What It’s Like To Do Combat Training at West Point

What It’s Like To Do Combat Training at West Point

Warrior Maven

Security,

The training prepares for fights wherein an enemy quickly reaches for a gun or knife or attempts to take a weapon from a person they are attacking. Confrontations of this kind require an integrated approach – blending physical strength, hand-to-hand attack and close-in weapons use.

Weapons, firearms and lethal hand-to-hand combat are often blended together in high-risk military combat confrontations, a circumstance which many military and law enforcement entities believe now requires an emerging and distinct “close-in” fight training known as “Combatives.”

Combatives, now being taught to every cadet at West Point, is built upon the reality that large percentages of casualties in warfare take place within an immediate sphere of five feet, Matt Larsen, Director of the Combative Program at West Point, told Warrior Maven Global Security in an interview.

“Lots of people are teaching how to shoot, and lots of people are teaching mixed martial arts. Combatives is the area between those where they meet. You can’t just be trained in both…..you need to put them together. They are part of a continuum,” Larsen said.

Larsen runs the West Point program and operates a long-standing consulting practice which brings Combatives training to a range of entities including the US military, friendly foreign forces and law enforcement organizations.

While various kinds of hand-to-hand combat training have been part of West Point cadet training since the early 1900s and before, Larsen was first to introduce the integrated Combatives concept to West Point in the mid-1990s.

The training prepares for fights wherein an enemy quickly reaches for a gun or knife or attempts to take a weapon from a person they are attacking. Confrontations of this kind require an integrated approach – blending physical strength, hand-to-hand attack and close-in weapons use.

Fast-changing combat scenarios require strength, maneuverability and crucial judgement regarding when and how to move. An ability to anticipate enemy moves and counter weapons, firearms and hand-combat attacks is fundamental to the training. Learning how to learn, Larsen says, is a key to making progress.

“Fights are all about range and angle,” he added.

Previously the West Point combatives program was run by US-based global security firm Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions LLC (Torres AES here} from Virginia, The program was so successful that the academy hired Matt Larsen as a full time Director of Combatives training.

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