MCMAP

dmcgill

Infantry Marine
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Jan 9, 2011
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#1
To the Marines on the board who have a lot of experience with the program, what are your opinions on it? Do you have any experience with the old LINE or CCP programs? Comparisons?

When I was a junior Marine and just getting started with it I thought it was pretty questionable, but after getting into the advanced belts and going through the Martial Arts Instructor Course as an NCO it has sort of opened my eyes a little. Unfortunately I don't have much to compare it to, so I'd value others input.
 

Stanimal

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#2
I know a lot of Marines have hate for MCMAP. I think it has more to do with the way in which it's delivered, vice the content of the program. All (or at least most) of the techniques taught in MCMAP are solid, but the system is too regimented for me. The lower belts are painful to get through, because the Marine Corps exercises too much control and ORM is the major buzzkill. I say teach the Marines some basic striking and grappling techniques, then let 'em put on some gloves and go at it. (under supervision of course...) A lot of young Marines going through MCMAP for the first time end up being emboldened by their new found knowledge. They think they're gonna be able to go out and whip some dudes ass, but the real truth is they've probably never even been in a real fight before. Marines should fight each other in MCMAP in a realistic setting, so that they know what it feels like to get punched in the face, or submitted. On a different but similar note, I really like the Special Operations Combatives Program (SOCP). The best way I've heard it described when comparing the differences between the two programs is... MCMAP is mainly technique based and SOCP is tactics based.
 

dmcgill

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#3
I know a lot of Marines have hate for MCMAP. I think it has more to do with the way in which it's delivered, vice the content of the program. All (or at least most) of the techniques taught in MCMAP are solid, but the system is too regimented for me. The lower belts are painful to get through, because the Marine Corps exercises too much control and ORM is the major buzzkill. I say teach the Marines some basic striking and grappling techniques, then let 'em put on some gloves and go at it. (under supervision of course...)
I find your first point to be true. The ORM and control are necessary evils though, for various reasons especially when dealing with the young (teenage) Marines. One of my Instructor Trainers in the MAI course played a part in the beginning of MCMAP development and he sees it the same way in regards to big Marine Corps. Thankfully he is excellent at his job and takes care of all the BS behind the scenes so the Marines can have the best and most realistic training possible. I've found that having instructors that genuinely care about, and understand, the program is essential in the Marines getting training value out of it. When you have a shitty MAI, all the training value will go right out the window. Simple as that. The warrior case studies and martial culture studies also play a good role in character development of young Marines, so how that is integrated into the physical discipline of the synergy complex is something I really like about it also.

Stanimal said:
Marines should fight each other in MCMAP in a realistic setting, so that they know what it feels like to get punched in the face, or submitted. On a different but similar note, I really like the Special Operations Combatives Program (SOCP). The best way I've heard it described when comparing the differences between the two programs is... MCMAP is mainly technique based and SOCP is tactics based.
That is exactly how I was taught in MAI and is how I intend to train my Marines in the future. No matter how many long ass ORM's I have to do or hurdles to deal with. Getting submitted and hit in the face is especially invaluable to Marines who have never been introduced to interpersonal violence. In MARSOC, do they teach both MCMAP and SOCP, or just one?
 

0699

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#4
When it was still new, I had a platoon in Hawaii. We used to do regular PT M/W/F, and on T/Th we'd do MCMAP instead. I thought it was a pretty solid program; better than anything we'd had before.

I did notice, especially in the ring with gloves or just grappeling, that a lot of younger Marines had obviously never gone hands on with anyone. The first time they got hit straight on in the face, they'd back down. Even a lot of the MCMAP instructors, while knowledgeable with the core skills, were teaching what they had been taught, not from experience. I never encountered H2H combat in Iraq, but I have found that every barfight I've ever been in was much more real than anything that happened in MCMAP training...
 

Marine0311

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#5
I enjoyed MCMAP (I got a tan belt). We didn't do it often enough to train effectively. I think the thinking was "get everyone a tan belt first".
 

EAL92

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#6
I have mixed feelings about MCMAP. On one hand(as stated above) I feel you get some value as you go higher in belts, but most Marines I've seen active or reserve rarely go above grey or green, if they even get that far. In my opinion commands really don't give much of a shit about it and few people get to become MAI's, and if they do then they get burned out from teaching and eventually get tired of it. I've done most of grey belt 3 different times with 3 different instructors over close to 4 years and every time there's b.s involved such as instructors who can't finish the course due to something like having to do their job/courses or other instructors not accepting the hours of other instructors. Due to this lack of interest from the higher ups and the little exposure Marines get to it they think of it as a joke, because all they're exposed to is lead hand punches and the occasional blood choke with some uncoordinated whale fucking on the ground(half-assed grappling). I started enjoying MCMAP during my last det and almost got my grey belt, but we pissed off some gunny who didn't like us using and dirtying the mat's that some Sgt apparently managed to bring( I still have no idea how he brought them to such a remote place) and so we started doing MCMAP in soft sand, but the gunny didn't like that and told the MAI to fuck off. I feel MCMAP would have more value and would be more effective if it became a Annual training requirement requiring marines to get at least get a belt every year and demonstrate what they've learned. Alas this would become a funding or ORM nightmare and will never happen.
 

Stanimal

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#7
In MARSOC, do they teach both MCMAP and SOCP, or just one?
Because MCMAP is a Marine Corps requirement, acquiring the necessary belts/qualifications is something every Marine must devote time to. Sadly, much of the training done in MARSOC is not formally recognized by the Marine Corps. For example, a MARSOC Marine will go through a 3-5 week shooting package which includes both rifle and pistol quals and a heavy dose of direct action as part of his work up. Even after completing this exhausting period of shooting every day for weeks on end, the Marine is still required to go to the KD range for his annual rifle score. Hand to hand combat is no different. In MARSOC, we must satisfy two masters. Both Marine Corps regulations (doctrine/policies/rules) and SOCOM directives must be adhered to.

As the Marine Corps draws down, competition for promotions becomes fierce. In the past, there was less of an emphasis on MCMAP promotion-wise. I think it was seen as "nice to have", but Marines who lacked the higher belts certainly were not passed over because of it. Such is not the case now as I have heard that a Marine's MCMAP qualification will be briefed directly to the promotion board, and will therefore likely carry much more weight with its members. To answer your question above, Both MCMAP and SOCP are taught at MARSOC. The Commander typically will not force the training upon the individual, but rather it is up to each Marine to seek it out. There are daily "rolling" sessions where those interested can come out and learn. These are in addition to the more formal courses that normally span 1-2 weeks.

To add one caveat concerning the original topic: I do think that MCMAP training is important for the Marine Corps. It provides a "common language", or reference point that all Marines are familiar with, albeit in varying degrees. This is especially important when you bring many different individuals together who all have diverse backgrounds and experience levels. Take any given platoon in the Marine Corps, and look at the martial arts experience of its members. At least one third will have previously studied a particular discipline at some point in their life. You'll have a mixture of guys who took Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Judo or Jiu Jitsu. Some of the other guys might have wrestled in high school, fought Muay Thai, or even boxed traditionally. Others still might have no martial arts experience except what was taught in boot camp. MCMAP brings all of these disciplines together, and unites them on a common front. Taking what the Marine Corps provides and satisfying the MCMAP requirement is the first step. Blending aspects of different disciplines together to make more knowledgeable and capable fighters should be the next. Even though I have my personal preferences when it comes to fighting styles, I will never pass up an opportunity to learn from someone who is skilled in their particular art. To do so would only serve to limit one's potential.
 

dmcgill

Infantry Marine
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#8
I have mixed feelings about MCMAP. On one hand(as stated above) I feel you get some value as you go higher in belts, but most Marines I've seen active or reserve rarely go above grey or green, if they even get that far. In my opinion commands really don't give much of a shit about it and few people get to become MAI's, and if they do then they get burned out from teaching and eventually get tired of it. I've done most of grey belt 3 different times with 3 different instructors over close to 4 years and every time there's b.s involved such as instructors who can't finish the course due to something like having to do their job/courses or other instructors not accepting the hours of other instructors.
I would agree, at least in my battalion, there isn't any training time at all during the workup devoted to MCMAP besides the occasional combat conditioning drill for platoon or company PT. While on a MEU or a UDP though, we have found time usually made up during the white space in between field ops for sustainment hours and have managed to belt up Marines one or two times over the course of a six month training deployment. The vast majority of grunts in my battalion are green belts (which is supposed to be the standard for 03 LCPL's and CPL's) while a lot of the first-pump Marines are grey belts. It's very interesting to hear you talk about how many times you've done one syllabus with different instructors, I have guys here who have done green belt three times and gotten the sustainment hours, only to have the MAI get tasked out with something else deemed more important and all their documentation lost or not observed by another instructor. It's a problem most places I'm sure and just makes the whole program seem unprofessional and a giant waste of time. As an MAI though, it is our responsibility to tactfully tell anyone to fuck off if they try to dictate how we train Marines in MCMAP if they are not an MAI or MAIT. Rank is irrelevant. If they want to see it in writing they can look up MCRP 3-02B where it states (in your case mentioned specifically) that soft-footed ground means just that, grass or sand being ideal.
 

mac21

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#9
As an MAI, I had a love/hate relationship with MCMAP.

I loved to teach it and develop Marines into more efficient warriors. I hated the fact that too many commanders saw it as a check in the box, and it was like pulling teeth to instruct the immature Marines.

From my experience, it's a good program, but it still has a way to go before it's taken seriously by more Marines.
 

CPL B USMC

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#10
I really liked the program. After boot camp though, no one even said a word about more training. I got a tan belt in boot camp and that was about the end of it. Lots of great training, I just wish there would have been more battalion level emphasis and much more hands on experience and reinforcement.
 

Ooh-Rah

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#11
MCMAP saves the day.

Well done, Marine!

Uncommon Courage: Reserve Marine saves family from attack > The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website > News Display

PHOENIX, Arizona -- On a sunny December afternoon in Tempe, Arizona, Gabriel R. McInnis, a sergeant in the Marine Corps Reserve, thought he was on a routine drive to serve on a funeral honors detail.

While passing through a residential area on Dec. 27, 2016, he heard a woman scream.

“I was approaching a light, when I heard some screaming and yelling,” said McInnis, an engineer equipment mechanic with Bulk Fuel Company C, 6th Engineer Support Battalion, 4th Marine Logistics Group.

As he turned to figure out what the commotion was, he saw a wide-open doorway and a large man physically assaulting Tia Simpkins and her family in her home.

“I knew I had to act,” McInnis said. “I threw my car into park and ran over to try to stop it.”

He tackled the attacker despite being outclassed in height and weight. Soon the pair was on the ground exchanging blows. Although McInnis took a lot of punches, he prevented the attacker from getting to the family.

“Finally, I catch a lucky break,” McInnis said.

The attacker threw a punch, missed, and fell to the ground. McInnis used the opportunity to perform an arm-bar takedown, a martial arts move, to subdue his opponent. After restraining the attacker, he dialed 911 and the police responded within minutes.
 

Devildoc

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Durham, NC
#14
I enjoyed it. I got to gray belt. It seemed there was a stop-and-start mentality with leadership; depends on who was in leadership positions, we would be all Gung Ho about it or it would be on the back burner.
 

SgtUSMC8541

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#15
I was in from 92 to 06... did LINE and MCMAP.... LINE just resulted in a lot of young Marines getting their asses kicked in bar fights.... That being said... it had an interesting mental side that taught new Marines the mind-set they would need... for all the complaints on MCMAP, it is leaps and bounds better than line. Covers so much more.
 
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