2019 Ohio Army National Guard Combatives Tournament tests hand-to-hand combat skills
Story by Staff Sgt. George B. Davis, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs
COLUMBUS, Ohio (09/14/19)
Participants in this year’s Ohio Army National Guard Combatives Tournament got a special visit from the founder of the Modern Army Combatives Program (MACP).
Retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Ferriter welcomed over 65 competitors this year’s tournament, conducted Sept 14 at the Maj. Gen. Robert S. Beightler Armory, home to Joint Force Headquarters-Ohio. It was an exciting opportunity for Ohio’s fighters to display their fighting prowess for the Soldier who developed the program years ago.
“I love to see the competition,” Ferriter said. “I love to see the technique and athleticism and especially the determination of these young men and women.” Since its inception, the program has remained an important part of the U.S. Army warfighting doctrine and has been embraced with enthusiasm by the Ohio Army National Guard.
“Last year I got silver in the lightweight category,” said Cadet Samantha Hawkins, who is attached to Company C, 837th Engineer Battalion in Columbus. “This year I lost my first bout by points, won my second by submission and lost my third again by points. But I did not tap out.”
The competition was held in six weight classes and was conducted in a double-elimination format. There were many returning fighters, as well as some first-time competitors. The Ohio Army National Guard maintains an active MACP and the tournament was officiated by the state’s cadre of certified MACP trainers and master trainers.
As the tournament is limited to currently serving Ohio National Guard Soldiers and Airmen, Ferriter was not eligible to compete. But that did not stop him from getting on the warm-up mats and rolling with several of the competitors, providing some tips before their bouts.
“I’m really proud to be here today,” he said. “I’m really proud of the Ohio National Guard and its very organized program of training, culminating in a very well-organized tournament.”