Fighting Devil Dogs Hot and Heavy on Martial Arts
The Devil Dogs are, of course, the United States Marines, and the martial arts they are studying is called MCMAP, which stands for Marine Corps Martial Arts Program.
The military has long been interested in such things as hand to hand combat, also called CQC (Close Quarter Combat).
In the beginning, the marines were mostly interested in bayonet and cutlass techniques, as these were what they relied on to board ships.
During World War I these same techniques became useful in the trenches, and the marines began developing more advanced methods of fighting to supplement their stock techniques.
Between the World Wars Colonel Anthony Biddle tapped such arts as boxing, wrestling, savate and fencing to standardize the hand to hand fighting methods of the military.
During the fifties Gunnery Sergeant Bill Miller was called upon to develop a martial arts training program, and he compiled techniques from such martial arts as Karate, Judo, Taekwondo, kung fu, boxing and jujitsu.
These earlier programs and methods were valiant efforts, but it wasn’t until the late 80s that the methods coalesced into what was called the LINE Method. LINE stands for Linear Infighting Neural Override Engagement. it was created by Ron Donvito.
As the military changed, however, as the role of the warrior in modern times was expanded, the method had to be changed, and MCMAP was born.
MCMAP is the first method used by the military that actually has belt levels. It has an accumulation of techniques, and attempts to address all ranges of fighting. It was developed by Lieutenant Colonel George Bristol and Master Gunnery Sergeant Cardo Urso.
MCMAP is begun during basic training (boot camp) in the marines, and marines are expected to keep up their training after boot camp.
The program is combined with various leadership courses and military ranking, and this is one of the problems that critics point to. The idea that a person must attain certain rank, in addition to his martial arts lessons, breeds the idea that people of higher rank are given better tools for survival, and the lower ranks are therefore held back from training for better survival.
This is a very pointed complaint, and there is some evidence that certain requirements of this sort are being discarded.
Other problems with MCMAP have to do with trying to take in too much territory. An art that includes bayonets, groundfighting, knife fighting, striking, restraining techniques, and so on, is spreading itself thin.
Thus, though MCMAP has changed the military, and the marines specifically, there are still improvements to be made.