Corporal Haneman from 12 All Source Intelligence Centre and Corporal Pulham from 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, fight each other during the first heat of the June 24 tournament. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

Grappling Championships raise $2,500 for Soldier On

Unit News

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Thursday, July14, 2016

More than 100 individuals from across Canada faced off at the 2016 Garrison Petawawa Combatives Grappling Championships, helping raise nearly $2,500 in total proceeds for Soldier On.

This fundraising event has been held for the past four years, and has grown substantially as the sport’s popularity grew.

During its inaugural year, only a handful of competitors participated. As the reputation of the event solidified, however, it became the championship of choice for military-based fighters. Taking into account the spectators, the event was so large that nearly every element of the military as well as almost every trade was represented at the June 25 event.

Tournament Technical Director Major Steven Burgess isn’t surprised that so many people showed up. “It’s the inculcation of the warrior culture and the warrior mindset in a combative scenario,” said Maj Burgess. “Combatives are the purest expression of the warrior tradition. This gives the guys a chance to actually practice hand to hand techniques in a safe yet competitive environment.”

He admits grappling can be dangerous, so he made sure a safety briefing was held before the championships began. It highlighted the dos and don’ts of the event “just like when you go to the range.” To ensure everything went well, several volunteer referees also closely monitored the matches. “The volunteers are mostly from across the Brigade at Garrison Petawawa, and we have some from my club (Evolution Brazilian Jui-Jitsu Petawawa),” said Maj Burgess. He credited them for allowing the event to run so smoothly.

He also praised Garrison Petawawa as they have continuously supported and encouraged the growth and expansion of the modern combative movement. According to Maj Burgess, they have always been keen to have Petawawa lead the way in the sport, and without their help, the tournament would not have been possible.

He also extended his gratitude to the external fighting community; the Martial Artist, Kimurawear, Sanderson’s Restoration, Vladimir Vasiliev’s Systema Canada and Popeye’s Supplements.

Preparations for the 2017 competition are already underway, and the event should be bigger than its predecessor, confirmed Maj Burgess.

For more information about the championship, or to learn about the winners, please visit