In the Rostov brigade.

Three of us came - me, a conscript German and a soldier Zhuravlev. The brigade had just left Azerbaijan and was housed in tents in an open field not far from Aksai. The officers and soldiers of the brigade fought more with everyday difficulties than they were engaged in combat training.

Drowning waist-deep in the fertile Rostov mud, the officers began to create the brigade almost anew. However, the fighters had to be trained.

Shooting took place rarely, the brigade did not have its own training ground at that time, the main occupations were tactical, special and physical training. Everyone spent it as best they could. For a change, I decided to introduce hand-to-hand combat into the rather meager program of that time. On exercise, instead of the usual warm-up from the NFP, I introduced the warm-up used in martial arts, and the development of hand-to-hand combat complexes. We also practiced protection against blows and the blows themselves. Some of the commanders perceived this as an eccentricity, the battalion commander demanded strict adherence to the combat training program. But when it was required to do a "show" on the day of the oath, it was me who was entrusted with it. It was easy to make. The main techniques were worked out, the whole company was doing the complex of hand-to-hand combat synchronously, it remained to make a small script, add a little imitation and blank shots, and rehearse all this several times beforehand. "Show-off" was a success.

They began to appreciate me as a clever in hand-to-hand combat, but veterans of the Afghan war and participants in the Karabakh events did not take it seriously, for which they had their own reasons. I was able to verify their validity soon.

The outbreak of the Ossetian-Ingush conflict demanded the presence of the GRU special forces in the very heat of events, and the brigade's detachments went one by one to the conflict zone in order to participate in its elimination. Our squadron also soon found itself there. The administration was located in the former general military school. Our detachment is located in one of the cadets' barracks.

The tasks were very diverse. From reconnaissance missions to search for bases of illegal armed groups in the border areas, to the protection of the interim administration. When searching for illegal armed groups, we walked through the mountains observing all the rules of camouflage, pathfinding and tactics, which in itself is difficult and slow. Each one had 20-25 kg of cargo on his shoulders, which made our movement in mountainous and wooded areas extremely slow and required large physical costs. Abandoned bases were marked on the map, if a person met in the forest, they would inspect him, check his documents and escort him to the temporary administration.

I asked myself the question, what if someone I met in the forest would start to resist or shoot, what is the best way to act in these conditions? You can't wave your legs, a punch is also ineffective, there is a lever, immobilization and bending your arms behind your back. Then tying or handcuffs. Everything operates with the effect of surprise, a significant advantage in physical strength, or an overwhelming will to resist the threat of a weapon.

At security events, when representatives of the interim administration met with the leaders of the militants, different skills were required. We drove to the outskirts of a settlement where this meeting took place, somewhat reminiscent of a meeting of an agent intelligence officer with partisans. The leaders have their own guards, the guards have their own "show-offs" and attempts to put pressure on us. It all started with a psychological duel, which took into account the weight, height, weapons, clothing of the parties, but the main thing was the ability to conduct a controversial dialogue. In the latter, we were clearly losing, but the closest security circle of the administration was made up of Alpha fighters, commanded by the legendary Sergei Andreevich Polyakov. All the guys were older than us and had more life and combat experience. When communicating with them, coarse criminal slang with a Caucasian accent elm in verified short phrases of the conceptual apparatus of the KGB of the USSR. It almost never came to the use of physical force, let alone fire contact. But we have always placed the fighters in such a way that in case of fire contact we have a tactical advantage. The use of physical force consisted in a polite, but not tolerating objection, pushing the "horsemen" into the zone where they should be. There was no talk of the use of strikes, as this could lead to a conflict with the use of weapons and disrupt the negotiation process.

With "Alpha" we conducted joint exercises, they taught us to operate at close distances, shoot indoors and act tactically competently while ensuring the safety of the protected person. These classes were not in vain and came in handy already during the first Chechen war. In the meantime, we continued to train the fighters according to the combat training program. At the mass sports, I still taught them hand-to-hand combat with a bias in karate. As a team of officers, we visited the pool and the gym, where we also practiced hand-to-hand combat.

My boxing training has improved over the years, but it was still a weak point. Despite the experience gained at the point of permanent deployment, there were few changes. As before, household work and domestic difficulties interfered with the qualitative personal growth of officers and fighters of the brigade. From time to time I organized "showings", which were popular with the population of Rostov-on-Don. While jumping, he met the officers of the Krasnodar separate special forces company. They were all enamored with the Kadochnikov system and demonstrated the mechanisms of its action. She did not make much of an impression on us - good karate or boxing technique had an advantage in single combat, but I liked some aspects of technique and the very approach to hand-to-hand combat. For myself, I concluded that the approach to hand-to-hand combat is promising from the point of view of biomechanics. Looking from this point of view at the technique that I used, I came to understand how it can be improved and developed.

The year 1994 began, my group won the special forces group competition in the brigade and became the best. I already knew the whole program of training special scouts quite well and was considered a good commander. But life was somehow sluggish, there was not enough self-realization, risk, a sense of the fullness of life and the demand for your skills. Even treacherous thoughts about dismissal crept in, but then the Chechen war broke out.

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