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.