Martial arts program keeps Marines mentally, physically sharp

Marines and sailors listen to instruction provided by Sgt. Michael Little during a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program training session onboard the USS Boxer June 17, 2016.


By CHRIS CHURCH | STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 27, 2016

ABOARD THE USS BOXER — Marines with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Brigade embarked with the USS Boxer Amphibious Ready Group have to be ready for a variety of contingencies and operations they could face at a moment’s notice in the Middle East.

Marines stay sharp through the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, or MCMAP, which focuses on hand-to-hand and close-quarters combat.

The Marines on board the Boxer use any opportunity they can to learn and practice MCMAP in the hangar bay, said Sgt. Michael Little, a MCMAP instructor.

“It reminds us what the mission at hand really is,” Little said. “It’s prepare for combat. So we are out here doing combative techniques, learning rules of engagement and just fighting.”

The training isn’t just about striking and grappling, Little said. It’s about the three pillars of MCMAP: physical, mental and character development. It’s about creating an ethical warrior.

Twitter: @CChurchStripes


Sgt. David Lam provides instruction for applying the arm bar during Marine Corps Martial Arts Program training onboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer June 17, 2016.

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