by Airman Christopher R. Morales
JBER Public Affairs
6/4/2015 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- The
U.S. Army Alaska Combatives Tournament, sponsored by the Arctic Warrior
Combatives Academy, finals are scheduled June 5 at the Buckner Physical
Fitness Center on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
The tournament, during Military Appreciation Week, is a chance to
demonstrate the warrior ethos and show camaraderie between military
"The purpose for the USARAK tournament as a whole is to take the
Soldiers who wanted to come out here and put them in a stressful
situation putting their training to the test," said Sgt. 1st Class Chad
Veagley, AWCA noncommissioned officer in charge. "We have teams from
most of the Fort Richardson battalions, and Fort Wainwright came
prepared too. It's going to be a good competition overall."
Battalions and independent groups were allowed to submit a team of up to
two fighters in each weight class. More than 100 fighters will
The bouts are scheduled in brackets of one-on-one fights, and began with
a standard rule set progressing into intermediate, and the advanced
rule set is saved for the finals.
"The tournament is running real smooth; we haven't had any hiccups so
far," Veagley said. "The event is going great, we have a real turn-out
and a lot of participation."
Individual fighters compete for medals in each weight class; teams
compete for a traveling trophy as incentive for more teams next year.
"We try to push Soldiers not to hesitate and see their own potential in
the future. We tell Soldiers at classes 'if you're not moving forward,
you're dying.' said Army Staff Sgt. Matthew Jones, AWCA senior
instructor and combatives tournament director. "All those other nice
little quotes, we mean it here."
"It's interesting to see Soldiers come into the academy so hesitant and
by the end of the class we have Soldiers with a completely different
mindset, one that pushes fear out of their mind rather than letting fear
limit them." Jones said. "Minus the pain, there is a light at the end
of the tunnel."