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Thread: New Army Combatives manual

  1. #1
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    Default New Army Combatives manual

    The new Army Combatives manual is up on the Army Digital Library.

    http://www.adtdl.army.mil/cgi-bin/at...25.150/toc.htm

    Matt Larsen

  2. #2
    thumpanddump Guest

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    THANKS MATT !!!!

    Looks great ha !

    George Ricard

  3. #3
    thumpanddump Guest

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    Seems to be some stuff that looks just like moves from Gracie/Brasilian JiuJitsu. (??)

    Does anyone out there know who (names or styles) assisted in the compilation of the techniques?

    George Ricard

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    Default Well, give me your questions.

    Gentlemen,

    I happen to be in Fort Benning, GA, where the manual was developed. If you guys want answers to a few questions, just write them down in list form and I'll take them to the instructors here. I'll see if I get them to respond directly to the thread by posting here.

    Also, SSG Jeff Cook, I have your Combatives FM on CD ready to mail to you, take a look at the private messages for more details. Thanks.

    Juan Perez, Jr.
    Captain, US Army (active)

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    Hi,

    the groundfighting is pretty much pure Gracie Jiu-Jitsu the progression of teaching the groundfighting is almost pure Gracie progression.
    Best,

    -Rick

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    Hi Matt,

    Long time no see. Last time we talked (1995) you were in Ft. Lewis. So now you are the NCOIC? Still telling your USMC/Philippines stories? Talk to you later.
    George Kohler

    Genbukan Kusakage dojo
    Dojo-cho

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    Default good to hear from you george.

    Hey old budy. Good to hear from you. Hear is some more reading if you are interested.

    http://www.realfighting.com/0102/matlar.htm
    1. The defining characteristic of a warrior is the willingness to close with the enemy.
    2. The winner of the hand-to-hand fight in combat is the one whose buddy shows up first with a gun.

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    Hey Matt,

    Received your PM and will reply to it later tonight after work. You still look the same, but with hair. Here is an old picture that should bring back memories.

    George Kohler

    Genbukan Kusakage dojo
    Dojo-cho

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    Default

    Originally posted by thumpanddump
    Seems to be some stuff that looks just like moves from Gracie/Brasilian JiuJitsu. (??)

    Does anyone out there know who (names or styles) assisted in the compilation of the techniques?

    George Ricard
    Hi George,

    I don't know who actually wrote the manual, but the person in the pictures (the one applying the techniques) is Matt Larsen, the thread starter. Maybe he can answer more of your questions.
    George Kohler

    Genbukan Kusakage dojo
    Dojo-cho

  10. #10
    thumpanddump Guest

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    Thanks Mr Kohler (ps I read those stories of you and Mr Larsen getting into ... er .. fight.......fun times in the past )

    Mr Larsen, are you able to help me with the following questions:
    1. How the armed forces (army?) came up with these soughts of techniques as a basis for the book? ie were they developed, adopted and what made the 'upgrade' necessary from FM 21-150 to the current edition?

    2. Is the old FM 21-150 for military personel now redundant for training purposes? ie is the FM 21-150 content taught anymore?

    3. What sought of council was held and what sought of people (if any) were consultants/advisors to the project?

    Many thanks - look forward to hearing a response.

    George Ricard
    Last edited by thumpanddump; 21st February 2002 at 22:48.

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    Default short reply- long one to follow

    1.The new system was developed in the Ranger Regiment because the old one was a failure. Not only did the average soldier know anything about it but even when forced to train, the training was considered by most as a waste of time. It also did not reflect the needs of the modern army. For instance, how much of a butt stroke are you going to have with an M-4, or a SAW? There was also no actual system of training in place. Ask yourself, If you were a soldier, and you wanted to learn how to fight, would you have busted out the FM or would you have looked for someone to teach you?

    2. FM 21-150 has been replaced and no longer doctrinally correct training.

    "*This publication supersedes FM 21-150, 30 September 1992."

    and also-

    http://www.adtdl.army.mil/cgi-bin/at...5.150/auth.htm

    3. I will answer #3 in my next post.

    also in answer to an earlier question. I wrote the entire new FM with the exception of the parts that have drawings instead of photos. Those portions are from the 1992 version and are in revision now.

    Matt Larsen
    1. The defining characteristic of a warrior is the willingness to close with the enemy.
    2. The winner of the hand-to-hand fight in combat is the one whose buddy shows up first with a gun.

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    Default combatives story

    Around 1995 LTC Stan McCrystal took command of the second Ranger Battalion in Ft. Lewis WA. And ordered a reinvigoration of Combatives training. We got out the FM 21-150 and started doing just what it said to do. The men call !!!!!!!! on something pretty quick and that is just what happened. After about two or three months we went back to the commander and told him that it was a waste of our training time, that we would rather be shooting, or rucking, or anything else that had a better return for the amount of time invested. We also told him that the manual did not reflect the current realities in the battalion. For instance, the weapons fighting portion does not reflect that in a rifle squad there are two SAWs, two M203s, and everyone else is armed with an M-4, not one of which is very suitable for bayoneting and butt-stroking. That is not even to mention all of the flashlights, lasers, and optics on them or assault slings, etc.

    He told us that if it was a waste of time there must be a reason and told us to come up with a better answer. A comity was formed of senior NCOs and the various martial artists in the battalion. Represented on the committee were Bujinkan, Judo, Shorin Ryu, Shotokan, JKD, wrestling, boxing, and several others. Many of these men had been drill sergeants or Ranger Instructors and had been responsible for teaching the old stuff even before the 1992 manual. All had extensive experience in the both the infantry and the Ranger Regiment.

    The first thing we did was take a look at what had been done elsewhere. We soon noticed that there were very few successful programs around. Our criteria for success were simple. The average soldier in the army had to know what their literature said they should know, and they had to produce their own experts independent of continuing outside instruction. We found that there were very few instances of successful programs in large armies, and that in most cases where there was a successful program there were underlying societal reasons that the program was successful. For instance Judo training is very common in the school system of Japan so it stands to reason that the Japanese would have an easier time than some having at implementing a program. The same thing holds true for Korea with TaeKwonDo. The biggest exception to this rule was the Russians with SOMBO. Almost alone in the world the Russian army takes an untrained populous and successfully trains them on their program. We then asked ourselves what it was about SOMBO that made them have success teaching it to soldiers. The most obvious thing was competition.

    Most people begin their martial arts training because they want to learn to fight, but that is not the reason that they continue. After all, few people who train with a Katana do so because they think they may have to use it. There are other often times more compelling reasons to train. They love the history or the romance of it, or they just enjoy it. None of these is a compelling enough reason for most soldiers to dedicate the countless hours that it takes to become proficient at most martial arts. For example when I was stationed on Okinawa as a Marine, Out of the eight hundred men in my infantry battalion I was the only one who pulled myself away from the bars to train. Once again competition provides that reason.

    I always ask our students "Who is the best fighter in your company?" They almost never know. I then ask them who the best runner is and they all know. Subconsciously the army has chosen running as more important than fighting. The reason is probably that there has not been any way to show your proficiency in combatives. This is why competition is important. There is more about how we intend to avoid the pitfalls of competition, i.e. a sportive focus, in the manual itself.

    We then started looking around to find a way to emulate the successes of SOMBO. Our first stop was obviously wrestling. J. Robinson, the head wrestling coach for the University of Minnesota, was a Vietnam era Ranger and Steve Banach, or battalion S-3, was one of his wrestlers so he came out to help us. He gave us a bunch of great advice and pointed us in the right direction and we started looking around. After several other things we eventually sent four guys to the Gracie Academy. They came back as almost disciples of the Gracies. We however were a bit more skeptical. What we saw was that in many ways what the Gracies had was very good, but it did have some problems. First, it was oriented around one on one arena fighting. We obviously were thinking more about the battlefield, i.e. many people all with weapons, and equipment. We thought that the sportive aspects had a serious potential to change the techniques even farther away from the battlefield. We also thought that the nature of the Army would allow a more systematic approach to training than was practical in a commercial school.

    It is my opinion that among the many reasons that the army has not had a successful combatives program since WWII., the two main ones are;

    1. Any one motivated enough to expend the personal and professional energy to change the system probably has an extensive martial arts background and therefore has the pedagogy of his system ingrained into him. The unfortunate thing is that most martial systems come from a time when Warriors were raised and not recruited. If you were to get your recruits when they were twelve and you did not need them to be proficient fighters until they were eighteen, you would train them completely differently than if you got them when they were already eighteen. When I was a young recruit the first thing that we were taught was one hour of ukemi, and then we went straight into osotogari (otherwise known as the cross hock takedown), and seoinage (otherwise known as the over the shoulder throw) both of which are excellent techniques. Neither of which can be learned in a half of an hour.

    2. The second reason is that few can see past the obvious question of what techniques soldiers need to know to the less obvious question of how do we get them to know what we think they should know. We catch allot of criticism from martial artist for teaching the ground grappling from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. "Soldiers don't need to be rolling around on the ground", "The ground is the last place you want to be on the battlefield", "blah blah blah blah blah". The reason that we teach that stuff first is not because we think that it is a soldier's first option, or the preferred place to be, or "90% of fights etc.". The reason is that in the amount of time we have we can actually teach them something useful. From the beginning of time martial arts enthusiasts have been saying that if commanders would give more time, etc. etc. But the truth is that they will not. Commanders are under the same pressures now that they were 100 years ago and that they will be under 100 years from now. They will not give more time.
    There has to be another answer, and we think we have found it.

    I like to compare the way combatives used to be taught like learning marksmanship at the soldier of fortune convention. You put a guy behind a fifty caliber machine gun and its cool. He walks away motivated and it looks like training. But at the end of the day, no one showed him sight alignment or sight picture. So he didn't learn a thing about shooting. We all know that combat marksmanship is a difficult proposition. You are smoked and under stress. It is dark. The targets are fleeting, etc. etc. But no one doubts the necessity of learning Basic Rifle Marksmanship. Consider that dominant body position on the ground and the control of the range, angle and level in standup fighting are the BRM of combatives.
    1. The defining characteristic of a warrior is the willingness to close with the enemy.
    2. The winner of the hand-to-hand fight in combat is the one whose buddy shows up first with a gun.

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    Default Re: combatives story

    Originally posted by Matt Larsen
    Around 1995 LTC Stan McCrystal took command of the second Ranger Battalion in Ft. Lewis WA. And ordered a reinvigoration of Combatives training. We got out the FM 21-150 and started doing just what it said to do.
    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for the clarification, but I have a feeling that you had something to do with this. If you didn't then I'm sure you were happy when he made that decision. Hell, we were doing this back in 93. Every week, when time permitted, you had us do some kind of H2H for PT. And I think we were the only squad from our unit doing this during that time.

    BTW, do you still practice Shorin ryu?
    George Kohler

    Genbukan Kusakage dojo
    Dojo-cho

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    I actually was studying Judo and AikiJuJitsu at the time. LTC McCrystal was really the one who got us going. I was still trying to teach my guys traditional martial arts at the time, and having about as much luck as every one else that has ever tied that route.

    Matt Larsen
    1. The defining characteristic of a warrior is the willingness to close with the enemy.
    2. The winner of the hand-to-hand fight in combat is the one whose buddy shows up first with a gun.

  16. #15
    thumpanddump Guest

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    In reference to FM21-150Not only did the average soldier know anything about it but even when forced to train, the training was considered by most as a waste of time. It also did not reflect the needs of the modern army.
    Mr Larsen,

    Were things contained in FM21-150 like the standing arm locks (figure-4, straight arm bar) and wrist twists deemed redundant for modern army applications? These soughts of techniques are more evident in FM21-150 yeah?

    George Ricard

    ps in reference to the photo above, do all US army personnel get issued with the same glasses?

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