CAMP GEIGER, N.C. -- The Marine Corps will implement new hand-to-hand combat skills Corps wide, following the recertification of close combat instructors learning the new Marine Martial Arts Program.
In the past, Leathernecks have learned basic hand-to-hand combat called line training, which is no longer used.
Close Combat Instructor Trainers from Quantico, Va., who arrived here the week of Sept. 18, have already begun schooling Marines who wish to qualify as a martial arts instructor.
The new fighting technique is being learned at the Close Combat Instructors School here and will be taught to Marines attending the School of Infantry at Camp Geiger.
"The difference between conventional line training and the Marine Martial Arts Program is line training was defensive in nature and concentrated only on the physical aspect of close combat. The martial arts program will make the individual Marine a more complete warrior by teaching the mental characteristics of fighting as well as the physical. It is also much easier to learn," said Staff Sgt. Tony A. Polzin, CCIT chief at Quantico, Va.
Another aspect of the Marine Martial Arts Program, which may be introduced, is the traditional belt system used in most martial arts. Depending on what color belt one has determines the amount of time studying and practicing the individual has accomplished in the particular fighting style, Polzin said.
Some basic guidelines slated to be set to become an instructor will be: the person must become certified by the Marine Corps, they must be the rank of corporal or above and have achieved a green belt. Following the green belt is brown, proceeded by black belt, where you must be the rank of sergeant or above and have at least 247.5 certified training hours in Marine martial arts, said Polzin. It takes about four years of training to obtain a black belt," he said.
According to Polzin, the martial arts being learned is similar to line training, the difference is the new form of combat skills better suits today's hostile environments.
"In today's combat situation, you may face circumstances where you do not need to use lethal force to neutralize the enemy. The new martial arts being taught is better suited in the sense that, not only are they being taught the mental aspect of fighting, but are also learning non-lethal to lethal forms of combat," Polzin said.
Steps are also being made to help Marines who feel they are rusty in their hand-to-hand skills and would like to learn the new martial arts. The Semper-Fit program is looking to have certified instructors teach some of the new fighting skills to those who want to learn in their spare time.
Certifying Marines Corps wide will take time, CCITs are currently sending instructors to bases in California and Japan to speed up the process preceding the certification of Lejeune based instructors.
"The process will take time, but we can be assured this will make a more complete Marine," boasted Polzin about the new program.