Kentucky National Guard Soldiers compete for hand to hand combat champion

VHV

By Staff Sgt. Floyd Branham, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1-149th Infantry Battalion

 

Sgt. Corey Blankenship and Spc. Matthew Perkins of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade perform combatives while wrestle each other during the battalion’s first annual combatives tournament held at Union College gym in Barbourville, Ky.

BARBOURVILLE, Ky.—Kentucky National Guard Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry grappled for title of battalion combatives champion during a tournament held at the Soldiers and Sailors Gym at Union College in Barbourville, Ky., in December.

Winners are: Sgt. Charlie Minix, Charlie Co., 1/149th; Spc. Robert Moore, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1/149th and Sgt. Corey Blankenship, HHC, 1/149th.

America’s current combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan emphasize the need for Soldiers to be trained in hand-to-hand combat.  Combatives gives Soldiers the tools and confidence to engage the enemy in close quarters combat.

Sgt. Corey Blankenship and Private 1st Class Michael Swanson of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade perform combatives while refereed by 1st Lt. Mark Westerfield at the first annual combatives tournament held at Union College gym in Barbourville, Ky.

“As we prepare our Soldiers for mobilization, being tactically prepared is key,” said Capt. Daniel Mays, HHC 1/149th commander. “To have fun while conducting that training is a big plus.”

More than 20 competitors in three weight classes – lightweight, middleweight and heavyweight – faced the challenge with a single elimination concept and a graduated set of rules.

Competitors started in the preliminary rounds using only basic ground fighting techniques.  Each round lasted six minutes and was won by points of submission.  The finals featured more advanced rules which allowed competitors to use more aggressive fighting techniques.

The fight consisted of one 10-minute round and was scored on a 5-point system or submission for victory.

“This competition was a morale boost for the Soldiers of the 149th,” Mays said. “It gives the winners bragging rights until next year, and the rest of the Soldiers something to strive for – 149th Combatives Champion title.”

Battalion leadership said this is the first tournament that will become an annual tradition for the 149th.

About kentuckyguard