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The Marine LINE Close Combat System

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Different Types of Martial Arts Series

The LINE system is a collection of close-combat skills and techniques developed by Ron Donvito before he joined the US Marine Corps in 1978. The standardized system contains grappling and striking techniques that resemble many other martial arts and are nearly all designed to kill an enemy. Donvito has summed up its ethos as: “Get them on the ground, stamp on their head.”

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Confidence and aggressiveness

Between 1989 and 1998 the US Marine Corps used LINE system to train 750,000 military personnel. It instilled both confidence and aggression, and taught hand-to-hand, close-quarter skills. Soldiers are tested on the techniques when they are very tired. After 4-6 hours of taxing aerobic and anaerobic work in full battle dress, the soldiers must prove they can demonstrate the techniques quickly, powerfully, and effectively. All LINE system techniques are tested in poor visibility, too—such as at night or in smoke-filled environments.


Kokondo is a self-defense system that emphasizes body dynamics and fast, powerful techniques. The term kokondo describes the martial arts of kondo karate and its sister style, jukido jujutsu, developed earlier in 1959. Founder Paul Arel studied sanzyu ryu jujutsu and, while in Japan with the US Marines, jujutsu and karate.

Kokondo’s main philosophy comes from the “budo” code of the warrior, and ideals such as honor, justice, and loyalty are encouraged. Its practice derives from three key principles: focus on an opponent’s center line (an imaginary vertical line that divides the body in two) while throwing or striking; emphasize the circular-style movements commonly found in many Chinese systems when striking; and, most importantly, try to create an imbalance in an opponent before attempting a strike or a throw.


Sometimes known as “Special Combat Aggression Reactionary System,” the SCARS combat system was created by Jerry Peterson, using his training in san soo kung fu and his combat experiences in the late 1960s during the Vietnam War. The main aspect of the system, which differentiates it from other similar systems, is that it claims to have no blocking moves—although it does include attacking maneuvers that resemble blocks. The underlying principle behind every contact is that the practitioner should attempt to cause injury to his opponent.

Expensive training

Although a highly streamlined course, the expensive nature of SCARS training has led to criticism from the martial-arts community. It is arguably the most expensive self-defense training program available. Due to an excellent marketing campaign, it is estimated that, in 1993 when training tapes were promoted in national magazines in the US, the system grossed one million dollars in the first nine months of trading. Taught on 40-hour retreat programs, it is clearly a successful enterprise.

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Tony Hackerott has written 338 post in this blog.

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