Inside the Marines' Martial Arts Drill

Photo Credit: Romney Smith

Marines participating in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program all have to complete the 'Martial Arts Drill' to prepare them for what they could face during combat.

Sgt. Felipe Acevedo says the experience is intense, especially when they see a mock enemy and have to fight. "It gets your adrenaline pumping cause you don't know where they're coming from so you have to be vigilant and it pretty much just gives you the effect of combat and trying to get around, making sure you see them before they see you so you have the advantage" says Acevedo.

While walking through the course Marines have to be watchful of all angles since they never know where their mock enemy is, or what weapons they could use. When participants engage in a fight, Instructor Sgt. Robert Stull says they're there to evaluate the Marines' skills. "Bayonet techniques that they were taught earlier in the tan belt syllabus, straight thrusts to the chest and to the face, lead in rear hand punching to the body area, that's one reason they have flaks on" says Stull.

Although Marines say the drill was exhausting, they add the training is solid. "These give you the skills to fall back on when you're actually out there and your mind kind of goes blank. You train so much that it becomes second nature for you and it kind of just takes over" says Acevado.

Marines give 100% throughout the course and leaders say they expect nothing less because they train how they fight and fight how they train. "If we go out there and play paddy cake with each other when it actually comes down to your life or your other Marines' lives...We don't play. You're not here to play. It's not a game, its real" says Stull.