Marine Corp Martial Arts Program (MCMAP) in Focus

The Marine Corps Martial Arts Program was developed by the US Marine Corps to combine existing and new hand-to-hand and Close Quarters Combat (CQC) techniques with morale and team-building functions and instruction. MCMAP trains Marines in unarmed combat, edged weapons, weapons of opportunity, and rifle and bayonet techniques. MCMAP also stresses the responsible use of force, leadership, and teamwork. MCMAP differs from previous Marine Corp CQC programs as it also includes non-lethal techniques for use in UN peacekeeping operations.

MCMAP comes from an evolution of hand-to-hand combat training dating back to the creation of the Marine Corps. Captain Samuel Nicholas formed two battalions of Continental Marines on 10 November 1775 in Philadelphia as naval infantry. Bayonet and cutlass techniques were the mainstay of Marine CQC arsenal. During World War I these bayonet techniques were supplemented with unarmed combat techniques. Between WWI and WWII, Colonel Anthony J. Biddle began the creation of standardized bayonet and CQC techniques based on boxing, wrestling, and fencing. Around the same time, Captains W. M. Greene and Samuel B. Griffith began including martial arts techniques from Chinese American Marines and brought this knowledge to other Marines throughout the Marine Corps.

In 1956 Gunnery Sergeant Bill Miller developed a new Marine CQC curriculum. The program from various martial arts styles such as Okinawan karate, judo, and jujutsu. This programme evolved into the LINE System in the early 1980s. The LINE System was found to be lacking in non-lethal techniques necessary for use in in UN peacekeeping operations. The result was MCMAP which was implemented in 2000.

Source Wikipedia

Krav Maga In Focus


There are many, many close quarters combat videos on the Internet and most are not worth watching. The closest I have seen to what I was taught was one documentary on the French Legion. Following that one video, the system that consistently comes closest to what we do is Krav Maga, the Israeli military hand-to-hand combat system.

Krav Maga was developed in Hungary and Czechoslovakia in the 1930s by Imi Lichtenfeld who eventually became the Chief Instructor of Physical Fitness and Krav Maga at the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) School of Combat Fitness (visit Wiki for more on Krav Maga).

It is not hard to imagine why Krav Maga and Atemi-Jujitsu are similar. In his book “The Israeli Connection”, Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi notes that there were strong connections between the Israel Defence Force and South Africa Defence Force and especially when it came to military training. It was the IDF that help create the SADF Reconnaissance Commandos and Soke Ben Mängels was QCB instructor to these same Reconnaissance Commandos (Recce’s).

There are times when the techniques from Krav Maga are almost identical to those I was taught (and times when they are not). I am usually ambivalent about seeing them. I am usually torn between thinking “great stuff” and “how come they’re getting airtime and not us”. But envy is not attractive. And I have learnt that the best teachers are not always the most popular. Soke Ben and Shihan Thaya were never interested in the limelight.

In the next couple over posts I am going to look at some Krav Maga techniques aired on “The Human Weapon” and share my thoughts on each.