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Friday, June 15, 2007

Marines Train Servicemembers in Martial Arts

13 Jun 07
By U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Mary Popejoy
CJTF-HOA Public Affairs

CAMP LEMONIER, Djibouti — Sailors and soldiers of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa’s Camp Lemonier are learning non-lethal self defense moves from the U.S. Marine Corps by participating in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP).

During the June 2 session, students learned basic knife techniques, throws, basic movements, restraints, weapon defense techniques and apprehension without deadly force.

“This program is intense because it focuses on mental, character and physical discipline,” said U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Ryan Piatti, 6th Provisional Security Company MCMAP instructor. “It pushes them to look deep within and do something they wouldn’t normally get to do in their branch of service.”

For Petty Officer 1st Class Roger Beaumont, CJTF-HOA Administration, taking the class reminds people that age shouldn’t stop anyone from doing what they want to do.

“I’m 57, so I wanted to show everyone that older people can still have the stamina to keep up with a younger crowd,” he said. “It pushes me to the max and my body lets me know it.”

MCMAP is designed to provide individuals with the ability and confidence to fight in hand-to-hand combat using any weapon available. It also teaches self-discipline as to understand the responsible use of force, both on and off the battlefield.

“In a combat zone we follow the Rules of Engagement, so the skills we learn here will help us protect ourselves without firing a weapon,” said U.S. Army Pfc. Jonny Pierce, Delta Co. 1/3 Old Guard.

Whether the students see a battlefield or not, the knowledge gained from the experience will help them in any environment they face.

“It’s a great feeling being able to have the knowledge and abilities to protect myself from those who want to cause me bodily harm,” said Chief Petty Officer Scott Carver, Camp Lemonier’s Supply leading chief petty officer. And for Piatti, sharing a Marine Corps tradition with his trainees is a very rewarding experience.

“I am proud to be part of a program that teaches people of all ages and backgrounds how to protect themselves in a non-lethal way from the enemy,” he said.

Photo - Sailors and soldiers of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa's Camp Lemonier learn basic self defense techniques with a weapon during the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program June 2, 2007. The objective of the training is to teach all branches of the service how to protect themselves without firing their weapon. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Mary Popejoy.

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