I do not know what kinds of hand to hand (H2H) combat are standard systems in the Units similar to GROM. In my opinion the GROM system, however, is interesting enough for sharing here some information about it – namely the GROM Combat, created IN and FOR this Polish SO Unit.

What is the GROM Combat? This system was created as an answer for a problem that was noticed, among others, by Leszek Drewniak (an officer responsible for H2H combat training in the new established GROM). In the new Unit there were many of H2H combat specialists-box, jujitsu, krav-maga, judo. The result was a kind of mix, which elements were easy to adopt for some men and at the same time they were difficult for the others.

The creators of the new system (Jacek Kowalik was working on the system together with Leszek Drewniak) focused on a very individual training.

First, they monitored each of trainees, paying special attention to his physical aptitudes, abilities, and skills. Then the suitable set of techniques was chosen for each men-from a few to dozen or so.

The only criterion was effectiveness. Particular emphasis was placed on mastering these techniques. Common elements of the system were defined: physical fitness, knowledge of a human body (its functions and structure), building a stress resistance and forging a will of survival.

What was a very interesting thing, in order to avoid the transferring of instructor’s habits to trainee, each trainee has at least two instructors.

GROM Trainees
GROM Trainees

With time the system spread out to include other elements, too – shooting training, high-altitude exercises, medical training and a lot of others.

Together with the creation of Fundacja Bylych Zolnierzy Jednostek Specjalnych GROM (The Former Soldiers of Special Unit GROM Foundation) the system was adapted to other recipients: the law enforcement agencies, the security agencies, and the civilians. A new part of the system was created especially for women.

The GROM Combat is not a dead system. People are changing, their environment is changing – the system is changing as well to stay effective. It is being changed in the Unit itself and outside, too – mainly as a result of activity of Jacek Kowalik, its co-originator, and Bartosz Gagucki.


Writing about the GROM Combat, I simply must say some words about the late Colonel Leszek Drewniak. Seeing his memorabilia, among others the Special Forces, JSOC coins, I can guess you should know him?

But how, in only few words, to tell a story about such an extraordinary, charismatic and at the same time quiet and modest person?

  • The founder of Polish Karate Association, the 5 DAN owner.
  • The graduate of “The Special Training Group Counterterrorist Tactical Unit Course”, the two-years course of AT warfare conducted by US operators.
  • The participant of the “Uphold Democracy” Operation in Haiti.
  • The soldier and the commander who noticed the necessity to take care of other soldiers leaving the Unit, very often due to the ill-considered political decisions (such a care is a goal of the GROM Foundation).
  • The tutor and the teacher of over 5 000 H2H combat adepts.

He died suddenly at the age of 55. During the celebrations of the 21st Anniversary of the Unit a new sport complex in the Unit’s area was named after his name.

In the Unit he was called “Diabel”, the Devil. Supposedly it is connected with his… smile. He smiled this way when he was showing his new obstacle course to his subordinates. And with the same smile, in full kit, he was clearing it in a fixed time having them watching him…