Sill soldiers head to National All-Army competition in Georgia - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Sill soldiers head to National All-Army competition in Georgia

Fort Sill_Two weeks ago, 7News took you inside the octagonal cage for the Fort Sill Combatives Tournament.  Soldiers trained in hand-to-hand combat, and put their wrestling and grappling skills to the test.  On Monday, the tournament winners began preparing for the National All-Army competition at Fort Denning, Georgia.  What looks like an abandoned warehouse at Fort Sill has been home to the fight house for the past four years, where soldiers train in hand-to-hand combat, and the best win belts along the way.

Staff Sergeant Torrey Spence won a belt, and he's one of two Fort Sill soldiers making a third trip to the national competition.  He leaves the Army in March, so this is his last shot.  "My goal is to finish first, basically wrap it up, and go out with a bang," he said.  It's not all fun and games, though.  Their training employs real Army skills, reacting to man-to-man combat, and being prepared if a weapon fails.  "The soldier is ready to engage the enemy," said Trainer and Referee Sergeant First Class Kris Perkins.  "We don't think that we're going to win the war because we're better hand to hand fighters, but we will win because of what it takes to become a hand-to-hand fighter."

The Army holds competitions to both motivate and reward soldiers for training.  All of their training doesn't occur at the gym - they swing sledgehammers, flip tires, push trucks, and even tow jeeps full of people.  "It spurs on excellence in training," said Perkins.  "If we show them there's a chance to be a champion, then they train really hard at combatives - which is a soldier skill - so they become that champion."  Spence says the hard work pays off.  "Every day getting my butt kicked by my boss, some of the other guys that come in here and roll around, it really paid off."

Cruiserweight division champion Lieutenant Jason Norwood's pregnant wife Angela supports his training and comes to training to help encourage the soldiers.  "The greatest part about this is the fact that you're trying to survive," said Lt. Norwood.  The Army has a very strong non-toleration of losing and it definitely shows itself at its utmost in the ring."  Will he train his daughter?  "No, no, no," he said.  "She's not allowed to date a fighter.  She will not be a fighter.  Fighting will not be a part of it.  Her godfathers are actually the two gentleman you see right there, and if you think they're going to let any boy come near her who fights--that won't happen."

Theddaeus Caldwell s one of the top two heavyweights at Fort Sill and finished second in Fort Sill's competition.  Norwood was scheduled for a pro-mixed martial arts bout last Sunday, and when his opponent saw him warming up, he forfeited the fight before he even entered the ring. 

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