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U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Ross Frizzell, a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program student, hones his ground fighting skills during a MCMAP class aboard the USS New Orleans, at sea, Feb. 29, 2016. Marines begin to learn ground-fighting techniques during the second level of MCMAP, gray belt, to build on the first level, tan belt. More than 4,500 Sailors and Marines from the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit team are currently transiting the Pacific Ocean toward the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations during a scheduled deployment. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Alvin Pujols/RELEASED)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Alvin Pujols

13th MEU stays ready with MCMAP

7 Mar 2016 | Lance Cpl. Alvin Pujols 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit

“A [Marine Corps Martial Arts Program] class teaches Marines the fundamentals of hand-to-hand combat, ground fighting and self-defense techniques, along with incorporating our leadership traits, warrior ethos and Marine Corps history,” said U.S. Marine Cpl. Francis Mueller, a MCMAP instructor and  heavy equipment mechanic with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard the USS New Orleans.

As America’s 9-1-1 force, U.S. Marines are constantly finding ways to adapt and overcome any obstacle, which means incorporating varied training methods into the whole Marine concept: a physically fit individual with knowledge of Marine Corps history who embodies the leadership traits and principles, and understands the warrior ethos.

The Marine Corps Martial Arts Program gives Marines the building blocks of self-defense structure should they need it in real life, enhancing combat readiness and effectiveness.

“It’s our job as instructors to build confidence in the Marine’s ability to execute the techniques taught and add the technique to their tool box should the need arise,” said Mueller.

Since its introduction, MCMAP has been tested, evaluated, and refined. It combines the best combat-tested martial arts skills and time-honored, close-combat training techniques with proven Marine core values and leadership training, said Capt. Jamison Yi in an article for Military Review magazine.

“During each session, along with the techniques, we incorporate leadership traits and the warrior ethos Marines are known for,” Mueller said. “We discuss famous Marines in our Corps’ history, like Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone and Cpl. Dakota Meyer [who were awarded the Medal of Honor], and compare the struggles they have gone through to our own [struggles] to overcome the obstacles of the day.”

Teamwork is also an important lesson that is incorporated.

“If you conduct a team grappling session, you teach Marines to dispatch [their] opponent quickly and move on to the next enemy to help the Marine to the left and right of you,” said Mueller.

The MCMAP syllabus builds upon itself as Marines continue to progress through the levels. There are five basic MCMAP belt levels, each with a corresponding color: Tan, Gray, Green, Brown and Black.

“Grasping all the various techniques, which continue to build as you go further in the MCMAP syllabus, can be a daunting task,” said Lance Cpl. Louis Pantojas, a MCMAP student and artillery mechanic with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

The Marines and Sailors of the 13th MEU continue to seek self-improvement and excellence through the MCMAP course, not only adding to their fighting capabilities but building their warrior ethos, as they transit through the Pacific Ocean.

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