Five years ago, Navy SEALs switched their close-combat training from a system they’d used for more than 20 years to a new mixed martial arts-style program, and a California lawmaker wants to know why.
In a memo to Defense Secretary Ash Carter yesterday, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., argued that the previous Close Quarters Defense program is superior to the MMA program, and asked the Defense Department to review Naval Special Warfare’s close-combat training contract for any conflicts of interest.
“I have concerns with the process for considering and awarding the contracts that have led to the removal of CQD from SEAL training,” Hunter wrote. “I also have concerns with consistent reports that MMA training is not conducive to SEAL operations.”
CQD’s hand-to-hand combat training was developed in the early 1980s by Duane Dieter, whose background is in martial arts, and adopted by NSW in 1989. Since then, officials with the Secret Service, Drug Enforcement Agency and other government organizations have used Dieter’s training, according to CQD’s website.