Joint Base Lewis-McChord Community
Combatives Competition in Kuwait
Story by CPT Jerry Duong on 02/11/2019
Sgt. Ryan Gossilen and Spc. Austin Bradford of the 300th Sustainment Brigade were selected to compete in a combatives tournament between the United States Army and the Kuwaiti Army at the Kuwait Interior Ministry of Interior on January 22, 2019.
“What went on that day was the Kuwaitis hosted a duel against the U.S. forces from Camp Arifjan,” said Gossilen. “We had five weight classes and five competitors at each weight class.”
Combatives is the U.S. Army’s version of jujitsu or Brazilian jujitsu, which is a martial art and combat sport system that focuses on grappling with particular emphasis on ground fighting.
“I was very excited for the event, it took me back to when I wrestled in high school and gave me those pre-match jitters I missed,” said Bradford, who has been wrestling since he was 12 or 13 years old, as well as practicing jiujitsu until he turned 18 and joined the U.S. Army.
“I wrestled for about nine years including one semester in college” said Gossilen. “I have trained in mixed martial arts off and on and competed in Judo for one year.”
Though Bradford did not have the opportunity to compete due to lack of competitors in his weight class and Gossilen was out scored on the mat, they represented the 300th Sustainment Brigade well through their sportsmanship.
“I would like to thank the Kuwaiti’s for inviting us to be a part of this competition and being great hosts. I would also like to say thank you to everyone that signed up for this event. It takes a lot of courage to get out on that mat and everyone that went out there gave 110%,” said Bradford.
The United States and Kuwaiti Armies frequently conduct joint training, competitions, and medical exchanges to strengthen and reinforce their partnership.