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Army Combatives In Real Life Combat


The effectiveness of army combatives in a real life combat situation is a lot of opinion based information.

U.S. Army Infantry NCO:

“Modern Army Combatives, just like any other system, teaches you tools…. the way you apply those tools can be effective or ineffective, depending on your experience and on the given situation. Blaming the system and judging it ineffective is unfair and a little ignorant… no offense. We teach you what a spoon and a fork is… it’s up to you to use the fork and the spoon… or the knife (pun intended) properly and in the right situation if you want to succeed.”

It’s been said when it comes to real life combat, ground grappling is something that’s ineffective and should be discarded when the time comes to scrap in the streets. These are merely opinions stated by others.

Their reasoning behind this is such, ground grappling being popular in the US because of competition and commonly misunderstood to be synonymous with combat. When a ground grappler enters a cage and wins every time in open competition against an opponent using other methods the assumption is ground grappling is superior to hand to hand combat.

“All fights inevitably end up on the ground.” This common phrase heard is not all true. Many contests between grapplers and hitters do hit the ground.  This being that sporting contests favor finishing with groundwork. UFC claims to have “no rules”, the truth being they have numerous rules which focus on striking and close combat techniques, things that self defense demands in a real life combat situation.


-No eye gouging

-No biting

-No kicking the testicles

-No thumb tearing at the mouth or nostril

Todays soldiers and marines may be instructed in ground grappling methods. Methods that might not be the best used when in a real combat situation out in the field of battle.

People believe that blows are superior to grappling techniques in real action combat because a blow is easier to implement than a hold. Trying to apply a hold or throw can leave them open for attack. Applying good combat blows can offer built-in tactical “defense.”

Blows, if anything, distract your opponent when landed. Holds and throws alert your opponent and triggers a violent retaliation. When struck with a blow that person, at least for a second or two, will be disoriented.


Grappling with an armed enemy can get you killed. Smashing into the aggressors throat, eyes, knees and testicles are much more effective.

U.S. Army Infantry NCO has these thoughts on the topic:

“The core fighting strategy of MACP teaches the soldier to utilize 3 options: create space, maintain space and, if all else fails, close with the enemy and finish the fight. The first option is always the best one since we can go back to projectile range and simply shoot the bastard.”

He adds that while most people think when in training all they do is roll, control and apply submissions, in fact every dominant position there is the potential for a strike “whether to finish the fight or simply to be used as a disrupting technique to finish the enemy in some way.”

John Perkins of Guided Chaos adds this:

“Wearing a flak vest, plus approximately 75 pounds of gear including rifle, and any other weapons and ammo makes grappling untenable as a method of self defense in the battlefield. For the police, even the gun belt and radio and other gear make grappling difficult against serious attackers.”

In closing the effectiveness of MACP can depend on the person and their lack of combat experience. “Just because it works for you, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t work for others.”