Advanced Combatives Bootcamp

By Kelly Lupton, PE Manager, RMCC

The Athletic Department has put a great deal of effort into making the fourth year PE program a true enhancement year at RMCC. The Advanced Combatives Course in particular is quickly becoming one of the “go to” courses for those OCdts that are truly at RMCC to be exposed to those kinds of opportunities that “put the “M” back into RMC”.

Specifically, the addition of an optional Advanced Combatives Bootcamp to the Advanced Combatives PE course, falling just after April exam period, is one way this is being achieved. Not all students elected to complete this gruelling three day, twenty hours, of high intensity combatives training experience. Those that did learned many techniques to defend against an unarmed assailant or defend against gun or knife attacks. The bootcamp reviewed the entire IV Year curriculum combatives instruction plus extra techniques added just for the bootcamp participants.

When asked, Combatives Coordinator Joel Ridley stated that the “main goal of the bootcamp is to give further review and practice to ingrain the techniques into muscle memory as well as to give those office cadets that desire to experience a more intense combatives learning experience.”

One OCdt was asked why he elected to participate in the bootcamp. He explained, “I came to a Military College in order to best prepare myself for a job that is surrounded by violence. This course was the best training I’ve received in my four years here with regards to unarmed combat, and I developed a genuine sense of self-confidence from it.” Another participant added that, “I was doing the Advanced combatives course during the winter semester and I really liked it. When I found out there was some kind of intensive training that was going to be given during a weekend with moves we never learned and a guest that did some crazy adventures in Columbia, I thought it would be a good opportunity to experience more of techniques and sweat for a good learning experience”.

The “crazy adventures in Columbia” the OCdt was describing were shared in a two hour briefing by an ex-Cadet, and Infantry Officer, Lt. Frank Ouellette (24765). He travelled to RMCC from Valcartier, where he is currently posted, to share his experiences of training with the Lanceros (Columbian Special Forces). He not only gave these highly motivated graduating OCdts an idea of what kind of experiences are open to them in the CAF if they were so inclined, but he also shared personal and emotional accounts of what you can do and achieve, even the most physically challenging and mentally gruelling experiences, if you stay focused and put your mind to it.

There were many highlights at the bootcamp. One OCdt shared that “the very first day was an hour of fitness training where people were crawling on the floor, exhausted by the intensity of what we were directed to do, especially me, all this while seeing our teachers looking at us suffering with a smile on their faces. Some trainees did not come back the day after… Big mistake”. That fitness training was there to establish a certain mind set for what was to come. For another participant, the highlights came as the weekend went on. In his case, his favourite parts of the bootcamp were the “pressure attacks” (see link). In his words, pressure attack are “ where more than 3 people are attacking you for 5 minutes without any pauses in order to test what we have learned during that weekend, under the pressure of a life threatening situation with the hearth rate to the top and fighting under a high level of stress.”

For Joel Ridley, “the main highlight for me was the dedication and mental toughness of the group of twelve OCdts that ended up completing the boot camp. We began with a list of 24 that signed up for the boot camp initially, 16 showed up the first day, 14 on the second day and 12 that completed the course.” As such he wants to add in this article his appreciation for these Cadets efforts and making the first ever bootcamp such a positive experience for all. The Department looks forward to building on this momentum and continuing to provide these great experiences for OCdts at RMCC through the military skills and combatives programs.

The list of cadets that completed the course where:

Tim Davick (Ingram); Éric Deshaies-Martin; Nuriel Alshek; ; Eric Hawn; Tom Neilson; Joey Z. Martin; Powis, R.C.M; Henry Luk; Tristan Lapointe; Max Peetsma; Cody Hansen; and Ryan Bearss.

One more video which is referred to in the article and give an excellent idea of what the course taught.


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