BJJ

Grappling - US Army’s Number 1 Hand-To-Hand Combat Technique

Grappling - US Army’s Number 1 Hand-To-Hand Combat Technique

The US Army is considered one of the strongest armies. Out of 145 countries, the US Army is ranked at the first place. And of course, soldiers' efforts are the ones that accounts for this position. US soldiers are adept in using weapons but there is one more factor that is playing a decisive role here, that is hand-to-hand combat. There are countless instances where soldiers are out of weapons and that is where hand-to-hand combat keeps them in the game and safe.


It was only in talks that the US Army institutionally instructed different forms of grappling martial arts to its practitioners, especially Wrestling, BJJ, and Judo. But when the post-fight results from 2004 to 2008 came, it was proved that a simple majority of soldiers incorporate grappling techniques into their fighting strategies.

A survey was conducted for those soldiers who especially went to other countries on some missions from 2004 to 2008. From 1226 soldiers, 216  claimed that they grappled as a means of hand-to-hand combat. Striking wasn’t used much by fighters but the chokes were quite handy.


Following are the results of the survey that proved that submissions and chokes are the go-to techniques in case of hand-to-hand fighting.


Grappling Technique Percentage(%)
Takedown 2%
Submission (Non-Specific) 17.1%
Choke (Non-Specific) 15.1%
Holds / Locks (Non-Specific) 9.6%
Mount 4.1%
Wristlock 4.1%

Grappling has always been considered as an effective method of fighting. It might not be that much effective in a street fight but it is great for defending oneself. The US Army has always been keen in terms of defense strategies. So how is it impossible that they exempt one of the best fighting strategies from their training regime.


And today the US Army claims that it uses 72.6% of grappling techniques in its combat fights. The percentage drops to 5.5% for striking. According to the above-mentioned table, submissions, and chokes, both unspecific, are widely utilized by soldiers. Only Armbar submission was mentioned, 17.8%, because of its result-oriented execution and fast results.


Ground grappling was not much in the charters because standing chokes were mostly preferred by the soldiers. There are many people even outside the BJJ circle who justify the importance of BJJ. Jocko Willink, a famous American author who also practices BJJ, is of the view that BJJ techniques are more important than anything else. The grappling techniques provide practitioners with a controlled stance.


In 2021, the legendary Royce Gracie’s son Kheydon Gracie enlisted in the US Army. It was a moment of pride and joy for Royce Gracie. Now the grappling techniques which Kheydon learned from his father would be the most handy for him.


Due to the success rate of takedowns and throws, they were the most initiated ones in combat. For many years grappling techniques have been used by the US Army. The change occurred in recent years where the advantages of grappling were given due credits. There are many BJJ athletes that claim that BJJ is an important skill apart from being a sport. And that is why grappling gives an upper hand to the US soldiers.


Photo Credit: @army.mil

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