Navy Team Takes Gold at Army Combatives Tournament

Story Number: NNS131127-03Release Date: 11/27/2013 8:32:00 AM
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By Cryptologic Technician (Collections) Seaman Kate Cramer, Navy Information Operations Command Georgia Public Affairs

FORT GORDON, Ga. (NNS) -- Sailors representing Navy Information Operations Command Georgia competed in the Better Opportunities For Single Service Members (BOSS) Army Combatives Tournament Nov. 16 taking gold for the tournament.

With a great display of sportsmanship, focus and skill they also placed in all three weight classes in which they competed.

Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) 3rd Class Kendall McGree competed in the Cruiser Weight division and medaled gold in his weight category, remaining undefeated the entire tournament.

"It was a great experience," said McGree. "This tournament was the first time I have competed in this format and I learned a lot. I felt great representing the Navy at this Army event."

The tournament showcased Army Standard Combatives Rules which has an emphasis on take downs and ground dominance and prohibits and striking and are very similar to International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation rules.

More than 90 service members and their coaches gathered at the gym to share knowledge and take part in the competition.

"The audience saw a show of skill, determination, and teamwork. Fundamentals go a long way," McGree said as he summed up the team's performance at the end of competition.

The double elimination matches began at 7:20 a.m. and concluded with the finals and medal presentations at 2:30.

Fighters were broken up into seven weight divisions ranging from Flyweight which consists of competitors weighing 125 pounds and below to Heavyweight (206 pounds and above).

Competitors were not separated based on skill level or gender.

Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) 3rd Class Christopher Moore, who was a semifinalist, and Yeoman Seaman Apprentice Kenneth Brown III competed in the Middle Weight division.

"This was my first combatives tournament and it was a really great experience," said Moore.

Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) 3rd Class Sonie Lasker, founder and coach of the Joint Service Martial Arts Academy's RCJ Machado Fight Team was responsible for coaching and training the Sailors.

Five service members that train at the Joint Service Martial Arts Academy competed in the competition. Three Sailors representing NIOC Georgia, one Airman, and one Soldier.

Senior Airman Zach Darroch of AM 31st who won silver in his heavyweight division and SPC Brendan Buchanon who won silver in his welterweight division are also members of the team.

"I am exceedingly proud of how these service members embodied the Navy Core Values during this tournament. They were always respectful and thoughtful. They spent the whole day on the mat competing, helping coach teammates, and assisting the opposing team if they needed a coach," said Lasker. "I can't wait until the next Army Combatives tournament in February when we can show Navy pride again."

She was also able to lend a coaching hand to other fighters who needed one-on-one instruction throughout the competition.

For more news from Navy Information Operations Command Georgia, visit

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