173rd Security Forces trains for close quarters toughness

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Jennifer Shirar
  • 173rd Fighter Wing

173rd Fighter Wing Security Forces Squadron Airmen spent two days grappling with each other during a combatives course held here June 18-19. The security forces combatives course teaches various defensive techniques with names like the guillotine, arm bar, and rear naked chokes. 

Tech. Sgt. Clinton Wells and Staff Sgt. Matthew Taylor led this two-day annual training after volunteering to become instructors for this newly expanded program. Taylor and Wells share a passion for teaching self-defense.

"I like that it brings a lot of knowledge to our Airmen; a lot of the situations we have to go into were not always in the best position," said Taylor. "This is going to teach them how to turn a bad situation around," he said.

The combatives program teaches both self-defense and weapons retention. Airmen learn to use their skill sets to escape compromising situations and regain control. 

"This system we are teaching is highly effective," said Wells. "We are teaching them how to fight."

The Airmen begin by practicing the techniques and gradually build up to effectively use the techniques to dominate the situations.

"There are times where you can't control the environment you are in," said Wells. "All of sudden you find yourself in a bad position...you may be knocked on the ground, they may be putting choke holds on you...we are teaching how to fight out of that situation and turn it around to your advantage."

The security forces trainees all agreed that though difficult, the training is beneficial. 

"It is useful training," said Senior Airman Ryan Kaber. "It's just logging flight hours to train the brain to not cave in in the worst possible situation."

Training that emphasizes the hands-on aspect can be physically taxing.

"I don't know if I'd call it fun, but it's better than, uh ... CBTs," Kaber said.