Bulk Fuel Company C Marines are giving Luke Air Force Base Airmen a taste of Marine life through a two-week combative course which began Monday and will go to Dec. 20 at the Luke Warrior Fitness Center.
Marine Staff Sgt. Glen Cline, 6th Engineer Support Battalion maintenance chief, said he enjoys sharing this part of his culture with Airmen.
“It breeds good camaraderie,” he said. “We may come from completely separate worlds, but we still end up fighting the same bad guy, and that’s why we want to teach this course. It lets Airmen see a little bit of our culture and also lets us Marines see a little bit of the Air Force culture.”
The Hand 2 Hand combative course is a 10-day class teaching students the basics of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program. Introduced in 2001, the program combines close-quarters combat techniques with morale and team-building instruction.
While some Airmen may be new to martial arts training, it is an integral part of being a Marine.
“Every Marine is a rifleman, first and foremost,” Cline said. “At the end of the day, we can be snagged up for a combat patrol or whatever we are needed to do. We need to sustain that knowledge we acquired throughout years of martial arts training so we can be ready to be called upon if the situation arises.”
Cline said the benefits of practicing martial arts are evident both in and out of the combat zone.
“One of the biggest things about the MCMAP is it teaches you to only apply as much force as needed to control the situation, so it’s effective not only in the combat zone but also in everyday life,” he said.
Aside from being combat ready, martial arts training also presents a personal challenge.
“I enjoy the physical challenge,” Cline said. “You’re never going to go into a ground engagement at 100 percent. You’re always going to be tired or fatigued in some way, and you have to train yourself to overcome that. The physical aspect is very important because it trains your body to fight even when it’s tired.”
Previous experience in martial arts is not required for new students to the course. All that is required is a willingness to learn.
“We’re willing to teach whoever wants to learn,” Cline said. “We like teaching because it feels very good to help and pass knowledge to others. I know these are quality students because they want to be there and learn something, and they put forth the effort to be there.”
Air Force Staff Sgt. Aaron Peacock, 56th Component Maintenance Squadron test cell craftsman, helped teach the course last year and is participating this time around as a student. He understands the importance of physical fitness in today’s military and believes Airmen would greatly benefit from a martial arts program similar to the MCMAP.
“I wish this program existed in the Air Force because it works wonders for unit cohesion, self-confidence and helps with overall mission readiness,” Peacock said. “I think this course is great for self development and I highly recommend it.”