Managing Violence Podcast

MVP S1. Ep. 7: Matt Larsen – Father of Modern Army Combatives

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Matt Larsen is the most successful hand-to-hand combat trainer and program developer in history, responsible for creating the U.S. Army program that continues to train soldiers today in what it takes to face combat from the ground up.

His passion for mastering the martial arts started three decades ago in Japan and led him early in his career to compete against fighters across the Far East, from boxing in the U. S. Marine Corps, fighting in the All Japan Karate Championship and Kodokan Judo in Tokyo and Okinawa, Muay Thai in Bangkok, Kali in the Philippines and Taekwondo in Korea. Training with the best names in the arts, Larsen has earned black belts in several martial arts, including Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo and Shotokan Karate.

Larsen started his military career in the U.S. Marine Corps before moving over to the Army and joining the ranks of the elite 75th Ranger Regiment. While there, he was called upon to design a hand-to-hand combat program which was quickly adopted by the entire Regiment. Larsen spent more than a decade in Army Special Operations and during that time became the subject matter expert on hand-to-hand combat. Regarded as the father of the Modern Army Combatives Program, known as MACP, Larsen overhauled the Army’s hand-to-hand combat doctrine by re-writing the Combatives field manual – FM 3-25.150 – in 2002, and updated the manual in 2009, the most recent edition. He founded the Army Combatives School and served as both its commandant and the director of the Modern Army Combatives Program 2000 until 2010. In 2016 he was appointed as Director of Combatives at West Point Academy.

Matt is the author of “Modern Army Combatives: Battle-Proven Techniques and Training Methods” and he co-authored “Sniper: American Single-Shot Warriors in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

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