Bound for Baghdad: Hand-to-Hand Combat
May 22, 2007
Reported by Matt Talhelm
Valley guardsmen and women are preparing for a tour of duty in Iraq. Before they go, they have to be trained up in Mississippi. NBC29's Matt Talhelm is at Camp Shelby with them.
A warm-up, wake-up with a 6:30 a.m. alarm clock calling out commands. "Never too early to learn training!" said First Lieutenant Mike Taylor.
It's hard not to stand at attention and listen to orders from military police Staff Sergeant Steve Knox. "They're going to get 4 hours!" he says.
His arms are his only weapons in this new warrior tasks and battle drills class. "There's five phases of akito--wrist grabs, wrist holds, how to get out of a bear hug, how to get out of a full nelson," listed Knox.
Staff Sergeant Knox calls that his "toolbox" of techniques--taking guns, knives and grenades out of the fight. "We can't just go in blasting everything. So we have to use subtle things...non-lethal weapons, unarmed self-defense," insisted Knox.
The U.S. Army surveyed soldiers returning from Iraq and one in five said they went hand-to-hand with Iraqi insurgents on the streets. "They're going to get the best that we can provide for them," assured Knox about training the soldiers for hand-to-hand combat.
Sergeant First Class Daniel Carvajal sharpened his street skills. "The pressure points make you move...they will make you move," he said. Back in Virginia, he's a cop and just like every suspect he puts in cuffs is different each enemy changes the fight.
"It is tough!" Carvajal said. "Each one's different. Each one's a different situation you come into." They can go for the jugular, the c-clamp or one of the other 12 pressure points approved in army combat. But a different muscle tops the training list for these fighters.
"You can think your way out of anything. And their best weapon is going to be their mind," revealed Knox. "They can come back and win the fight. Huah!"
Monday, June 04, 2007
Interesting article I dredged out of Google News about self defense in Mississippi. Apparently about a month ago they were training a group of Virginia National Guardsmen at Camp Shelby just a little ways east of here. And what's more, they were training in a subset of aikido. Check out the video on the news site or check out the rest of this series of news stories.
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