By FIGHT! contributor Eric Killelea
Fort Knox, Ken. is now hosting its 4th Annual Combatives Tournament – over sixty hardened U.S. soldiers at the Army Armor Center seperated into six weight classes, fighting to prove themselves elite combatants.
“You’re freakin’ tough if you’re Combative Champion,” says Modern Army Combatives instructor Jason Keaton. “It takes a lot of heart to win this event. It’s a true test of a warrior.”
Keaton, a Jiu-Jitsu blackbelt, says the tournament is the toughest Fort Knox has hosted. According to Keaton the level of competition has improved exponentially year- over-year since the first tournament and that the number of competitors has more than doubled since last year.
The goal of the tournament? Scenario training. “We want our soldiers to use the skills they learn from MMA and put them into use when they’re doing their jobs,” says Keaton. He says the training works, that ongoing training has picked up, and that Fort Knox has become the home of hundreds of Combative Certified soldiers.
In mid-September, Fort Benning in Georgia will host the U.S. Army Championships. Fort Knox plans to bring their first and second ranked fighters from each weight class but first they have to determine who those fighters are.
“This is the best example of Army competition,” says Keaton.