Soldiers, Department of the Army civilians and family members from the 21st Theater Sustainment Command and other organizations in the KMC received mixed martial arts training and the opportunity to meet MMA celebrities during the Armed Forces Entertainment 2014 MMA All-Stars Summer Tour June 19 on Kleber Kaserne in Kaiserslautern.
The gathered crowd met with MMA stars Tim Kennedy, Marcus Davis, Frank Trigg, Jacob “Stitch” Duran and Cole “The Apache Kid” Escovedo. The group opened with basic introductions and fighting experiences and moved straight to the mats to begin giving instruction.
Trigg led the block of training and explained a variety of grappling techniques useful to beginner and experienced fighters alike. With the assistance of Escovedo, the two fighters provided detailed examples of each technique and even provided hands-on training. After the training, Duran professionally wrapped the hands of one audience member as he would for a fighter before an event.
“This was a great experience; there was a lot of knowledge shared,” said Mike S. Suttor, mixed martial arts enthusiast and husband of the 21st TSC’s Warrant Officer 1 Jamie Suttor. “Getting my hand wrapped by ‘Stitch’ Duran was awesome. Anyone who knows about fighting knows that he is one of the most sought after guys in the sport.”
While Trigg and Escovedo were instructing, the other fighters took the time to interact with other members of the audience, including members of the Warrior Transition Unit.
“In addition to seeing these MMA fighters train, we got to sit down and talk to them on a personal level. We got to learn about where they came from and how they got started,” said Sgt. 1st Class Neil M. Jasmin, 21st TSC military police NCO recently assigned to the WTU. “It was really cool to get to know these guys.”
As the event concluded, Kennedy was found wrapping his hands and preparing for his own training session. The special forces sergeant first class expressed his views on Army combatives before his workout.
“These are vital skills that are perishable. If people don’t train in combatives on a regular basis, they will lose them,” Kennedy said. “Oftentimes, especially with Soldiers stationed overseas, they don’t get the chance to stay current in combatives, and that is totally understandable. This kind of event helps them develop these skills and embody the warrior ethos. It enhances morale, integrity and all those things Soldiers should be.”