Armed Forces Development Programs
Sharpening the Tactical Athlete

Stephen M. Apatow
Biomechanics Specialist & Technical Consultant
Founder, Director of Research and Development
Sports Medicine & Science Institute

Phone: (203) 668-0282


Pathobiologics International


The SOF community recognized that before engaging in these practical applications, a subconscious, basic understanding and integration of foundational, functional movement patterns was necessary for the SOF soldier to accomplish high level functional skills.  Most SOF Soldiers have a general idea of how to train for strength, agility, power and endurance; however, knowing how to maintain  proper, natural anatomical alignment through difficult movement patterns is where most SOF Soldiers falter or fail.  Every group has randomly distributed individuals with natural ability who were able to see, understand and conduct movement easily; however, enabling Soldiers to master fundamental movement is an extreme challenge for a human performance staff due to Soldiers' limited understanding or knowledge of biomechanics and other motion science related fields.  Limited time available in packed training schedules also contributes to this recipe for human performance disaster.  Gray Cook, in his book entitled "Athletic Body in Balance," referred to this issue as the Functional Paradigm (Cook, 2003).  Many SOF warriors required to complete sometimes highly complex tasks have not mastered functional movements before moving to functional performance or higher level skill tasks.  Like amateur or professional athletes, being a "Tactical Athlete" has it's own set of specific physical and mental requirements; however, at the core of any successful athletic endeavor is a basic understanding of movement.  Building functional movement is the same as constructing a house.  All the walls, trimmings, crown molding, and other gingerbread will fall down without a solid, functional foundation upon which to build. -- THOR3: Humans are More Important Than Hardware: Benjamin W. Knipscher, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey California Thesis, December 2010. pg 3-4.

In The Spotlight


Coaching sports and Olympic development programs over the last 25 years, my emphasis on fundamentals can't be over stated.  In the context of biomechanics, classical training and alignment objectives of Eastern Bloc development programs (gymnastics, figure skating, etc.) provides the reference point for analysis and optimization of precision control of the human frame in space.  Cross country skiing and sports specific aerobic conditioning, including the importance of LSD training, provides a reference point for optimization of systemic function/performance and pathology reversal.

My SOM orthopedics focus includes biomechanical and orthopedic analysis based on classical training and postural alignment ideals (considered the most advanced technical movement mechanics training in the world), correction (includes articular level elasticity restoration with spine/extremity compensatory inclusion), and retraining for function restoration for austere conditions and optimization of healing.

Note: Orthopedic Applications:   Scoliosis, Rheumatoid ArthritisAsthma, Fibromyalgia, Friedreich Ataxia, Multiple Sclerosis and veterinary applications (See: Expanding Human to Veterinary Biomechanics Applications).

Developmental Training:  1980-Present

  • Ultradistance Running
  • Ultradistance Cycling
  • Powerlifting - Strength Training
  • Classical Ballet Based Biomechanics Training
  • Mixed Martial Arts

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