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Combatives wrestle for the title

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Combatants struggle to gain victory by submission during the National Police Week Ground Combatives Tournament held on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., May 17, 2016. Matches could last up to five minutes with the winner decided by either submission or judge’s ruling.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Amber Grimm)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Combatants struggle to gain victory by submission during the National Police Week Ground Combatives Tournament held on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., May 17, 2016. Matches could last up to five minutes with the winner decided by either submission or judge’s ruling. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Amber Grimm)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Combatants of all weight classes limber up before the start of the National Police Week Ground Combatives Tournament held on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., May 17, 2016. Participants competed in various ground grappling styles for up to five minutes or until a winner was declared by submission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Amber Grimm)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Combatants of all weight classes limber up before the start of the National Police Week Ground Combatives Tournament held on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., May 17, 2016. Participants competed in various ground grappling styles for up to five minutes or until a winner was declared by submission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Amber Grimm)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Combatants grapple for position during the National Police Week Ground Combatives Tournament held on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., May 17, 2016. Matches could last up to five minutes with the winner decided by either submission or judge’s ruling. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Amber Grimm)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Combatants grapple for position during the National Police Week Ground Combatives Tournament held on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., May 17, 2016. Matches could last up to five minutes with the winner decided by either submission or judge’s ruling. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Amber Grimm)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. - Combatants go to the mat during the National Police Week Ground Combatives Tournament held on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., May 17, 2016. Participants fought using ground combat styles such as jujitsu, wrestling, ninjutsu and sambo.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Amber Grimm)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. - Combatants go to the mat during the National Police Week Ground Combatives Tournament held on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., May 17, 2016. Participants fought using ground combat styles such as jujitsu, wrestling, ninjutsu and sambo. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Amber Grimm)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.- --
The heavy thud of bodies hitting mats, accompanied by cheers and shouts that echo across the gymnasium court as a violent dance for victory takes place during the National Police Week Ground Combatives Tournament.

The tournament was held on May 17, 2016, and was just one of the events held throughout the week-long recognition of Police Officers, both fallen and surviving, occurring in communities around the world May 16-20.

“This was a ground-grappling tournament,” said Master Sgt. William Rider, 21st Security Forces Squadron superintendent of logistics and readiness. “We had jujitsu, wrestling, ninjutsu, sambo - basically any type of ground combat.”

With 15 participants from security forces units at Schriever AFB, Peterson AFB, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, military police from Fort Carson, and a civilian off-duty officer from Denver, the tournament was deemed a success.

“It was a good time, exciting and tiring,” said women’s division winner Staff Sgt. Andrea Brunsvold, 21st SFS unit deployment manager.

Matches could last up to five minutes with the winner decided by either submission or judge’s ruling. Of course five minutes in a full contact match can feel a lot longer.

“I honestly thought we were rolling around on the mats for like 10 minutes in the second round, it felt like forever,” said Brunsvold with a laugh. “(My opponent) was quick, strong and her arm bars were on point. So you’re just rolling around trying to find an opening, and when you find it you’re like ‘I’ve got to go for this right away,’ the moment you hesitate is the moment they find their opening. It’s all just movement, movement, movement.”

While the tournament was an enjoyable experience for all involved it also served a higher purpose.

“For us in the military, something like this instills that warrior ethos in you,” said Rider. “You’re doing something that’s going to transfer over when you deploy.”

“There’s a bit of pride in it, knowing where I stand,” said Brunsvold. “If we end up down range it’ll be nice to know that someone I fought, who beat me has my back.”

Police week and this tournament are about more than remembering those who have fallen in the line of duty, it’s also about recognizing those who are working every single day, said Rider.

“It’s everyone who’s ever fought before me,” said Brunsvold. “It’s the people that I’m fighting with now and the ones that might be a part of the fight in the future, that’s what resonates with me.”

Peterson SFB Schriever SFBCheyenne Mountain SFSThule AB New Boston SFS Kaena Point SFS Maui