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How the Martial Arts Center of Excellence Produces Fierce H2HC Fighters Through MCMAP
1 BLACK BELT
STORY AND PHOTOS BY LOREN FRANCK
Those are also top MCMAP priorities. And traditional martial arts instill honor. Marine Corps since 1775.) • Unarmed combat: The repertoire includes armbars. California. come-alongs. training and discipline.” explains Sgt. follow-ups against thrusts and improvised weapons. an Active Interest Media Publication.com . state or local law. The purchase or use of some of the products. Our intent? To develop every Marine into a fully capable warrior and to enhance the warrior ethos of our Corps. physical and character development of all United States Ma- rines. the Marines aren’t just keeping pace with the techniques of the modern battlefield. leadership and warfighting training programs. Combat has changed since then. Established in mid-2000. and firearm-retention techniques. But MCMAP skips the fanfare and folklore and cuts to the chase. • Edged weapons: Students learn vertical slashes and thrusts. you should consult a physician before using these products or services or applying these techniques. sale or use of such products and services and the application of the techniques discussed or illustrated in this document. reverse slashes and thrusts. Case in point: The Marine Corps Martial Arts Program. “The program draws on our existing core values. The traditional arts demand rigorous study. wrist locks.F. when it was created by the Continental Congress to execute amphibious assaults.S. Marines are familiar with many of its components. “There is a connection between the traditional mar- Deadly Disciplines The moves of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program fall into four fighting categories: • Rifle and bayonet: Techniques include vertical and horizontal rifle-butt strokes. too. — L. But freedom-loving people must fight them — and win. and so has the Corps. state. So does MCMAP. services or techniques. That’s been the mission of the U. With Marine Corps martial arts. Most traditional martial arts have similar goals. Beatriz Yarrish. Neither Black Belt Communications nor the author makes any representation or warranty regarding the legality or appropriateness of any technique mentioned or depicted in this document. DISCLAIMER BLACK BELT COMMUNICATIONS. services or techniques advertised or discussed in this document may be illegal in some areas of the United States or other countries. it’s literally do-or-die on 21stcentury battlefields.N obody likes war. “MCMAP creates synergy among the mental. Sound familiar? It should. The publisher makes no representation or warranty concerning the legality of the purchase or use of these products. services and techniques advertised or discussed in this document. In short. Specific self-defense responses illustrated in this document may not be justified in any particular situation in view of all of the circumstances or under applicable federal. takedowns and countermoves. James Shadle. courage and commitment. MCMAP does. does not endorse and makes no representation. warranty or guarantee concerning the safety or effectiveness of either the products and services advertised in this magazine or the martial arts or other techniques discussed or illustrated in this document. Therefore. fixed-bayonet thrusts and slashes. Yet as the war on terrorism continues. and combines them with a new weapons-based martial arts system. a martial arts instructor trainer at Camp Pendleton. It is essential that you consult a physician regarding whether or not to attempt any technique described in this document. as publisher. Because of the nature of some of the products. MCMAP (pronounced “mick-map”) is a comprehensive close-combat system that gives practitioners equal doses of fighting skill and character development. who is 5 feet tall and weighs 100 pounds but can wield one with deadly accuracy. services and techniques in the United States or elsewhere. MCMAP prepares all Marines for the challenges of modern warfare. 2 BLACK BELT blackbeltmag. and local laws prior to your purchase or use of these products. and knife de-fenses. You may be injured if you apply or train in the techniques illustrated in this document and neither Black Belt Communications nor the author is responsible for any such injury that may result. (A standard-issue entrenching tool is the favorite improvised weapon of 2nd Lt. The publisher expressly disclaims any and all liability relating to the manufacture. you should check federal. Ancient fighting systems help practitioners subdue enemies quickly and effectively. They’re leading the way. • Weapons of opportunity: Training emphasizes blocks.” EAST MEETS WEST Because MCMAP is rooted in the traditional martial arts.
says Gunnery Sgt. James now teaches at the Recruit Depot. Without use of the leg.” James says. he has three options: hold the other man stationary until help arrives. But against the enemy. but Marines train for combat. Here. an instructor at Camp Pendleton. Arturo Hernandez. It sounds brutal. That’s our job. tial arts and MCMAP. COMBAT READY Like Hernandez. Orlando Diaz.” MCMAP works so well because it’s simple.” he continues.” Many of the techniques that make up the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program are indistinguishable from those of the traditional Asian arts. beat him with it. A former drill instructor. kenpo. He joined the Corps in 1981 and saw the 3 BLACK BELT blackbeltmag. even boxing. “We want to render him useless so he can’t hurt anyone. Eric James sees similarities — and differences — between MCMAP and the traditional arts. Marines have one overriding priority.Marines learn to use whatever works in combat. move him in a specified direction or break his elbow.“But we use only techniques that work on the battlefield. James Shadle uses an aikido armbar to control his foe.com . the enemy has virtually no hope of escaping.000 recruits and hundreds of Marines stationed at the 388-acre base. After securing the technique. commanding officer of Instructional Training Company at San Diego’s Marine Corps Recruit Depot. “MCMAP is composed of several fighting arts. Every year. Staff Sgt.” explains Capt. choke him with it. karate. leave him for dead and keep going. Here. a Marine places his left foot on his enemy’s right thigh. To boost the effectiveness of his Achilles lock. and that’s to kill the enemy — not merely get him off our backs. jujutsu. Many civilianrun martial arts schools teach students to tap out. a Marine delivers an upward palm-heel strike to the chin of his opponent. his unit teaches the program to 20. we break it. including judo. “During combat.
• Courage: It includes mental. Gen. mental and moral development. an instructor trainer at the At the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego.” This tradition is a driving force behind MCMAP. program implemented. Consequently. Jones.” Diaz adds. a drill instructor motivates a student to punch with maximum force during the combat conditioning exercise. Without commitment. James L. • Commitment: It breeds professionalism. moral and physical strength.” writes Jones. It’s a tall order. accountability and trust.000 Marines fill daily — thanks largely to the MCMAP. this means honesty. “It fits all skill levels and is kept simple because in the heat of combat. as well as an organizational structure that supports operational concepts designed for future threats and mission requirements. It helps Marines do what’s right no matter the circumstances. the Corps has earned great dividends from its institutional tradition of innovation. And it helps them defeat the enemy wherever he’s found. But as the 21st century dawned. pride and mastery of the arts of war.. “Marines need flexible and robust weap ons platforms and equipment. TRADITION OF INNOVATION Line training formerly prepared Marines for hand-tohand combat.com . commandant of the Marine Corps. — L. you’re tired and need to overcome opponents quickly. discipline.. the 32nd general to command the Corps. are not enough to ensure victory on tomorrow’s battlefields. They’re vital to every Marine’s physical. 4 BLACK BELT blackbeltmag. integrity. says Staff Sgt. but it is one that more than 200. They periodically assembled in formation to practice basic techniques. • Honor: For Marines.When Character Counts Three core values are crucial to the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program — and to the Corps itself.F. there would be no MCMAP — and no Marine Corps. MCMAP cultivates courage. respect. “Highly trained warriors . Ernest Cardenas. visualized something better.
“They worked. which he used to teach. South Carolina. It includes multiple techniques so Marines can enter any situation and ‘whup it on. a for mer close-combat instructor. but very effective. Most Marine handto-hand combat ends on the ground. But now everyone receives such training. MCMAP emphasizes grappling techniques such as this secured wrist-lock pin. whether with weapons or hand to hand. He realized that if we earn black belts. 5 BLACK BELT blackbeltmag.” he says. The moves are simple and easy to remember. only select Marines like Mitchell were thoroughly taught the martial arts. the rest of the world will see us as a force ready to defend itself. “We taught chokes and throws that dated to World War II.” Staff Sgt. So have newly commissioned officers. but this is much better. even when tired.Being on the ground under the enemy is a real possibility for Marines. MCMAP was developed so we could train and fight hard. Recruit Depot.’” BOOT-CAMP BASICS Until MCMAP. These men at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot are training full contact for such an eventuality.com . Rodney Mitchell. which is MCMAP’s initial rank. Consequently. believes MCMAP is a huge improvement over line training. “The commandant wants Marines to be known as fierce fighters. have earned their tan belts. Boot-camp graduates in San Diego and Parris Island.
the Corps and each other. Most people fight best when fresh. he says. In fact. is inspired by the program’s high standards.com . It is evolving. as well as from the Eastern arts. Virginia. they are incorporated into the program. it’s here to stay. “Marines are advertised to be warriors who are capable of defending the nation. Sgt. they train in MCMAP within their units. motor transport or operational communications. It is taught on an oval course near the base’s sprawling physical-training field. sleepy or physically exhausted. which have their own martial arts instructors. it’s already a pillar of Marine Corps training.” MCMAP draws from the Western martial art of boxing. When they arrive at their fleet assignments. body drags and other close-combat tasks. a MCMAP instructor and counter- measures technician. so the real challenge for them becomes defeating the enemy when they’re hungry. EVERYTHING MARINE Although MCMAP is new. G. and as better fighting techniques become available. Instructor trainer Ernest Cardenas corrects a Marine’s arm position during a right-hand hook punch. intelligence. After boot camp.” writes Lt. sparring. They receive free training throughout their careers. They seek higher MCMAP belt ranks at the same time. Josh Erlien. director of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Center for Excellence in Quantico. Bristol. the program’s headquarters.The combat conditioning exercise (CCX) is the recruits’ ultimate martial arts challenge. Col. The CCX tests this ability using stations for knee strikes. all Marines are schooled in a military occupational specialty such as infantry.H. 6 BLACK BELT blackbeltmag. breakfalls. character and physical disciplines to be what we are advertised to be. “MCMAP gives [us] the mental.
face rips and triangle chokes from the guard. pistol counters. off-balancing techniques and bayonet fighting. JOIN BLACK BELT ON FACEBOOK facebook. cupped-hand strikes and pressure-point applications.F. leg locks and armbars. • Black belt: Advanced skills. body-hardening exercises. punches.Getting Belted If you’re familiar with karate and tae kwon do. — L.com/blackbeltllc PRINT BLACK BELT MAGAZINE COVERS blackbeltmag. counter-chokes. chokes and throws. wrist locks using enhanced pain compliance. Techniques include elbow and knife-hand strikes. • Brown belt: More intermediate-level fundamentals and introductory advanced-level fundamentals. body strikes. ground fighting and weapons of opportunity. Techniques include muscle gouging. Instruction focuses on core values and principles of leadership. chokes. armbar counters. Instruction includes more basics. sweeping hip throws. and nonlethal baton tactics.com/cover-reprints DOWNLOAD MARTIAL ARTS DVDS blackbeltmag.com/digital-dojo 7 BLACK BELT blackbeltmag. Techniques include bayonet use in low light and against multiple attackers. body-movement angles. counter-strikes. academic study and written exams. Techniques include bayonet methods against multiple attackers.com/black_belt_mag SUBSCRIBE TO BLACK BELT ON YOUTUBE youtube.com/blackbeltmagazine FOLLOW BLACK BELT ON TWITTER twitter. firearm disarms and retention. • Gray belt: Skills for privates first class and lance corporals. Each level includes stretching. Techniques include the basic warrior stance.com . shoulder throws. introductory intermediate-level fundamentals and mental discipline. It spans four colors and six degrees of black. the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program’s belt-ranking system will be nothing new. • Tan belt: Basic techniques for enlisted recruits and officer candidates. • Green belt: Intermediate-level fundamentals for corporals and sergeants.
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