War on Terrorism

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Texas Army National Guard members teach combatives course in Djibouti

By Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Malcom McClendon
Texas National Guard

CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (3/29/12) - On a make-shift training area, Soldiers and Marines grappled, tackled and clinched their way to graduation from a Modern Army Combatives Program here, March 12-16.

Texas Army National Guard members with Task Force Raptor, 3rd Squadron, 124th Cavalry Regiment, hosted the class and certified 19 new instructors.

The Level-One Instructor Certification course covered a wide range of combat training skills, said Army 1st Lt. Joshua Kane, Task Force Raptor member and MACP instructor.

“We have provided realistic training and defenses in hand-to-hand combat,” Kane added. “We got into weapon retention, knee strikes, punch drills, how to utilize your Kevlar helmet as a weapon in defensive measures, and even using your weight to throw an opponent off balance.”

Kane shared his enthusiasm for the graduates’ recent accomplishment.

“This course in particular is an instructor’s course,” Kane said. “These are basic yet important skills that these new instructors are taking back to their units, and therefore the program continues to grow.”

Army Sgt. Candice Perez, Task Force Raptor member MACP class participant, said there is more to the program than just physical might.

“It’s like a chess game,” Perez said. “The main thing is to stay calm, control your breathing, and think. Don’t try to muscle your way through everything. There’s always a way out of any hold or position you are in.”

Kane and his fellow instructors plan on certifying more service members during their time here.
 “The great thing about this class is that it can be taught anywhere,” Kane said. “I’ve taught it at Fort Benning, Ga., Camp Mabry in Texas, Army bases everywhere, and now here in Djibouti. As long as you have mats and Soldiers willing to learn, it can be taught anywhere.”

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