FM 3-25.150(FM 21-150)
Very few people have ever been killed with the bayonet or saber, but
the fear of having their guts explored with cold steel in the hands of
battle-maddened men has won many a fight.
DEFINITION OF COMBATIVES
Hand-to-hand combat is an engagement between two or more persons in an
empty-handed struggle or with hand-held weapons such as knives, sticks, or projectile
weapons that cannot be fired. Proficiency in hand-to-hand combat is one of the
fundamental building blocks for training the modern soldier.
PURPOSES OF COMBATIVES TRAINING
Soldiers must be prepared to use different levels of force in an environment where
conflict may change from low intensity to high intensity over a matter of hours. Many
military operations, such as peacekeeping missions or noncombatant evacuation, may
restrict the use of deadly weapons. Hand-to-hand combatives training will save lives
when an unexpected confrontation occurs.
More importantly, combatives training helps to instill courage and self-confidence.
With competence comes the understanding of controlled aggression and the ability to
remain focused while under duress. Training in combatives includes hard and arduous
physical training that is, at the same time, mentally demanding and carries over to other
military pursuits. The overall effect of combatives training is—
• The culmination of a successful physical fitness program, enhancing
individual and unit strength, flexibility, balance, and cardiorespiratory fitness.
• Building personal courage, self confidence, self-discipline, and esprit de
Underlying all combatives techniques are principles the hand-to-hand fighter must apply
to successfully defeat an opponent. The natural progression of techniques, as presented in
this manual, will instill these principles into the soldier.
a. Mental Calm. During a fight a soldier must keep his ability to think. He must not
allow fear or anger to co