On Friday 23 March 2012, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research hosted the first ever Medical Research and Materiel Command (MRMC) combatives tournament. Teams from WRAIR, U.S.
Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense (USAMRICD), and several signal battalions from Ft. Detrick and the 6th Medical Logistics Management Center participated. Referees also assisted from Ft. McNair and Ft. Myer.
In preparation for the event, the WRAIR Combatives team organized, fundraised, and set up the event in the main auditorium of the Senator Inouye building of the Forest Glen Annex. With approval from the MRMC
Commander Major General Gilman, Commander Sergeant Major Stuart was present for the tournament.
In particular, the following individuals were fundamental in the success of the event. SFC Jeff Deickman, WRAIR’s new Level IV combatives instructor, was instrumental in ensuring the event was well
planned and executed. CPT Matt LoPresti, the new WRAIR Combatives OIC, was the tournament director and CPT Brandon Pybus, SGT Mike Sandford, and SFT Alexis McCurdy also spent countless hours to help plan the event.
Spectators from WRAIR and other units filled the seats throughout the entire event and enthusiastically cheered on the competitors. The tournament was conducted in a standard rules, double elimination
format, with eight weight classes. Each fighter began from the standing position and was awarded with points for takedowns and position according to the set of legal techniques defined by the 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 to show 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 with 12 medals, five of which were gold. Overall, the WRAIR team accumulated 97 total team points, making them the definitive winner of the tournament.
WRAIR Commander COL Erickson presented the individual medals and team plaque to the winners of the tournament.
In addition to tournament awards, the WRAIR combatives team presented appreciation awards to CPT Brandon Pybus, SGT Mike Sandford, and SGT Alexis McCurdy for their service over the
past two years as part of the WRAIR instructor team.
Overall, as the first combative tournament, the event was a resounding success. The WRAIR combatives team has returned to their normal training schedule twice a week including a
company level formal class Thursday mornings. In addition to their regular training, the team also focuses on preparing individual competitors for other army combatives tournaments and civilian jiu jitsu
tournaments in the area. The annual All-Army Combatives Tournament will be held at Ft. Hood this summer and the WRAIR combatives team will be sending a selected team to compete against Soldiers from units throughout the Army.