatives is one of the fundamental building blocks for training the modern soldier.

The week-long, 40 hour course was amazing and life-changing, and I would like to thank the awesome cadre. 

In Level 1, we learn the philosophy and basics of the MACP: Close the distance, achieve the dominant fighting position, and finish the fight! 

Level 1 is designed for the solider with very little fighting experience (pretty much perfect for me). I have never been engaged in any kind of fist fight or even a serious yelling match. Which is probably why this course rocked my (formerly peaceful) little world. 

I was thrown into a class with 100+ male soldiers (there were 5 or 6 females) and expected to act like a soldier. Although, I technically am not one until I leave and graduate from Basic Training. Imagine the most high-stress situation you've ever been in. Multiply that times 200. Then you might understand what I went through last week.

I had a blast though, and I can't wait until I can get back on the mat and roll again. We learned 13 or 14 various movements, from chokes, to passing the guard, to take downs, etc. The Level 1 course is really centered around the traditional Brazilian Jiu-Iitsu. Grappling is easy to teach and actually has a pretty low injury-rate, making it good for training the masses. There are 4 total Levels, each building upon the latter. 

Clinch Drills

The hardest, most stressful day was Day 3, we went through Clinch Drills. Have you ever been punched in the face? How about an uppercut? From a 7 foot Russian soldier who knows what he's doing? 

Clinch Drills, or Punching Drills, as we liked to call them, bring the Warrior out of the solider. There is no quitting. There is no crying. There is not running in the other direction. There is no punching back. You must simply get the clinch, and take the punches as they come. And protect your freaking face, or end up like me. With a bloody nose and a serious enough TBI to send you to the hospital with a concussion and mild skull fracture. 

"It is that instinct of turning away from an assailant once he lands a punch that the drill seeks to break soldiers of. The drill is a four-round exercise in which the student must engage the instructor who, while wearing boxing gloves, punches the student in the face and body until the student achieves one of the four clinches: rear clinch, modified seatbelt position, double under-hooks with body-lock, and the wall, in which the Soldiers control their opponents up against a wall with one under-hook in."

The adrenaline rush is out of this world. 
As I sat in a chair, holding ice and a towel to my bleeding nose, my whole body was shaking uncontrollably. Simply adrenaline. 

I don't have any words to describe being hit hard. Apparently my instructors and the Medic on duty were asking me what the date was, and I would merely answer "November." I couldn't remember names, the date, or the locker number in which I'd stored my belongings. 

As my instructor said, I was knocked onto "Queer Street." ;) Although my Doc recommended I not go back, I was determined to graduate. 

We had one more day: Mainly going over all of the drills we'd learned in front of our instructors and being able to "teach" them. I studied while in the hospital, had The Husband verbally drill me on the moves while I laid in the hospital bed. 

I passed! 

It was the roughest week of my life, but one of the best.

It made running over 13 miles today a freaking cake walk. Even after my knees wanted to give out on me. 

Thank goodness I parked at a gas station on post. I ran in there as soon as my run was over and bought an 8 pound bag of ice, plopped it right on my knees. It seems the week of hitting the mats and grappling has left them pretty torn up. I haven't run with this much knee pain in years. 

It felt so nice to put earrings on again. No earrings allowed in uniform the last week ... Just simply putting on jewelry makes me feel like such a lady. 

I made some kick ass dinner tonight! It was my first time making tofu. Simple as pie!

 Is pie simple?

Red Bell Pepper Srriracha Tofu Stir Fry

1. Chop firm tofu into 1" squares. Really press out liquid with paper towels. 
2. Smash and finely chop a few cloves of garlic. Toss into a well-oiled pan for 2-3 minutes on medium-high.
3. Toss in broccoli and chopped red bell pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes. Squirt water into pan to help the veggies "steam" and to keep everything from sticking. 
4. Toss in tofu. Season with lemon pepper and garlic salt. 
5. Squirt Srriacha sauce and low-sodium soy sauce into the pan when tofu is almost finished; it will be lightly browned on the sides. 

Toss and serve! 


  1. Two words: Holy $h*T
    Another two words: Well done!

  2. Hard core training...I love it!!

  3. Amazing job! i would be so afraid to mess up my face with that training but you did great and so glad you are okay. Just be very careful.