5 CMBG proves hand-to-hand combat skills

Military members demonstrate hand-to-hand combat skills
Participants at the hand-to-hand combat competition showed deep concentration during their rounds. Photo: Adsum

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By Édouard Dufour – Adsum

The first official military hand-to-hand combat competition at Valcartier Garrison brought together 84 participants at the Sports Centre on April 3, 2018.

The Canadian Armed Forces members who took part were from 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (5 CMBG) units. There were around a hundred soldiers and family members cheering from the sidelines, creating a lively atmosphere throughout the competition.

The rounds of combat were five minutes each. Whoever was able to force his or her opponent into submission or earn the most points was declared the winner, and a sudden‑death round was held to break a tie.

The fighters used an arsenal of techniques and skills to win on the various padded surfaces specially set up for the competition. “Most of the participants are from military clubs or the civilian world,” explained Major Alexandre Boisvert-Novak, who organized the competition. He added that this type of competition is already held across the country, specifically at the Petawawa, Edmonton and Kingston military bases. Although the event was not open to members from other bases, Maj Boisvert-Novak did not rule out that possibility for the next installment of the competition.

As with marksmanship and field techniques, hand-to-hand combat must be practised on a regular basis so that people can maintain their skills. The event in April was an opportunity to promote unarmed combat sports, and there were expert demonstrations throughout the day. The Académie des arts martiaux du Québec was on site to share its expertise.

Because such competitions carry an inherent risk of injury, the organizers wanted to minimize the potential for accidents. In order to ensure that the activity went smoothly, the referees educated participants, and gave them clear safety instructions. Medical personnel from 5 Field Ambulance were also on hand, ensuring an accident-free event.

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