U.S. Army Combatives – FM 3-25.150

3 – Basic Ground Fighting Techniques



Basic ground-fighting techniques build a fundamental understanding of dominant body position, which should be the focus of most combatives training before moving on to the more difficult standing techniques. Ground fighting is also where technique can most easily be used to overcome size and strength.


Before any killing or disabling technique can be applied, the soldier must first gain and maintain dominant body position. The leverage gained from dominant body position allows the fighter to defeat a stronger opponent. An appreciation for dominant position is fundamental to becoming a proficient fighter because it ties together what would otherwise be a long confusing list of unrelated techniques. If a finishing technique is attempted from dominant position and fails, the fighter can simply try again. If, on the other hand, a finishing technique is attempted from other than dominant position and fails, it will usually mean defeat. The dominant body positions will be introduced in order of precedence.

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