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AFP Marine Cpl. Leopoldo Bertucio, with the 55th Marine Corps, lands a kick to the inner thigh of U.S. Marine Sgt. Hector Lazo, a combat engineer, during the body hardening portion of Marine Corps Martial Arts Program training.
AFP Marine Cpl. Leopoldo Bertucio, with the 55th Marine Corps, lands a kick to the inner thigh of U.S. Marine Sgt. Hector Lazo, a combat engineer, during the body hardening portion of Marine Corps Martial Arts Program training. (Fred Zimmerman / S&S)
AFP Marine Cpl. Leopoldo Bertucio, with the 55th Marine Corps, lands a kick to the inner thigh of U.S. Marine Sgt. Hector Lazo, a combat engineer, during the body hardening portion of Marine Corps Martial Arts Program training.
AFP Marine Cpl. Leopoldo Bertucio, with the 55th Marine Corps, lands a kick to the inner thigh of U.S. Marine Sgt. Hector Lazo, a combat engineer, during the body hardening portion of Marine Corps Martial Arts Program training. (Fred Zimmerman / S&S)
U.S. and AFP Marines practice front break falls during Marine Corps Martial Arts Program training. The U.S. Marines taught AFP Marines basic MCMAP techniques including strikes, kicks and grappling.
U.S. and AFP Marines practice front break falls during Marine Corps Martial Arts Program training. The U.S. Marines taught AFP Marines basic MCMAP techniques including strikes, kicks and grappling. (Fred Zimmerman / S&S)
U.S. Marine Sgt. Hector Lazo, a combat engineer, lands a blow to the abs of AFP Marine Cpl. Leopoldo Bertucio, from the 55th Marine Corps, during the body hardening portion of Marine Corps Martial Arts Program training.
U.S. Marine Sgt. Hector Lazo, a combat engineer, lands a blow to the abs of AFP Marine Cpl. Leopoldo Bertucio, from the 55th Marine Corps, during the body hardening portion of Marine Corps Martial Arts Program training. (Fred Zimmerman / S&S)
U.S. and AFP Marines lands strike each other in the abs during the body hardening portion of Marine Corps Martial Arts Program training. The U.S. Marines spend three days training their AFP counterparts on their martial arts.
U.S. and AFP Marines lands strike each other in the abs during the body hardening portion of Marine Corps Martial Arts Program training. The U.S. Marines spend three days training their AFP counterparts on their martial arts. (Fred Zimmerman / S&S)

MARINE BASE TERNATE, Philippines — “Brothers in arms” is the message coming from both U.S. and Armed Forces of the Philippines marines here during Exercise Balikatan 2004.

To help strengthen the bond between the two forces, the U.S. Marines recently shared their hand-to-hand fighting skills with their AFP counterparts by holding three days of Marine Corps Martial Arts Program training. U.S. Marines from 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines and Combat Assault Battalion from the 3rd Marine Division, from Okinawa, spent three days teaching MCMAP basics — break falls, body hardening, grappling and more — to AFP marines.

MCMAP instructor Cpl. Cody Quinney said the training “is a little difficult with the language barrier, but they try hard and they put out the effort, so that’s good. … It’s all basic fundamentals. Everybody is a warrior and everybody is a killer.”

The first day of the training was Feb. 24 — just 24 hours after the Marines arrived on the base. The two forces came together on the beach at the Force Recon camp and paired up, one or two AFP marines to one U.S. Marine. Quinney said all the U.S. Marines are at least tan-belt qualified in MCMAP and can help act as instructors.

Philippine marine Pfc. Levy Calimum, a radioman in the 25th Marine Corps, said, “It’s important to learn martial arts from the U.S. Marine Corps to support myself and better provide safety within the Philippine Marine Corps.”

But the martial arts training at Ternate isn’t one-sided. AFP marine Capt. Rommel Abrau, public information officer, said his force would share its their martial art of Pekiti with the U.S. Marines.

Quinney said he’s looking forward to that. “This training is very important,” he said, “and I hope to learn their martial arts as well.” AFP marines “are awesome knife fighters ... hopefully they can teach me a little something as well.”

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