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Missouri Combatives Team trains at SCMMA

By Brett Auten | Knuckle Junkies

The 14-man Missouri National Guard Combatives Team have been sharpening their skills and honing their attack the past two weeks in St. Peters.

The team set up shop at St. Charles MMA to train for the All Guard Combatives tournament, a two-day affair that begins March 17 at Fort Benning, Ga.

At Fort Benning, the Missouri Guardsmen will compete for points against combatives teams from other states for national titles in seven separate weight classes. The Missouri team finished third last year, with only seven members.

Determined to do better than last year, the Missouri Guard team felt it was best to relocate to St. Charles MMA for its training, where team members Jason Powell and Jeremy Koerper already train.

While there, under the watchful eye of St. Charles MMA coach Mike Rogers, the team trained twice a day.

"We're did a couple extra classes," Rogers said. "One in the morning and another in the afternoon. We brought in a bunch of different guys to help out."

Among those lending an extra hand were local fighters Matt Ricehouse and Kirk Huff.
The soldiers have been soaking up the training and information like sponge. For many, it's a dream come true to live the life of a professional mixed martial artist.

Among the standouts on the team is Staff Sgt. Jonathan Dalman, who took first place last year at 205. Another returning champion is Spc. Dalton Toombs, of Cape Girardeau.

Rogers will accompany the team to Ft. Benning for the tournament.
"I think it's cool," Rogers said. "It's a team experience. I'm looking forward to it."