US Army Combatives

Hand to Hand Combat during Marine Corps Recruit Training

Recruits of Bravo Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, learned the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program chokes and counter techniques at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Calif., Aug. 25.hand-to-hand3

The purpose of MCMAP is to teach the basic fundamentals of hand-to-hand combat while instilling warrior ethos in recruits.

“Recruits train to use it in defense, and the warrior ethos teaches recruits to uphold a high standard of military conduct,” said Sgt. Robert H. Mobley, drill instructor, Platoon 1031. “[MCMAP] is a synergy of mental, character and physical disciplines with application across the full spectrum of violence.”

The program was implemented to increase the combat efficiency, as well as to increase the confidence and leadership abilities of Marines, explained 27-year-old Mobley, a Brooklyn, N.Y., native.

Throughout the MCMAP session, recruits learned two different chokes, as well as how to defend against them. The first choke taught was the blood choke, which constricts blood from entering the brain. Following the blood choke, recruits were shown how to properly execute an air choke, which is used to suppress oxygen from reaching the brain. Once the MCMAP instructor felt recruits could perform the chokes, they were given a lesson regarding how to defend them.hand-to-hand2

Once Sgt. Todd Talley, MCMAP instructor, demonstrated the techniques, recruits were paired with a partner to practice them. To ensure safety of the recruits, the chokes were not applied completely, rather the recruit having the technique applied was instructed to tap their partners as soon as they felt the choke was being applied correctly.

As a training requirement, recruits must earn their tan belts in MCMAP to graduate. Once recruits have earned the title Marine and are sent to the Fleet Marine Force, the
y will be able to advance their belts to the next level. Belt levels include, tan, gray, green, brown and black.

To earn each belt, Marines are tested on different MCMAP moves that apply to that particular belt level. Marines will not only hand-to-hand1be tested for the belt they are attempting to obtain, but they will also be tested on techniques from prior belt curriculum to ensure skill retention. Knowledge on warrior ethos and displaying confidence with every MCMAP move are both part of the final test.

“It teaches us the basics and fundamentals of hand-to-hand combat,” said Recruit Macintyre J. Allen, Platoon 1031. “MCMAP gives us confidence and teaches us aggression, which are two important traits every Marine must have.”

Marines train to be combat ready, and MCMAP is one of the ways we prepare for the fight, explained 19-year-old Allen, a Chicago native.

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