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MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – Lance Cpl. Alexander Garcia, a telephone systems/personal computer intermediate repairer with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, executes “counter to the lead hand punch” as part of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program training here April 29. MCMAP is a hand-to-hand combat system that Marines use as a means of self-defense. MCMAP is an amalgamation of techniques that are influenced by many other established martial arts.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Demetrius Morgan

What is MCMAP?

6 May 2013 | Lance Cpl. Demetrius Morgan 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

The Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, in its basic form, is an abundance of hand-to-hand combat techniques that enable the user to use his body as a weapon. From an outside perspective, combat skills are the only thing MCMAP offers, but Marines who participate in MCMAP recognize the intangible benefits of the program.

“MCMAP emphasizes three core attributes; knowledge, physical fitness, and character,” said Lance Cpl. Alexander Williams, a supply clerk with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit. “When you do MCMAP your strength, speed, and endurance all increase over time, and MCMAP also teaches Marine Corps knowledge while building character.”

MCMAP training starts off by conditioning Marines with rigorous physical training exercises to simulate what the body goes through while in combat. This process is typically called combat conditioning. This is repeated throughout every MCMAP training session.

Immediately after combat conditioning, Marines learn and execute various MCMAP techniques and commit them to memory. When a Marine completes a designated amount of training hours, he or she is allowed to demonstrate that all techniques for the next corresponding belt have been mastered.

“MCMAP takes a lot out of you physically but everyone tries to keep each other going in a competitive way.” said Lance Cpl. Joseph Sanders, the Marine Air Ground Task Force planner with the 11th MEU. “It only gets tougher as you progress but MCMAP gives me a goal to accomplish.”

The 11th MEU conducts MCMAP training every day during working hours. Many Marines like Williams and Sanders have earned their belts while with the MEU and Marines will continue to progress so long as the opportunity exists.

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