MCMAP and Pugil Sticks

Marine Corps Martial Arts Program

From its inception in 1775, the Marine Corps has distinguished itself as a Martial Culture. The legacy of our Corps is built upon the close combat of ships of sail, the storming of the bois de Belleau, and the holding of "Bloody Ridge" on Guadalcanal. Drawing upon our rich tradition of promoting values and our warrior ethos, the Marine Corps developed the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program or MCMAP. It is a martial art that was designed to be, and is the "synergy of mental, character, and physical disciplines."

MCMAP is based on five, colored-belt levels with six different degrees of Black. Each belt level is broken down into three disciplines, each of which a Marine must become proficient in before attaining the next belt level. The mental, character, and physical disciplines of the warrior are the foundation of the Martial Arts Program.

The mental discipline consists of warrior studies, martial culture studies, combative behavior studies, and other professional military education. The character discipline is built around the Marine Corps' core values: Honor, Courage, and Commitment. The character discipline stresses the role of the warrior on and off the battlefield. The physical discipline consists of the techniques taught at each belt level.

Through the successful synergy of these disciplines at each belt level, a Marine will enhance their own warrior spirit. Recruits are introduced to the fundamentals of MCMAP on training day one and progress towards the final test to earn their Tan Belt. The Tan Belt syllabus teaches recruits basic MCMAP techniques, is an introduction to the martial culture, and form the basis for all further MCMAP instruction.

Pugil Sticks

A pugil stick is a heavily padded training weapon used by military personnel for bayonet training since the 1930s or 1940s. Similar to a quarterstaff, the pugil stick may be marked at one end to indicate which portion represents the bayonet proper and which the butt of the rifle.

Pugil bouts are usually conducted with hard contact while wearing protective gear such as football helmets, flak jackets, groin protectors, and gloves. Many recruits have never experienced the realities of inter-personal violence found in close combat, and pugil sticks provide effective, but safe, "full contact" combative training at the entry level. It is also an effective tool for enhancing the endurance and improvisation that are building blocks to developing the physical skills and mental toughness vital to success on the battlefield.

Martial Arts Training

Recruits of Papa Company practice sweeping their opponent to the ground July 1, 2015, on Parris Island, S.C. The Marine Corps Martial Arts Program is designed to increase the warfighting capabilities of Marines and enhance self-confidence and esprit de corps.
—Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Vanessa Austin

MCMAP and Pugil Sticks

January 29, 2015: Rct. Theodore-Ethan K. Buettner, Platoon 2009, strikes Rct. Landon A. Rudisill, Platoon 2008, Fox Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion,during a pugil stick match Dec. 9, 2014, on Parris Island, S.C. Recruits battle with pugil sticks in two 15-second matches to simulate fighting with bayonet-affixed rifles. Rudisill, 18, from Rutherford College, N.C., and Buettner, 18, from Honolulu, are scheduled to graduate Feb. 13, 2015. Parris Island has been the site of Marine Corps recruit training since Nov. 1, 1915. Today, approximately 20,000 recruits come to Parris Island annually for the chance to become United States Marines by enduring 13 weeks of rigorous, transformative training. Parris Island is home to entry-level enlisted training for 50 percent of males and 100 percent of females in the Marine Corps. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Vaniah Temple)
— USMC Photo.

Above information found on the Parris Island web site, August, 2009.

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