Ask any longtime military man or woman and they’ll tell you that the proliferation of jiu-jitsu, and mixed martial arts at large, has changed America’s combat training for the better. Case in point: our Modern Army Combatives Program.
Founded in 1995, MAC training originally integrated elements of global martial and combat arts with the existing hand-to-hand techniques already offered by the United States military. As the program took hold holes in the American fight game became more obvious, triggering a revamp of the program and educators brought in to teach servicemen and women what to do in life threatening encounters with enemy combatants. Sambists, wrestlers, and judo champs were called up, and Rangers were sent to Gracie Jiu-Jitsu’s Torrence, California, location to learn the foundations of BJJ.
To be fair, elements of jiu-jitsu had been used by the United States military since the early 1900s–training manuals from the first half of the century included hand drawn illustrations of throws and takedowns, and Teddy Roosevelt himself was a well-known judo enthusiast and practitioner–but without a uniform system from base to base.
Today, BJJ remains foundational in the MACP–Royce and Rorian Gracie worked with the Rangers throughout the 1990s, and the Valente Brothers have flown to bases from the USA to Iraq to hone techniques with soldiers on the ground.
This footage is a few years old, but at over 1.4 million views it continues to inspire civilian and military mat rats alike. Now if we could just get police to make MACP a mandatory part of training…