I believe the specialist is taking the original writer’s meaning the wrong way ("Brute strength theory blasted," letter, April 30). Of course anyone with in-depth knowledge of martial arts and self-defense training can overcome a larger and stronger opponent; that idea has been proved time and time again.

The flaw comes as far as the "in-depth" knowledge. I don’t care if they are female or male. Randomly choose any military member from a lineup and I’m willing to bet good money he can’t overcome a surprise attack by someone 100 pounds heavier than he is. I understand "the bigger they are, the harder they fall," but is it safe to assume something so important when it may or may not be someone’s greatest regret?

I do not know the details behind the Modern Army Combatives Program, and I don’t doubt the specialist’s skills; what I doubt, though, is the general idea that any taught system of fighting can easily and effectively teach a 140-pound person to overcome a 240-pound person when he may have had the same training.

Is it worth it to be attacked and regret it in the end? Or is it just simpler to enforce a battle buddy system? The original topic came down because a female saw it as sexist ("How military views female GIs," letter, April 13), and I agree; we should not be holding double standards for something so trivial because it would diminish unit cohesion.

Compared to troops who witness rounds flying inches above their heads, I think finding a buddy to go to the exchange with is a lot easier and safer.

Lance Cpl. Khoi D. TrieuCamp Leatherneck, Afghanistan

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