Story and photo by Amanda Sullivan
Public Affairs Office
The 3rd Chemical Brigade Combatives Schoolhouse is used to certify Soldiers and trainees through the Modern Army Combatives Program.
Sgt. Donavinscott Castro, 3rd Chemical Brigade Master Combatives trainer, is responsible for the operation of the facility and the training and certification of Soldiers and trainees.
Motivated by his desire to give back to the Fort Leonard Wood community, Castro aims to provide a safe and friendly environment where beneficial skills can be learned.
“I love teaching … giving back,” Castro said.
With the help of Staff Sgt. Jason Powell, a Missouri National Guardsman with the 1138th Engineer Company, Castro conducts combatives and martial arts skills training from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. The lunchtime training is available to all service members at all skill levels.
“We do Brazilian jiujitsu, wrestling, muay thai and Army combatives,” Powell said. “It’s good for all levels.”
According to Castro, the wide-ranging benefits of the training he offers helps Soldiers in their personal and professional lives by improving their physical health and fitness.
“I have had my students gain on their Army Physical Fitness Test,” Castro said. “The training and workouts (are) tied into that.”
“There are many benefits,” Powell added. “It’s going to get you in better shape and your cardio is going to be better. When you do these kinds of workouts, it’s different than running two miles, swimming or lifting weight. You’re physically in better shape.”
Powell said the stress relief and comradery Soldiers experience during the lunchtime courses are equally important.
“This is our sanctuary,” he said. “We come in and we do this, and we feel better afterwards.”
According to Powell, Castro has made significant improvements to the facility since taking it over in October.
“He’s doing things to use the entire facility,” Powell said. “He’s cleaned things out and moved things around to open up space.”
They have struggled to find participants, but hope that will change in the future.
“I don’t know if it’s because they don’t know the facility is here, or they don’t know what we offer. We’d like more people to come in,” Powell said.
No reservation is needed for the lunchtime training.
Anyone who has questions or is interested in participating should contact Castro at email@example.com, through the facility’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/flwcombatives, or by going to Bldg. 375 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.