Combatives not only served to preserve Donnie Bowen’s life, they became his life. After serving twenty-two years in the United States Army—fourteen of which were spent in the Special Forces—his combative skills moved from the battlefield to the mat, and from the mat to the screen.
Donnie competed in PanAm Jiu Jitsu and All Army Combatives, where he was titled the lightweight champion in 2010. He has since competed in the California World Championship and the World Masters in Las Vegas.
He took this competitive spirit to the screen as a competitor on Maximum Warrior, the one-of-a-kind military reality competition that tests ten of America's most elite military operators. He is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, and was featured in an Army commercial. Most recently, Donnie was chosen as a Special Forces authority and trainer for the History Channel’s, The Selection: Special Operations Experiment.
While Donnie Bowen has held positions of honor on and off the mat, his humility is what positions him to serve his community and fellow soldiers with such great passion. He and his wife, Michelle, started the dojo, Bowen Combative Arts Academy, and the non-profit, Battleground Perazim.
Donnie is a warrior, with or without a uniform. His heart is not to take the fight out of the soldier, but to teach them what is worth fighting for in life. In Donnie’s own words, “Combatives enable strength and confidence to stand up for their faith and what means most to them. Instead of being a victim, be empowered to decide if you want to bite back.”
Michelle Bowen, herself once a military spouse, understands first-hand what being an ignored number feels like. Her soldier now retired, she also understands what happens to a woman whose sole identity was in the military once that title is removed. It has become her fiery passion to ignite the hearts of women back to the Word of God and what He says about true womanhood.
While the world and its military sees nothing but the soldier, the loving Father in heaven sees a beautiful masterpiece beside him, and joined to him.
Through this personal ministry, the Lord uses Michelle to reach into the brokenness and bring healing to the woman herself, to marriages, and to families of which these women represent.
Donnie and Michelle reside in Clarksville, Tn with their two daughters. They have four children and currently, four grandchildren. Their eldest son serves in the United States Army. Their youngest son serves in the United States Air Force.