Modern Army Combatives Basic Concepts – Taken from the Modern Army Combatives Handbook
Close the distance
Controlling a standup fight means controlling the range between fighters. An untrained fighter is most dangerous at punching range. The goal is to avoid this range. Even if you are the superior striker, the most dangerous thing you can do is to spend time at the range where the enemy has the highest probability of victory. When training soldiers, the primary goal should be instilling the courage to close the distance.
Gain dominant position
Before any finishing or disabling technique can be applied, the soldier must first gain and maintain dominant body position. It is the leverage gained from dominant body position that 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 and confusing list of unrelated techniques. If a finishing technique is attempted from a 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.
Finish the fight
When a dominant body position has been achieved, the fighter can begin attempting to finish the fight secure in the knowledge that if an attempt fails, he may simply try again as long as he maintains dominant position. Training should start with ground grappling, which is not only easier to teach and learn, but also provides a sound base from which to move to more difficult standing techniques. Past programs started with techniques that took a very long time to master. The result was almost uniform disillusionment with combatives in general. The material covered in this handbook is considered the baseline combatives knowledge that every soldier should know.