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Marine Corps Martial Arts Program


Shusko: The Marine Corps Martial Arts Program has been around for about 10 years now. It's a combination of many different martial arts disciplines with One Mind Any Weapon as our motto. There's weapons all over the battlefield. It could be a helmet, it could be a knife, a rifle, or our hands -- anything on the battlefield can be a weapon of opportunity. All Marines, it doesn't matter if you're an aviator or a female or a male or a grunt, we all are gonna do this program. Every Marine going through Parris Island and San Diego have to go through 26.5 hours to get their first level tan belt. Everything we do we tie to the core values of honor, courage, commitment. We're not just focused on the fighting, we're focused on physical discipline of actually being in shape. We're focused on the mental discipline of honing your minds to be a warrior. And then we're also tying everything to character.

Thompson: Physically, obviously we're doing combat conditioning, the PFT, physical fitness test, just being ready at all times.

Shusko: We sometimes may get dropped in a helicopter or a Humvee and then we have to kick in a door or climb a mountain or something like that, well, you need to be physically fit 'cause you're carrying all this gear, so part of the program under the physical discipline of martial arts is a combat conditioning.

Callen: You have to train like you fight. We're expecting guys to go out and use these techniques effectively in combat.


Ott: The mental discipline is knowing your job, being professional, having the mental toughness to continue.

Thompson: And so a lot of PME which is like your professional military education, going to schools, making sure you know your job, you know, as an infantry man I gotta know my job in and out, so therefore, mentally I'm preparing myself.


Thompson: The character really gives those Marines, those tools to know when or when not to use certain techniques.


Callen: We strive to create an ethical warrior, someone that's guided by ethics and morals to do what we have to go do as Marines every day. We teach these Marines, raise their character discipline and teach 'em how to be better people once they join, rejoin society from the Marine Corps.


Callen: There's been several cases where Marines have used the MCMAP system to protect themselves, to protect others.

Mathurin: The non-lethal techniques work very well and I believe that a lot of Marines use those out there.

Thompson: I went in and used some of the techniques to get this guy to the ground so we could subdue him, cuff him up and take him out of there.

Ott: Occasionally, it comes into the point where maybe your weapons out of play, maybe you're out of ammo, MCMAP gives us tools, gives us options that we can use, so now we can respond effectively to a wider variety of situations.

Shusko: It's all about survival and it's all about being as physically fit as you can, morally straight as you possibly can to do the right thing.