Wednesday, February 18, 2009

BLT 1/1 Marines train to max MCMAP

Story and photos by Lance Cpl. Megan Sindelar

USS NEW ORLEANS, At sea -- While learning
new techniques on ship, Christopher easily flips another Marine over his shoulder and onto the ground during martial arts training.

Christopher R. Boyette, a tank crewman with Company A, Battalion Landing Team 1/1, began a course, along with about 30 other Marines, with hopes to ascend through the different colors and skill sets of belts within the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP).

The training started mid-January and takes about two to three hours per day, Monday through Saturday. The course begins at the lowest level and will allow the students to keep going up through the syllabus until they reach their max belt for their rank. Some may choose to continue through to black belt.

“I try and make the course physically challenging,” said Capt. Brian R Von Kraus, commanding officer of Company A, BLT 1/1. “I show them new techniques and new ways of physical training.”

Not only are the students learning and upgrading their MCMAP belts, they are also given courses in ground-fighting, boxing and kickboxing, said Von Kraus, who is one out of three instructors involved with the course.

“I haven’t had anything this physically intense since boot camp,” said Boyette.

Everyone is learning new moves to prepare themselves for challenges they might face as well as improving on the skills they have already acquired. All the participants seem to enjoy the course as well, said Von Kraus. “I think it is a good thing for Marines on ship,” said Boyette. “To help, not only on the battlefield, but to keep them in shape while on deployment,” said Boyette.

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