Martial arts legend brings the gentle art to the Defense Supply Center Columbus (DSCC)

 

An enthusiastic crowd of about 75 people comprised of military and civilian DoD personnel had a unique opportunity to learn techniques associated with the sport of submission grappling from the Prince of Jiu Jitsu, Master Carlson Gracie, Jr., in support of the Military Veteran Education Foundation’s (MILVETS) Operation Let’s Roll.

The Military/Veteran Appreciation Submission Grappling Tournament took place March 1, 2013, as part of the Arnold Sports Festival – Combatives.

Many of the techniques that utilize natural body leverage and submission holds in the sport of submission grappling serve as the foundation for the Modern Army Combatives Program (MCAP).

In years past, America’s warriors trained in Karate and Tae Kwon Do, which placed a heavy emphasis on striking.  However, the Army realized from its lesson learned in most hand-to-hand combat situations rarely do the combatants battle standing up.  As a result, back in 2000 the Army introduced a hybrid submission grappling system incorporating Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) emphasizing ground fighting, Judo focusing on throws, and wrestling concentrating on takedowns, which has evolved into the Army Field Manual (FM) 3-25.150 (Combatives).
 

Unlike Karate and Tae Kwon Do that emphasize striking, submission grappling focuses more on ground fighting, positioning, and using techniques that allow an athlete or Soldier to prevail over a bigger or stronger opponent.

Carlson Gracie, Jr., who I consider to be the Godfather of Submission Grappling, is a six-time Brazilian National Champion as a Greco-Roman and Freestyle Wrestler, and holds a Black Belt in Judo, provided the participants a unique perspective and insight no other martial artist could ever provide.

As an accomplished instructor and coach he has shared his close quarters combat techniques with members of the armed forces and law enforcement personnel, trained world-class athletes in the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), Submission Grappling, and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).


The day was extra special for Gracie because it provided him with an opportunity to keep his father’s, Carlson Gracie, Sr., legacy alive.

 

“Today was a special day for me because it allowed me to show my appreciation for those who defend our freedoms and provided an occasion to honor my father who passed away on this day, said Gracie.”

He added, “My father believed Jiu Jitsu should be for everyone and he taught me to give back to those who give of themselves for the betterment of our world.”

Photo by Al Burzynski

Master Carlson Gracie, Jr., works with America's defenders of freedom.

One of the primary mission objectives of Operation Let’s Roll is to utilize the sport of submission grappling as a means to provide peer-to-peer support for America’s warriors and connect them with invaluable resources and benefits available from organizations who share in our undertaking of caring for those who borne the battle, his/her widow and orphan such as the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and various Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs).

 

A long-term objective of Operation Let’s Roll is to provide a support structure and mechanism to promote health, wellness and camaraderie for those warriors who may be dealing with the challenges of transitioning back to civilian life to coping with the invisible wounds of war.

 

As an Army Veteran and a person who volunteers his time in support of those who answer America’s call to duty, which includes their family members, there are no words that can describe my deep appreciation for Gracie’s contributions, support of the armed forces and veteran community.  He graciously gives of his time, talent, and treasure.

It is people like Carlson Gracie, Jr., who remind my cohorts and me the sacrifices we make for America are appreciated.  It is uplifting to be able to join forces with a man of high principles such as him who leads by example and upholds the sacred Army values of: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless-Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage (LDRSHIP), which America’s warriors hold near and dear to their heart.

 

On behalf the Military Veterans Education Foundation (MILVETS) Board of Trustees, we salute Master Carlson Gracie, Jr.