• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 37s

Soldiers compete in hand-to-hand combat tournament

By Bonney Bowman 8:05 PM June 4, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

Soldiers on the battlefield have to be ready to fight for their lives, whether it’s with weapons or their bare hands.

Wednesday, the best fighters in the U.S. Army Alaska went head-to-head – or rather, hand-to-hand – as they battled for first place in this year’s combative tournament.

It’s a display of strength and power and for one soldier, a chance to stand out.

Capt. Kimberly DeFiori won three matches and is ready for her fourth.

“I just enjoy it. It’s really practical, just being a soldier and being an MP so it really transitions well and keeps that competitive spirit,” DeFiori said.

She’s the only woman fighting in the finals and her opponent is a man, but DeFiori sees it as good practice.

“You can’t make that decision in Afghanistan or Iraq so you may as well learn how to deal with it here,” DeFiori said.

Tournament organizers say they teach mixed martial arts style fighting so soldiers are ready for combat.

In today’s war zones, the enemy can get close before soldiers realize who they are.

“If they’re close and you have a weapon, they control the weapon just as much as you do. Then you have to resort to hand to hand combat,” said Staff Sgt. Stewart Tignor, the tournament’s director.

It may not be a weapon they have to use often, but it’s one they need to have in their arsenal.

“No matter what your job is, no matter what your MOS may be or your daily life, you’re still a solider and you’re trained as a soldier to close and destroy the enemy,” Tignor said.

The soldiers battle with kicks, punches and takedowns. It’s combat in the octagonal ring.

Here, it’s not life or death, but winning is incentive enough.

DeFiori placed fourth in the lightweight division. That’s fourth in the whole US Army Alaska.

First place finishers get bragging rights and a medal.

 

Latest Stories

  • News

    Anchorage Assembly approves additional funding for SAP implementation

    by Steffi Lee on Jul 25, 22:25

    The SAP project for the Municipality of Anchorage will have an even higher price tag after Tuesday’s Assembly meeting. The project, when it was started, was estimated to be around $10 million and was supposed to only take a year and a half to launch. However, nearly six years later, the upgraded business software is […]

  • New turf field to help improve Sullivan Arena’s finances

    by Dave Leval on Jul 25, 21:32

    Ice is the primary surface at Sullivan Arena. That’s about to change with the addition of turf field. It’s going in for various athletic events arena operators want to host. “It’ll be the only surface for that is actually certified for rugby, which opens a whole new door for those programs,” said John Rodda, who […]

  • Lifestyle

    Murkowski on ‘No’ vote: ‘I believe that this was in Alaska’s best interest’ 

    by Daniella Rivera on Jul 25, 18:38

    Roughly a dozen people gathered outside Senior Senator Lisa Murkowski’s Downtown Anchorage office Tuesday morning, for a makeshift watch party. With a TV sitting on a cart, they watched as the senate voted on opening the floor for debate on healthcare, waiting and hoping to hear a two letter word from Murkowski: No.  “We are […]

  • News

    Gov. Walker signs opioid bill into law

    by Liz Raines on Jul 25, 18:36

    On Tuesday, Governor Bill Walker signed a measure into law, aimed at preventing opioid abuse throughout the state. House Bill 159 includes provisions that: Limit the number of opioids a doctor can prescribe to a one-week supply Requires continuing education on addiction for prescribers Creates a voluntary database for patients to refuse opioids In front […]

  • News

    Alaskan doctor can’t seem to retire

    by Lauren Maxwell on Jul 25, 18:34

    Dr. Tom Nighswander doesn’t seem to understand the word “retirement,” even though he’s done it twice. First, from the U.S. Public Health Service, after serving 30 years with the Alaska Native Medical Hospital and more recently, after 20 years as a dean of the WWAMI program, helping to train Alaskan medical students to become doctors. […]

  • News

    Alaska man says boat attacked by orca whale

    by Associated Press on Jul 25, 17:20

    SITKA, Alaska (AP) – An Alaska man says his boat was attacked by an orca during a fishing excursion with his 14-year-old son and two other people. Victor Littlefield of Sitka says the killer whale repeatedly rammed the boat, yanked the anchor line and slapped the bow with its tail. He said the 33-foot aluminum […]

  • News

    Renovations at Hostetler Park memorial almost complete

    by Makayla Clark on Jul 25, 16:59

    The main goal of the memorial at Hostetler Park is to remember victims of violence — and it is being renovated to make that even easier. The downtown park is tucked away on the curve of Third Avenue where it turns into L Street. These days, it isn’t hidden by trees, but is open and […]

  • News

    Outrage, investigation over video of live shark being dragged behind motorboat

    by CBS News on Jul 25, 15:45

    MIAMI — Video of a live shark being dragged behind a motorboat has prompted thousands of angry social media comments and triggered an investigation by Florida authorities, CBS Miami reports. The video appears to show the shark, tied by its tail, being dragged behind a speeding boat. The camera then turns to show three men on that […]