Combatives training puts defenders on a roll


The 72nd Security Forces Squadron conducts combatives training to enhance defenders’ capabilities as security and law enforcement officers for Tinker Air Force Base. This specific training regimen boosts basic skill sets as well as builds and maintains self-defense skills in close-quarter combat.

Security Forces personnel hone their techniques in hand-to-hand combat training through various exercises in submissions, restraints, strikes and weapons retention. The training circulates throughout the entire squadron, with approximately 36 different techniques covered over the two day course.

Staff Sgt. Patrick Johnson, a combatives instructor with the 72nd SFS, emphasized the necessity and importance of regular and consistent hand-to-hand combat techniques.

“We put them through real world scenarios and prepare them as best we can, so that if their weapons were to go down, [our defenders] are qualified and ready to defend themselves,” Johnson said. “Everyone receives the same training, regardless of prior experience or how much knowledge an individual may have with certain moves or alternative moves, we ensure that each defender is trained well and trained properly.”

This includes several techniques from escaping blows, maintaining and escaping the mount, passing and maintaining the guard, and preventing and assuming the mount, all involving a variety of situations and dominant/non-dominant positions. Different maneuvers and takedowns allow for a greater working knowledge of hand-to-hand combat to aid an evasion.

At the end of the course, defenders execute live rolls, an exercise which serves as an opportunity for applied practice for tactics and techniques learned through combatives training. Up against any sized male or female, Security Forces personnel end the instruction by one-on-one live roll sessions. A comprehensive conclusion, live rolls are designed to fend off attacker after attacker all while retaining your weapon.

“It makes you feel good as an instructor when [our defenders] are doing well in their training,” Johnson added. “Watching them apply what they’ve learned and experience their growth is definitely rewarding.”