Soldier's Hobby Leads to Combatives Success

When it comes to practicing or training in martial arts, some Soldiers find passion in it.

Pfc. Clayton Quinalty, a wheeled vehicle mechanic, assigned to Headquarters Support Company, 602nd Aviation Support Battalion, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, and a native of Fort Smith, Ark., is a martial arts enthusiast who competed in the 2nd CAB tournament Feb. 5-6, at the Community Fitness Center at Camp Humphreys. "My love for practicing Ju Jitzu, opened my eyes to combatives," Quinalty said. Quinalty began practicing Ju Jitzu while he was in college, prior to enlisting in the U.S. Army. Having a martial arts background helped him greatly, because he was already aware of some hand-to-hand fighting techniques. Early on in his tour to Korea, Quinalty started attending Ju Jitzu classes where he would meet the person who helped him explore his interest in Modern Army Combatives. Combatives is a tool that the United States Army created in 1995, to train leaders and Soldiers how to defeat the enemy in close quarter, hand-to-hand combat.

"I've known Quinalty for a year and a half and although he doesn't know everything yet he is an outstanding grappler for his level of certification," said Sergeant 1st Class Luis Romero, an aircraft components repair supervisor and master combatives instructor, assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment, 2nd CAB, 2nd Inf. Div., and native of Washington Heights, N.Y. When Quinalty is not teaching a combatives class as a level one instructor, he practices to compete in both combatives and Ju Jitzu tournaments. Quinalty's potential has shined through on many occasions; he has placed high in multiple tournaments throughout Korea during his 16 months in country. "I definitely would have to say that Sgt. 1st Class Romero is one of my mentors," said Quinalty. "He has helped push me to become a better fighter. He also inspires me to want to compete and always bring my 'A' game." Quinalty also credits Spc. Michael Torres, native of Houston, Texas, signal support systems specialist and certified level 3 combative instructor, assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd CAB for the positive influence he has had on him since arriving in Korea. Soldiers that win the 2nd CAB tournament, can advance to the 2nd Inf. Div., then 8th United States Army and finally the All Army tournaments in Fort Hood, Texas. Quinalty placed 2nd in the men's middleweight class during the 2nd CAB tournament and will be advancing to the 2nd Inf. Div., tournament in March. "I'm ok with the way the tournament turned out, said Quinalty. "Someone had to win and today my opponent was the better fighter. I am going to work on strengthening my leg technique for the 2nd Inf. Div., tournament." In the near future Quinalty plans to become certified in level three combatives and continue to teach other Soldiers to fight. "My goal is to continue learning combatives and ultimately make teaching my main job in the Army," he said. 

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