Marine Corps Martial Arts
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
Green Belt: Intermediate fundamentals of MCMA; techniques against a
Brown Belt: Introduction to Advanced fundamentals of MCMA; techniques against
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
Next: the Tan belt course