Service men and women battle it out in Combatives Tourney - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Service men and women battle it out in Combatives Tourney

Posted: Updated:

"It's intense," says US Air Force 2LT Felicia Racine about being in a combatives battle. "Your adrenaline is going. When you're done, most people, their nerves are like, 'Oh my God!'"

Racine was one of more than 70 service members from all four US Military branches who battled it out on the mats at Ft. Gordon during the second annual Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) Combatives Tournament on Saturday.

The double elimination tournament pitted members of our nation's military against each other in unarmed combat.

The winner is determined by a points system or by making his or her opponent submit or "tap out."

"They're all starting from standing up," says BOSS President Sean Sullivan. "No striking whatsoever. So they do takedowns and grapple for dominant position."

Hundreds filled the gym at Ft. Gordon rooting on their friends and loved ones.

And while it's a competition, the competitors say the tournament is also a way to brush up and develop their hand-to-hand combat skills.

"The only way you're going to get better at a skill like this is to do it," says Racine. "You've got to practice and you've got to roll and get into those fights and figure out what you need to fix."

For now, the skills and techniques being used on the mat are simply a matter of points, wins, and losses. But the competitors say those same skills and techniques out in the field could be a matter of life and death.

"You never know when you're down range when you might be out of ammo," says Sullivan. "You might be guarding someone that gets away. This is what that prepares them for."

"These submissions that we're doing are really practical and can be used anywhere," says US Marines CPL Alan Dahlke.

And that's why these men and women will continue to battle, making themselves better prepared to protect our nation's freedom.

"Competing next year?," asks Fox 54's Jake Wallace.

"Absolutely," replies Dahlke.

The winner in each of the six weight classes received a trophy and $100.

Powered by WorldNow