Four Marines begin black belt course

18 Sep 2009 | Pfc. Courtney C. Hundley

Marines velcro their flak jackets, choose a partner with similar height and assume the basic warrior stance, preparing to practice black belt techniques for the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program aboard the Air Station Monday.

The Marine Corps Martial Arts Program is a program designed to teach Marines physical, mental and character disciplines through combat conditioning, core values and leadership studies.

Staff Sgt. Sigrid Rivera, the training chief with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31, is taking on the challenges as a MCMAP instructor by teaching four Marines black belt.

During her course, she teaches all of the black belt moves first, then during the rest of the training sessions, she spends an hour on remediation of previous belts and an hour of remediation for black belt techniques. She will make sure all of her students know every move of each level before moving on and will train them to their limit.

“I think the black belt course is important because it’s the highest level in MCMAP, which means after this belt, all belt levels have been accomplished,” said Cpl. Christina Rodriguez, a communications technician with MALS-31. “Ultimately I want to use this knowledge to becomes a MCMAP instructor.”

An instructor can teach all belts up to the belt that the instructor has and test out all belts up to one level below what the instructor has.

“I became an instructor because I thought the program was great for all Marines to go through,” Rivera said. “Helping others makes me become a better Marine.”

Each belt consists of a different syllabus. For example the tan belt is the basics of MCMAP; the grey belt is primarily ground fighting techniques; the green belt typically consist of free sparring; brown belt mainly consist of armed manipulations and black belt is integrated fighting skills and free sparring.

“Marines with black MCMAP belts should be masters of all moves from all MCMAP levels,” Rivera said. “Marines with black belts should be confident enough with all the techniques to help teach the course.”

Some of the MCMAP moves in black belt are neck crank takedown, face rip from the guard and the sweeping hip throw. Also, in between each move there are lessons learned to correspond with each move.

“I decided to take this black belt course because it’s a great accomplishment to learn all of the techniques of MCMAP,” said Cpl. Michael Humphries, a ground support equipment mechanic with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 251. “Staff Sgt. Rivera doesn’t give MCMAP belts away like candy. She makes sure you earn them before receiving them.”

At the end of Rivera’s course, her students will have remediated previous belts for a total of 28 hours and learned all of the techniques for black belt totaling 62.5 training hours. The Marines will then receive a certificate stating they have completed the black belt course and are then masters of MCMAP.