Marine Corps Martial Arts (MCMAP)

The MCMAP program was developed over several years from 1998 until 2001, when it was implimented fleet-wide. Recruits are now trained to the first level of proficiency (Tan Belt) before graduating boot camp, with follow-on courses intended to be spread out over the Marine's first two enlistments.

MCMAP focuses the United States Marine on three disciplines: physical, mental and character. Akin to many oriental martial arts, MCMAP trains the martial artist to realize when the use of force is appropriate as well as how to apply the force. However, in the name of being politically correct and openminded, USMC has chosen to call it 'character', rather than 'spiritual' development.

MCMAP, much like Krav Maga, is a system of self defense, rather than a "style" of martial arts. It can be effectively used by anyone, of any age, weight or height. It incorporates concepts from many martial arts, including (but not limited to) Karate, Judo, Ba Gua Zhang and Aikido. The purpose of MCMAP is to give individual Marines the skills they need to resolve an unarmed conflict while protecting their own well-being. Many of the techniques are intended to cause enough "massive damage and trauma" to cause an assailant to break off an attack.

Before getting into the meat of the subject, I'd like to talk a little about the belt structure of MCMAP.

MCMAP consists of five basic ranks:
Tan Belt: Introdction to the fundamentals of MCMA; techniques against a single opponent.
Gray Belt: Introduction to intermediate fundamentals of MCMA; techniques against a single opponent.
Green Belt: Intermediate fundamentals of MCMA; techniques against a single oppopnent.
Brown Belt: Introduction to Advanced fundamentals of MCMA; techniques against multiple opponents.<;br> Black Belt 1st degree: Advanced fundamentals; techniques against multiple opponents. A Black Belt 1st degree can teach Tan through Brown techniques and award the appropriate belts.

Additionally, there are various instructor ranks:

Green Belt (instructor): The marine shows excellent proficiency in all tan, gray and green belt techniques and can train other marines in their use. Green Belt (instructor) marines can teach tan through green belt techniques and award the appropriate belt. Instructors are identified by a tan stripe on their green belts.
Black Belt (degree 2-6): instructor trainers. These marines may teach Tan through Black belt (degree dependant) techniques and award the appropriate belt. Degrees are indicated by a number of red stripes on the marine's black belt; there is only one 6th degree black belt in the marine corps.

Next: the Tan belt course

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