Martial arts instructor honored for training US Army in combat techniques

    The training included angles of attack against any type of weapon.

    In 1991, Fong updated the US Army Combative Manual with numerous techniques in long range, mid range and up close combat such as Kali, Mapilindo Silat and Muay Thai martial arts, Mullen said, adding that Fong is not credited in the manual.

    “There’s a difference between Army combative and self-defense,” Mullen said. “(With combative) you want to .. take the fight to your enemy. You want to kill and destroy your opponent.”

    Mullen said Fong didn’t accept any monetary compensation for the training he provided.

    “I don’t expect anything,” Fong told the AJC. “I just wanted the soldier to have support. I do whatever I can to support the Constitution and this country.”

    Fong, a native of Hong Kong, said he moved to the US in 1968 at age 21. He came to Atlanta in 1975 and opened Francis Fong Martial Arts Academy on Medlock Bridge Road a year later.

    At his academy, he is called “Sifu,” a Cantonese term meaning both teacher and father.

    “Students treat the teacher more like your father,” Fong said of the term. “The teacher treats students more like the son.”

    Mullen said the US Army Combatives program has continued to be updated by other experts with Jiu Jitsu ground fighting techniques and other forms of martial arts.

    “I consider Sifu Francis Fong a trail blazer and an early co-founding father of the Army Combative program,” he said.

    Saint Maurice, the namesake of the medallion, was a leader of the Roman legion that marched in service of the Roman Empire 287 AD, according to the nonprofit.

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