Sgt. Steven Peterson
10th Mountain Division Journalist
Seventy service members competed May 7-9 at Magrath Sports Complex in the seventh 10th Mountain Division (LI) Combatives Tournament.
While many Soldiers in the division are currently deployed to Afghanistan in support of overseas contingency operations, Soldiers who are still here consider events like this to be extremely beneficial for training.
The competitors, representing five weight classes from 140 pounds to more than 205 pounds, endured a double-elimination round on the first day of the tournament. Winners progressed to the semi-finals on the second day and the finals on the third day.
“There’s not as much down time, so if we are participating in something that will benefit the Soldier physically, I think this is probably extremely beneficial,” said Spc. Ruben Spencer, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Bri- gade Combat Team. “It definitely helps division morale; it gives Soldiers who aren’t deploying something to do, something to look forward to.”
Before the matches began, instructors from the Light Fighter School gave a Modern Army Combatives demonstration, explaining some of the main rules and the purpose of the technique.
Competitors were awarded points for gaining dominance over their opponents and for reversing positions.
The match was over when one of the fighters would submit, known as a tap out, or if the Soldiers lasted the entire six minutes, the competitor with the most points won the round.
“After I found out about this tournament, I wanted to work hard and train as hard as I could,” said Pvt. Marcus Fischer, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd BCT. “I think all the people who competed over the past three days did an outstanding job.”
Soldiers were briefed on additional rules for safety before the final matches, since Soldiers could strike the body, use kicks, and give open hand slaps to the face.
“There were a lot of good Soldiers this year; I think people trained a lot sooner for this competition than they have in the past,” said Sgt. 1st Class Marques Daniels, a Soldier from the Special Forces Recruiting Team on Fort Drum. “Watching the matches on the last day, I was impressed by the (Soldiers’ use) of strikes.”
Daniels, who has orders for Fort Bliss, Texas, won his final match on the third day, taking first place in the cruiserweight category. He has taken first place in every tournament he has competed in for the past three years on Fort Drum.
“I really hope that my next duty assignment has tournaments like these that are held on Fort Drum,” he added. “It will be good to use the skills I have learned and bettered while being stationed with the 10th Mountain Division among other Soldiers so they can better themselves.”
Results of the competition are as follows:
w Welterweight – Spc. Ceil Riddle, 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team.
w Middleweight – Staff Sgt. Rob-ert J. Blackburn, 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Bri-gade Combat Team.
w Cruiserweight – Sgt. 1st Class Marques Daniels, Special Forces Recruiting.
w Light heavyweight – Spc Kenneth S. Sager, 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team.
w Heavyweight – Spc. Marcus D. Atkinson, 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team.