MSG Larson.....I and completely aginst the teaching of the Modern Army Combatives Program. I've read the history of your efforts to revamp the Army's hand to hand program but you and your superiors continue to make the same fundamental mistakes that the Army makes, trying to find a shortcut to training soldiers. let me offer you a reality check....."You Cant!!!!!" If you try to take shortcuts when it comes to training in the martial arts if you try tio take shortcuts you're inviting trouble. On average (and I speak from experience) It takes 8 hours a day at a minimum, and 5 to 6 days a week to become proficent in the basics of any martial arts system, when you put this kind of time and effort into training both the body and the mind you develop 1:the muscle memory as well as the reflexes to apply the tecniques effectively without thinking about it, 2:the mental serenity as well as the mental clarity to see the true intentions of an attack.
As it stands the Army as a whole from what I've seen isn't devoting that kind time into training soldiers. then there's the question of practicality. the ground isn't the safest place to be, especailly in two types of environments 1: the battlefield 2: a bar, nightclub or the street. you are vulnerable 360 degrees in the guard position and vulnerable 180 degrees in the mounted position. Now let's add to that in the tactical environment: 1 you're wearing your full kit kevlar, ballistic eyewear, IOTV with ESAPI plates, 7 mags 1 inthe weapon the rest in ammo pouches, camelback with water, elbow and knee pads anf your weapon (in this case the M4) that's roughly 40 maybe 50 lbs ( I might be off by a few lbs)
now ask yourself if you were the average "Joe" and you got into a hand to hand situation with this kind of weight is the ground either guard or mounted really the best place to be?
You and your boss traveled to different countries throughout asia looking for something that could be readily taught to our soldiers, the trouble that you ran into was that the arts themselves were "cultural in nature" have you ever given thought to this: It isn't the art but the practitioner that makes it effective.
Last but not least the concept of the clinch drill. now the soldier has to rush into a barrage of punches while protecting their face, you're not allowed to parry the punches or re-direct them you have to move into them head on and achieve the clinch. the concept is that if you get hit you keep going, what you fail to realize is that most people won't get a "second chance" all it takes is one solid hit I.E.the one hitter quitter and all that achieve the clinch goes down the drain. When I went through the level 1 certification in Korea I parried the punch it worked and I achieved the clinch without getting my face pummeled. Matt you need to rethink this program and talor it to fit soldiers who have martial arts training as well and not just untrained soldiers.