New Delhi: In a move aimed at boosting combat abilities of soldiers, the Indian Army has launched a unique and standardised Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) programme for its soldiers with focus on offensive assault training and the ability to counter sharp-edged weapons.
“The army has introduced Army Martial Arts Routine or AMAR for which all our personnel will undergo training. This will help them not just physically, but also mentally,” Army chief General Manoj Pande said at his annual press conference ahead of Army Day on January 15.
Sources in the defence establishment said that the mixed martial arts training routine would also help soldiers deter improvised weapons.
Until now, they said, there was neither a fixed routine for martial arts in the army, nor a specific programme at regiment centres either. However, a few regiments such as Assam, Naga, and Gorkha specialise in their own training of martial arts.
The army decided to introduce this routine to deal with the changing nature of war and prepare the force for all forms of unarmed combat, including hand-to-hand. Specifically, the AMAR programme will train soldiers in basic and advanced techniques and manoeuvres of mixed martial arts. MMA will be practised with the same intensity and frequency as fundamental skills like firing, physical endurance, and battle craft. Essentially, it is designed to be a “must-have skill” going forward.
Courses on AMAR for up-skilling and empowering soldiers, building their self-confidence, and increasing team and unit cohesion have already begun, they said.
Training pamphlets for advanced and basic courses will form the framework for AMAR. These pamphlets will then standardise the unarmed combat training that soldiers received, sources added.
“This step shall go a long way in ensuring enhanced offensive, aggressive and proactive warfighting abilities at the tactical level,” the Indian Army said.