WRAIR team scores big at USAMRMC combatives tournament

Members of the WRAIR team

Members of the WRAIR team display their USAMRMC Combatives Tournament championship plaque with Col. Ralph Erickson, WRAIR commander (center).

The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research hosted a U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command Combatives Tournament Mar. 23. Teams from WRAIR, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense, several signal battalions from Fort Detrick, Md., and the 6th Medical Logistics Management Center participated. Referees also assisted from Fort McNair, D.C., and Fort Myer, Va.

In preparation for the event, the WRAIR combatives team conducted various fundraising programs. The team organized and set up the event in the main auditorium of the Sen. Daniel K. Inouye building of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center Forest Glen Annex in Silver Spring, Md.

Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Deickman, WRAIR's new level IV combatives instructor, was instrumental in ensuring that the event was well planned and well executed. Capt. Matt LoPresti, the new WRAIR combatives officer-in-charge, served as the tournament director. Capt. Brandon Pybus, Sgt. Mike Sandford, and Sgt. Alexis McCurdy also spent countless hours to help plan the event.

Spectators from WRAIR and other units cheered on the competitors. Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin B. Stuart, USAMRMC, was in attendance as well.

"The MRMC combative tournament was outstanding and a great success," said Stuart. "The event certainly met all of the objectives from safety to instilling that fighting and winning spirit to enhancing confidence and combative competence. It was a great opportunity for our Soldiers to demonstrate their combative skills along with camaraderie, sportsmanship and fun."

The tournament was conducted in standard-rules, double-elimination format, with eight weight classes. Each fighter began from the standing position and was awarded points for takedowns and position according to the set of legal techniques defined by Modern Army Combatives Standard Competition rules. Matches lasted six minutes or until one of the opponents admitted submission.

During the lunch break, instructors from the WRAIR combatives team led a demonstration showing tactical applications of Modern Army Combatives in a combat environment, further exhibiting the crucial survival skills learned in Army combatives.

The WRAIR team won the team plaque, garnering 12 medals including five gold. Overall, the WRAIR team accumulated 97 total team points and was the definitive winner of the tournament. WRAIR commander Col. Ralph L. Erickson presented the individual medals and team plaque to the winners.

In addition to tournament awards, the WRAIR combatives team presented appreciation awards to Pybus, Sandford, and McCurdy for their service over the past two years as part of the WRAIR instructor team.

Stuart added, "I was very impressed with the WRAIR team and the way they managed the event. It was a job well done!"

The annual All-Army Combatives Tournament will be held this summer at Fort Hood, Texas, and the WRAIR combatives team will be sending selected members of its group to compete against Soldiers from other units throughout the Army.

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Last Modified Date: 12-Apr-2012