MCMAP--A lifestyle not a hobby

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Shandresha Mitchell
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing public affairs
U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Randy Bochner, 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion Marine Corps Martial Arts Program 2nd degree black belt instructor trainer, expresses that MCMAP is not just a hobby, but a lifestyle.

Before Bochner joined the Marines, he grew up training in the arts.

Early in his career, Bochner advanced through the first four belts. So as a lance corporal, he was waived to go to Martial Arts Instructor training at the Martial Arts Center of Excellence to receive his black belt, a belt that is usually reserved for sergeants and above.

"I went into the course arrogant and thinking I was the best, that no one could touch me," said Bochner. "Then they [mentally] broke me; being in that environment, that cadre of instructors, the mental, physical and character, made me a product of my environment," explained Bochner.

In June 1999, U.S. Marine Corps Commandant James L. Jones detailed his vision of a martial arts program; and with his guidance, the close combat program underwent a period of testing and review that resulted in MCMAP.

The MCMAP is a combination of the linear infighting neural-override engagement system, combat hitting skills, pugil stick training, the Marine Corps Close Combat Program, and the input of 10 subject matter experts from numerous martial arts disciplines.

It consists of a belt ranking system with five basic levels: tan, gray, green, brown, and black belt. The colored belt levels are identified as user levels and are designed to progressively develop the physical skills and lethality of the individual Marine so that he becomes a stronger link in the Marine Corps chain.

The MCMAP consists of three disciplines: physical, mental, and character. Bochner had the physical, but he was lacking the mental and character.

"The physical is a big portion; it's important," said Bochner. "However, it's nothing without the mental and the character."

Physical discipline consists of two main components: fighting techniques and the combat conditioning program. The fighting techniques are trained as a part of MCMAP, a weapons-based system beginning at assault fire and moving to the four elements of the fighting components (rifle and bayonet, edged weapons, weapons of opportunity, and unarmed combat).

Mental discipline has two main components, warfighting and professional military enhancement and character discipline encompasses the study of the human dimensions of combat and has two main components: the Marine Corps core values program and the Marine Corps leadership training program.

"It's a three legged stool, so if you kick one leg out the program is no longer viable," stated Bochner.

Commanders are required to certify that the Marine meets annual training requirements and the prerequisites of each specific belt level and possesses the maturity, judgment, and moral character required for advancement. This ensures that as a Marine develops increased levels of lethality with additional physical skills, he also develops a commensurate level of maturity and self-discipline.

However, MCMAP is not limited to Marines.

"This isn't just something for the Marines; I have trained Air Force, Army, and foreign military," commented Bochner. "MCMAP is open to anyone."

The motto of MCMAP best states the essence of the program: "One mind, any weapon." This means that every Marine is always armed even without a weapon.

"Being great at martial arts is something you have to want," commented Bochner. "This isn't something you work on occasionally; you have to live it."