Marines from across the country joined forces at Luke Air Force Base to complete a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program instructor course. The course began Feb. 3 and concluded Feb. 15 with 27 new MCMAP instructors.
MCMAP is a combat system developed by the U.S. Marine Corps to combine existing and new hand-to-hand and close-quarters combat techniques with morale and team building functions and instruction in the Warrior Ethos.
The program trains Marines in unarmed combat, edged weapons, weapons of opportunity, and rifle and bayonet techniques. It also stresses mental and character development, including the responsible use of force, leadership and teamwork.
“The biggest fundamental of MCMAP is that it instills physical and mental discipline into our Marines,” said Marine Sgt. James Sabol, Camp Pendleton 1st Law Battalion military working dog handler. “It encompasses the entire Marine idea. It’s not only important to be physically fit, but we need to have the mental and character discipline in knowing that if the fight comes to us, we can keep a level head to make the proper decisions for whatever the situation or battle dictates.”
During the course, the instructors focused on three areas: academics, combat conditioning and learning techniques.
In academics, the Marines learned components of wellness, how to take care of themselves and other Marines, and how to administer tests to fellow Marines.
The class learned various types of combat conditioning, and how to work under pressure and put combat conditioning programs together for other Marines.
As the Marines learned these techniques, they were also taught the methods contained in all the belt levels, the physical techniques of MCMAP, how to work a bayonet, knife, weapons of opportunity, and how to use leverage to move others around.
During the final day of the course the Marines showed how they had mastered the necessary skills and different areas of combat conditioning. Everything is put together to show the cohesion and teamwork they learned in their time together.
“The biggest thing is the leadership they learned from this course that they will take back and use to train the Marines in their units to be more proficient, not only in their leadership skills but in their combat and character skills,” Sabol said.
After completing the course, the Marines became instructors for 7-level black belt and 7-level brown belt in MCMAP.
“I’ve learned different types of drills to run for combat conditioning, and different techniques to become proficient because I am a smaller-framed female,” said Marine Sgt. Chenee Bibian, Engineer Company C administrative chief, who at 4’ 11” was the shortest Marine in the training.
“I feel that becoming an instructor is only going to make me a better person and Marine because it’s going to instill in me a better mentality to lead Marines not only from behind a desk or in the field, but in martial arts as well,” she said.