Soldiers in Afghanistan spend an incredible amount of time waiting. Waiting for equipment, waiting for a mission, waiting for their commander to get out of a meeting, waiting for something to happen.

One way they pass time and blow off steam is by practicing “combatives” — the Army system of hand-to-hand fighting. The bouts materialize out of thin air — one moment 10 soldiers are sitting around smoking and joking until, in an instant, they’re slamming each other into the ground trying to choke each other.The Marine Corps intensively integrates hand-to-hand combat into their training regimen, and they have for a long time. The Army has historically lagged behind in this regard, but as they start to focus more on combatives, infantrymen are all too eager to test their new skills on each other.

(Photo by Ben Brody for GlobalPost)
(Photo by Ben Brody for GlobalPost)

Related Stories

Tagged: