Depot units team up for advanced MCMAP
By Cpl. Ethan E. Rocke
| | June 20, 2003
MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif. --
Sweat pours off his flushed, red face, stinging his eyes as he and his adversary twist and manipulate one another's body with tortured intensity. He has already engaged five adversaries -- all of them strong and determined, none of them willing to quit.
Suddenly, he sees his window of opportunity. With a surge of adrenaline, he instinctively shifts his body weight and with a lightning-quick intensity, traps his opponent's arm in an arm-bar joint-manipulation move, and with the sound of a hand slapping the mat, victory is his.
This intense ground-fighting session, affectionately referred to as bull in the ring by most Marines, is part of the training for students in the three-week-long Martial Arts Instructor Course here.
The course has been taught aboard the Depot for some time by martial arts instructor trainers from Recruit Training Regiment, but for the first time, Headquarters and Service Battalion and RTR have joined forces to teach the course.
This is a move many of the instructors are excited about.
"H and S (martial arts) instructors weren't being used to teach MAI courses," said Staff Sgt. Randy Nielsen, Martial Arts Instructor Trainer, RTR. "We've added a lot of diversity and camaraderie to the course with the coordination between units."
The MAI course is part of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program. The course enables and qualifies Marines to be responsible instructors and leaders in MCMAP.
"To be a good trainer (of MCMAP), you have to be mentally ready, and this course prepares you for that," said Staff Sgt. Francisco Rivera, one of 18 current students in the course.
According to Nielsen, the instructors place a lot of emphasis on leadership, camaraderie and esprit de corps, in addition to the various advanced MCMAP techniques and character development training in the course.
"The purpose of this course is not just to teach martial arts," he said. "The students have to become proficient in all the techniques and also have the mental and character discipline and ability to lead and instruct Marines in those techniques."
Marines from bases all over the San Diego area attend the MAI course here, and many of the current students said they agree it is a good course.
"It builds a lot of camaraderie," said Rivera. "It's good training. You really can't beat it."