Submission Wrestling in Military

When will the US Military start to hire civilian instructors (not jiujitsu) for miltary training in submission wrestling?

PS: not disrespect to jiujitsu, but I see the LAPD on TV dropping to the guard position unneccesarilly (they are trained by Royce & crew) and I feel that submission wrestling has better combat application.


Not sure. I know the Special Forces, Rangers and many infantry divisions use many bjj instructors in their training/seminars. I know these folks can all be vetted (ie belt rank/background) and usually have contract acceptance mechanisms that can receive Dept. of Defense funds. It may be a more of administrative mechanics than chosing what style is more effective. To the folks on this forum, there's a huge difference to different MMA styles, to the Army, it's a huge leap to go from the old hand-to-hand training we use to do to a bjj base combatives program. Hence, things are getting better very quickly. As more MMA guys/gals enter the Army, the level of knowledge will increase. SFC Larsen is probably the best resource to provide more detailed info.


Major Bob

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Would a military base allow an "extra curricular" grappling class on the base? at a cost to the personel instead of the military? How would I find out more about this?

In Hawaii, we were trained by a BJJ Black Belt.

We also trained a great deal of stand up.

there is a difference between bjj and sub wrestling. as you saw in the lapd videos, the officers jump guard and are on their back. this is ok in sport bjj but not real life fighting. in sub wrestling, we use the same ground game but we also add in wrestling takedowns. so instread of pulling gaurd, you have been trained enough in takedowns to take the perp down and obtain dominant position.

if you are in the army. there will be combatives school opsing up on every post. im not sure the time line. but there will be schools opening

In a good BJJ school, you will have former wrestling guys that teach take downs.

It all depends on the school and the instrutor.

jiujitsu mixed with some wrestling is still not the same as full on submission style.

Shooto33, you are very correct.

I have MacDill AFB and a small Reserve Marine base and a couple of Armory units near me.

How could I "solicite" my services to them?

I feel inside training is better...I trained my Battery out there in Iraq and got good response..I even started Operation MMA...Submission Fighting Baghdad..and enjoy teaching the soldiers here @Ft Hood


When I was in Hawaii, I got Joao Morais to apply for a MWR (Morale Welfare Recreation) contract to teach bjj at the gym on Schofield. MWR then put the contract out for bid and it was awarded to him. He taught in the base gym and paid the gym a % of his procedes. We also used the gym for bjj tournaments. I recommend meeting the MWR director for the Air Force Base and the Commander for the USMC Reserve unit. For teaching a unit, the unit has a contracting officer that can establish a fund site to pay for instruction; 3nd BDE, 25th DIV did this with Joao and he taught numerous seminars. It can be done, just need to contact the right people. It helps if you train with a military guy that can assist.

Major Bob

The arts that feed the Modern Army Combatives program are BJJ, wrestling, Judo, Boxing, Muay Thai, Kali, etc. In other words the same arts that feed modern MMA. Many of the stylistic names that are put on the combinations of these arts are simply marketing ploys by those who want to attract interest in their particular version or combination. The bottom line is there are only so many ways to twist someone's arm behind their back to break it.

The stylistic differences come in from both the demands of competing under different sets of rules, and differing opinions on fight strategy. We (the Army) are open to every source of information. However, the final arbiters are the demands of the battlefield and a training plan that integrates Combatives into every thing else that Soldiers do.


Thai Boxing and Kali are very good for military combat.

I just don't want to see soldiers pulling guard in hand to hand combat! I absolutely could not believe my eyes when I saw the LAPD dropping to their backs when being attacked!

Thanks for all the info everyone.

"The stylistic differences come in from both the demands of competing under different sets of rules, and differing opinions on fight strategy"

I agree 100%. While lots of guys who do BJJ are very sport oriented (even if theythink they are not), not all go right to the guard. I recently worked out with Dan Gonzalez who is the only authorized instructor under Machado and he (correctly in my opinion) considers guard to be the "best of the worst" be avoided if possible in actual altercations.

lol @ assuming BJJ you just drop to the butt, and since there is the name of "submission wrestling" it must involve takedowns.

You are living in the early 90's my friend, you go to any BJJ/MMA school and they will school your ass if you think they are just about going to guard.

you just proved my point. you said bjj/mma school. im talking about someone who strictly trains bjj. not bjj/mma. there is a big difference between training bjj/mma and training just bjj. bjj guys are comfortable on their back. sub guys we like the dominent top position.

We tarined in close quarters like the Iraqi houses..If you do a raid and children and women are not involved in the assaliants motive..then you only need to square away the assaliant...Thus the reason for submission wrestling/fighting..

SFC Matt Larsen.

We have been training the techniques and theories in the FM 3-150 for years, great stuff. Very similar to the Sombo at marine base in Quantico. I was on the US Sombo team with Greg Gibson (Marine). Good luck and good work.
Joe Schmidt