U.S. Army Combatives – FM 3-25.150

2-10 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 are 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 supervision.

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 the basic ground fighting techniques, gradually introducing standup fighting and fight strategy. Studying the new techniques in this method ensures that the movements are correctly programmed into the soldiers’ subconscious after a few repetitions.

(2) Walk Phase. Once a unit has developed a sufficient proficiency level in basic skills, begin the walk phase. Instructors introduce soldiers to more advanced ground fighting techniques and begin serious training on closing with the enemy and takedowns. Soldiers engage in full sparring and competitive matches.

(3) Run Phase. In the run phase, soldiers spar using slaps to represent striking during ground fighting, takedowns are practiced against an opponent with boxing gloves, and scenario driven training such as multiple opponent or restrictive equipment is used.

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