MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - Another day, another physical training session. Typically, PT for Marines consists of weight lifting, cross-fit training and running in formation while screaming motivated cadences that few outside the Marine Corps would understand. While these methods are considered effective in maintaining the Marine Corps' physical fitness standard, there are other methods that contribute to benefit Marines in more than just physically.
One of the traditional methods used to improve fitness and build unit cohesion is the Marine Corps obstacle course. Ever since recruit training, Marines have used the obstacle course to help build rapport with one another. Marines with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit upheld the tradition and run the obstacle course as part of a unit PT event here, March 15.
The obstacle course forces Marines to exert their maximum effort in attributes like speed, strength, agility and stamina while ultimately improving those attributes over a period of time. The obstacle course isn't made to be easy; it provides a challenge for even the most physically fit Marines. Marines with the 11th MEU lined up for a chance to take on the challenge.
"It's hard, but everyone was trying to keep each other going," said Lance Cpl. Joseph Sanders, the Marine Air Ground Task Force planner with the 11th MEU. It gave us a goal to work toward every step of the way.
Preceding the obstacle course, the 11th MEU participated in Marine Corps Martial Arts Program training. MCMAP training combines modified techniques from established martial arts programs like Judo and Karate, but also emphasizes the Marine Corps' physical disciplines of combat leadership and core values.
"MCMAP is a broad, and in some ways, basic concept on how to defend yourself in a combat situation," said Cpl. Miguel Bravo, a black belt MCMAP instructor trainer and San Diego native. "For me, MCMAP is a way to teach Marines my experiences with self defense, and at the same time, get Marines to live by a warrior's ethics. It really helps build character."
After a long morning of PT, Marines were given classes on hearing conservation and laser safety. Marines were then dismissed to their sections and returned to the plan of the day.