First CAF Combatives Concentration showcases hand-to-hand combat skills
By Lieutenant James Locke, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment
Hand-to-hand combat experts from across the Canadian Army and Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM) met at the Dwyer Hill Training Center (DHTC) just outside of Ottawa to participate in the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF’s) first ever Combatives Concentration during the week of July 30 to August 3.
Participants took part in several training sessions each day including striking and footwork, grappling in the clinch and ground fighting, weapons retention and defence, as well as team fighting. The week wrapped up with some introductory shooting on the Sig Sauer P226 range.
“Our goal was really to share ideas and experiences, as well as raise the baseline of knowledge for some of our members who are out there teaching these skills back at their home units. I am hoping this will be the first of many concentrations, and I’m impressed with the warrior spirit shown by everyone who attended this week,” said the DHTC Combatives subject matter expert.
Lieutenant-Colonel Steve Burgess, a senior Combatives Instructor in the CAF, also attended this concentration. He shared that the concentration was “ a huge step in the right direction for combatives training in the CAF. It is really refreshing to see so many individuals and units focusing more on their combative skillsets.”
“We covered a lot of great material this week, my hat’s off to DHTC for putting this together,” said LCol Burgess, highlighting three fundamental skillsets for all CAF members, no matter what trade or element they serve:
- Fieldcraft, in other words, the ability to survive under austere conditions;
- Marksmanship – we are in the profession of arms and it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure they can handle their weapons; and
- Hand-to-hand combat, the ultimate ability to protect yourself and your team mates when all the chips are down.
Military Combatives training is increasing in popularity and visibility across the CAF, with several events held across the country. The National Military Combatives Grappling Championships is held annually at the 4th Canadian Division Support Base (4 CDSB) Petawawa; Exercise RELENTLESS WARRIOR is held at 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (1 CMBG) in Edmonton; 5 CMBG has hosted their first tournament in the past year.
These events help participating CAF members share philosophy and encourage others to get out, get active, and learn some self-defence techniques.
For more information on training and competition opportunities in your unit or base, speak to your chain of command.
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