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Marine Corps Martial Arts Program

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The Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP) was created to instill into troops the warrior ethos, and to teach them close-quarter combat techniques. It also serves as a way of building team cohesion and morale. MCMAP replaced former programs such as the LINE system and may be referred to as a synergy of mental character and physical disciplines, with applications across the full spectrum of violence.

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Peace-keeping techniques

As well as being employed in combat situations, MCMAP techniques can also be used during peacekeeping operations. In these situations, wrestling moves and locking and restraining techniques are intended solely to restrain an opponent, rather than to kill.

The martial training program includes full-contact wrestling and sparring training, and makes good use of safety equipment such as padding, helmets, and mouth guards. Weapons training is also incorporated into the regime, with emphasis placed on bayonet, handgun, and rifle techniques.

The structure of the course is rigid and MCMAP is graded by the use of five different colored belts: tan, gray, green, brown, and black. The black belt is further graded into six degrees or levels or attainment.

The first and lowest rank (tan belt) is awarded after 27.5 hours of training, whereas troops must complete 71.5 hours of training to achieve the first-degree black belt.

Grappling Inoue Wrestling

Grappling Inoue wrestling is a hybrid martial art based on Brazilian jujutsu and incorporating techniques from boxing and from other wrestling styles. It was developed by Egan Inoue, a Japanese-American who has become an accomplished mixed martial artist and a former world racketball champion. His brother Enson is also a successful mixed martial artist and a former world champion of shooto. After studying Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and following a succession of decisive wins at the open-weight category in that sport, Egan Inoue set up his own school, Grappling Unlimited, in Hawaii.

Although his style of grappling does not receive as much publicity as other mixed martial arts, Egan is well known in martial-arts circles for his perfectly executed arm bar methods. International fame came when he won a mixed martial arts match against the champion’s champion, Randy Couture.


Maculele is an Afro-Brazilian dance and martial art that almost died out after the abolition of slavery in 1888. No one knows when or how it began, nor what the word maculele means. It may have featured in a harvest festival celebrated by sugar workers, who fought and danced with cane sticks as well as the machetes and straight-bladed razors they used in the fields. Revived in the mid-1900s by Mestre Popo of Santa Amaro in Bahia, maculele is practiced by capoeira groups and, occasionally, as an art form in its own right.

Pair of sticks or machetes

Maculele is accompanied by singing and “atabaques” (drums). Players traditionally wear dried grass skirts, similar to those their forefathers would have worn before they were enslaved. They dance and fight with a pair of sticks called “grimas” that are about 1 in (2.5 cm) thick and 24 in (60 cm) long. Some capoeira schools switch the sticks and use machete-type knives about 16 in (40 cm) long.

Players train with bo staff sticks made of biriba wood, machetes, and knives, giving them experience of the weapons wielded by urban gangs. A maculele training session may start with a group of players standing in a circle, or roda—the leader sings a song while the rest join in with choruses and a rhythm. On an agreed signal two players enter the ring and dance.


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