US Army Combatives

2-11 Crawl, Walk and Run


Training can be conducted using the crawl, walk, and run techniques, which may be applied on two levels.

a. First Level. The instructors use these techniques during each initial training session.

  • (1) Crawl phase. New techniques should be introduced, taught, demonstrated, and executed by the numbers.
  • (2) Walk phase. During this phase, soldiers practice the new techniques by the numbers, but with more fluid movement and less instructor guidance.
  • (3) Run phase. Soldiers execute the techniques at combat speed with no guidance.
  • b. Second Level. The instructors use these techniques when developing unit combatives programs. Before conducting combatives training, the instructor considers the abilities and experience level of the soldiers to be trained. During training, those soldiers with prior martial arts experience can be a great asset; they may be used as demonstrators or as assistant instructors. The crawl, walk, run approach to unit training ensures a high skill level throughout the unit and minimizes the risk of training injuries.
  • (1) Crawl phase. During the crawl phase, the instructor introduces combatives to the unit. Here, the basic skills that set the standards for advancement to other levels are mastered. Emphasis is placed on proper technique when executing stances, falls, and hand-and-foot strikes. Studying the new techniques in this method ensures that the movements are correctly programmed into the soldiers’ subconscious after a few repetitions. It also develops the flexibility of soldiers.
  • (2) Walk phase. Once a unit has developed a sufficient proficiency level in basic skills, begin the walk phase. Instructors introduce soldiers to throws, combination strikes with body weapons, reaction drills, knife/bayonet fighting, grappling, and expedient-weapons training.
  • (3) Run phase. In the run phase, unit soldiers engage in full sparring, advanced-weapons fighting, and sentry removal.


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