Photo Information

Sgt. Joshua Ott, instructor trainer, Martial Arts Center of Excellence, Quantico Va., demonstrates how to disarm an enemy trying to strike over-head using Sgt. Timothy Ainsworth, physical training instructor, Officer Candidate School, Quantico, Va. at Soldier Field May 13.

Photo by Cpl. Jose Nava

Community gets a taste of Marine martial arts

14 May 2009 | Cpl. Jose Nava

Marines from the Martial Arts Center of Excellence, Quantico, Va., demonstrated techniques from the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program for 800 Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps yesterday at Soldier Field during Marine Week Chicago.

Marine Week is a week-long event in which there are scheduled programs throughout the Chicago area.

“The demonstration was great because it shows a little bit of everything that the Marine Corps can teach you and what a person can get out of the lessons,” said 17-year-old Chicago native, Cadet 2nd Lt. Josh Turbaine.

During the demonstration, some of the cadets were invited on stage to learn the basic wrist lock, a low level MCMAP technique taught in recruit training.

The demonstration of the Corps’ hand-to-hand combat program teaches both non-lethal and lethal techniques. MCMAP combines existing and new hand-to-hand techniques with moral and character development of its students.

“I believe that it is good that the Marines learn those techniques because not everybody thinks about the basics of hand-to-hand combat,” Turbaine said.

Turbaine is scheduled to ship to recruit training to become a U.S. Marine in August.

 There are five different belt levels in MCMAP, beginning with the tan belt and ending with a black belt. Once a Marine reaches the third belt level, a green belt, he can try to become a martial arts instructor.

“Every year we go and try to improve the 180 plus techniques that we have in the Marine Corps, so we are always looking to improve ourselves,” said Sgt. Steven Richardson, MCMAP instructor trainer, MACE, Quantico, Va.

To become an instructor, the Marine has to attend a three-week course at one of several martial arts satellite schools around the Marine Corps and trained by Martial Arts Instructor Trainers. After the Marine completes the course, he is awarded the appropriate belt with a vertical tan tab to signify that he is a MAI.

After becoming a MAI and earning a black belt, the Marine can attend the seven week course at the Martial Arts Center of Excellence at Quantico, Va., to become a trainer. Once the Marine finishes the course, he is awarded a vertical red tab to signify that he is a MAIT. 

Making instructor trainers is the mission for MACE and once a Marine completes the difficult seven week course we award them the ability to make MAIs said Richardson. In turn they can go out into the Fleet Marine Force and help to raise Marines’ MCMAP belt levels.

 “Marine Week is great because it opens up peoples’ minds to MACE and MCMAP while explaining what the Marine Corps does,” said Richardson.

Marine Corps News

Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps