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Unit Training

For soldiers to achieve and sustain proficiency levels regular units must incorporate combatives into an organized training program to include situational training exercises


Entry-level soldiers receive a training base in combatives during basic training and one-station unit training (OSUT). Advanced individual training (AIT) commanders should review the training presented during basic training and, as time permits, expand into the more advanced techniques discussed in this manual. For soldiers to achieve and sustain proficiency levels regular units must incorporate combatives into an organized training program to include situational training exercises.


This is a suggested training program for basic training or OSUT. It is based on ten hours of available training time, divided into five periods of two hours each. Training should start with ground grappling, which is not only easier both to teach and to learn, but also provides a sound base for the more difficult standing techniques. A program should not begin with techniques that will take a long time to master. The result would be almost uniform disillusionment with combatives in general.

a. Period 1 (2 hours).

  • Introduction to combatives safety.
  • Combat demonstration performed by instructors or trainers to gain attention and to motivate soldiers.
  • Warm-ups and stretches.
  • Stand up in base.
  • Escape the mount by trap and roll.
  • Pass the guard.
  • Achieve the mount.
  • Drill No. 1, 10 to 15 repetitions; escape the mount, pass the guard, achieve the mount, in sequence.
  • Escape the mount by shrimp to the guard.
  • Escape the mount drill.

b. Period 2 (2 hours).

  • Warm-ups and stretches.
  • Drill No. 1, ten repetitions.
  • Arm push and roll to the rear mount.
  • Escape the rear mount.
  • Drill No. 2: Arm push and roll to the back mount, escape the back mount.
  • Grappling for position, five minutes and then change partners. Repeat for duration of class.

c. Period 3 (2 hours).

  • Warm-ups and stretches.
  • Drill No. 1, ten repetitions.
  • Drill No. 2, ten repetitions.
  • Introduction to choking.
  • Rear naked choke.
  • Cross collar choke from the mount and guard.
  • Front guillotine choke.

d. Period 4 (2 hours).

  • Warm-ups and stretches.
  • Drill No. 1, ten repetitions.
  • Drill No. 2, ten repetitions.
  • Bent arm bar from the mount and cross mount.
  • Straight arm bar from the mount.
  • Straight arm bar from the guard.
  • Sweep from straight arm bar attempt.

e. Period 5 (2 hours).

  • Warm-ups and stretches.
  • Drill No. 1, ten repetitions.
  • Drill No. 2, ten repetitions.
  • Review.
  • Rules introduction.
  • Competition.


Command emphasis is the key to a successful combatives program. Combatives training sessions should be regular, and should be included on unit training schedules at company and platoon level.

a. Successful unit combatives programs continue to focus on the core techniques taught in the basic training or OSUT program. Mastery of these moves will result in more proficient fighters than exposure to a large number of techniques will.

b. As the level of proficiency rises the natural progression of moves is as follows:

  • Advanced ground grappling.
  • Takedowns.
  • Strikes and kicks.
  • Fight strategy.
  • Situational training.

c. Primary trainers should be designated at all levels. Regular training sessions with these trainers will ensure the quality of training at the small unit level.

d. Primary trainers should be of the appropriate rank; for instance, a platoon primary trainer should be a squad leader or the platoon sergeant to ensure that the training actually occurs.

e. Modern combatives allow soldiers to compete safely. To inspire the pursuit of excellence, individual soldiers may compete during organizational day. Leaders may also call squads, sections, or individuals to compete randomly as a method of inspecting training levels. All combatives competitions should be conducted IAW rules established in FM 3-25.150 App. B. However, competition should not become the focus of combatives training, but remain a tool to inspire further training.

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