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AFSOUTH Airman and Soldiers aim for the T.K.O.

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Heather Redman
  • 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) Public Affairs
The sounds of bodies hitting the mat rang through the Benko Fitness Center as Airmen from 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) and Soldiers from the 1st Battlefield Coordination Detachment (1 BCD) learn the basics of hand -to -hand combat.

Members from the 1 BCD, taught the Modern Army Combatives Program (MACP) Basic Combatives Course Level 1 from Jan. 13 to 16.

MACP is the approved combative system of the U.S. Army. With roots in a variety of martial arts, the MACP Level 1 course teaches students basic ground grappling. Ground grappling provides a sound base to student that is needed to learn to and achieve more difficult techniques.

Along with teaching the basics of hand-to-hand combat the course also instills a sense of achievement and confidence in the students.

"This course helps to instill the Warrior Ethos into the students by teaching them to close the distance with the enemy and achieve tactical dominance," said Army Staff Sgt. Parris Bussiere, a Tactical Instructor Level 4. "It is a physically demanding course that teaches people not to be afraid of confrontation."

Several Airman saw this as an opportunity for self-improvement, while many Soldiers like Spc. Megan Dietz, 1 BCD, volunteered for the course in order to gain certification. Soldiers receive combatives training as part of their Basic Combat Training, which is one of the 40 warrior core tasks of the Warrior Ethos initiative.

Airmen from 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) were also invited to attend the MACP course.

"I signed up because it sounded interesting and fun," said Tech. Sgt. Joshua Holliday, 612th Air and Space Operations Center. "Plus it has increase my knowledge of a skill set that I can utilize downrange."

The Airman and Soldiers attending the class received instruction on how perform and escape from various mounts, chokes, and guard positions.

"The skills they teach during the Basic Combat Training course is something that everyone should have a chance to experience," said Capt. Brian Dicks, 55th Rescue Squadron. "Not only does it teach team building but you also learn vital skills that you may need down-range."

Airman 1st Class John Fuentes, 612th Air and Space Operations Center, added, "I like this course. It has been an opportunity for self-improvement and teaches you confidence. I'm enjoying it."

The 40-hour course focuses on the three phases of basic fight strategy; close the distance, gain the dominate position, and how to finish the fight.

-Closing the distance between the fighters allows the Airman and Soldiers to avoid striking range of the enemy combatant. The students who attended the course learned that the most dangerous thing anyone can do is to spend time at the range where the enemy has the highest probability of victory.

-Gaining the dominant body position allows the fighter to defeat a stronger opponent. Learning and practicing the various ways to gain the dominant position is fundamental to becoming a proficient fighter. It ties together all other techniques and allows a failed finishing technique to be used multiple times. Whereas if a finishing technique attempted from a non-dominant position and fails, it will usually mean defeat.

-Finishing techniques end the fight. When a dominant body position has been achieved, the fighter can begin attempting to finish the fight secure in the knowledge that if an attempt fails, he may simply try again as long as he maintains dominant position.

Throughout the course the students are constantly put into situations where they must determine the techniques they must use to gain the tactical advantage.

"Remember, no two situations are ever the same. Know the foundations, know the basics, and know when to use what skill set," added Bussiere.

The MACP Basic Combatives Course Level 1 is offered twice a year and plans are in progress to begin offering the MACP Tactical Combatives Course Level 2.

Those interested in attending the MACP Basic Combatives Course Level 1 Course should contact the Benko Fitness Center at 228-0022.