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MCMAP training inside and outside the Corps Black Belts Introduce Close Combat to Maldives

Oct. 04, 2002; Submitted on: 04/21/2005 02:42:00 PM ; Story ID#: 20021010215451

By Cpl. Benjamin M. George, MCB Camp Butler

Male, Maldives (Oct. 04, 2002) -- Master Sgt. Shane T. Franklin and Staff Sgt. Daniel G. Bullock have a lot in common.

Besides being Marines, both spent time as drill instructors in third battalion at Parris Island and both are dedicated students to martial arts. Doing their best to represent the Marine Corps, both traveled to the Republic of Maldives recently to conduct close combat training with soldiers from the National Security Service.

The Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, or MCMAP, is growing in popularity both inside and out of the Corps. Because of its combat efficient techniques, the Marine Corps Martial Arts School Far East has been sending instructors to foreign countries to train allies for close combat.

During a five-day period, Franklin, director, MCMAP School Far East, Third Marine Division, and Bullock, an instructor at the school, trained 18 soldiers in more than 70 techniques ranging from the tan to the green belt syllabus.

"We're taking techniques from the Marine program and teaching them to the Maldivians to enhance their readiness and capabilities in a combat environment," said Franklin, a Fort Myers, Fla., native.

Although the Maldivian soldiers have had some martial arts training before, the close combat package introduced by the Marines was completely unique to all their prior training.

"Being an infantry soldier, this training is extremely important," stated Cpl. Abdul Muiz, training unit instructor, National Security Service, Republic of Maldives.

Eighteen soldiers were chosen to take part in the training, all part of a special task force. The soldiers chosen came from sections including the quick reaction force, special protection group, and recruit training unit.

"This training is very important for us," said Staff Sgt. Mohamed Rasheed, chief training unit instructor, National Security Service, Republic of Maldives. "Our jobs require efficiency in this type of training. Hopefully we can learn more from the Marines to create a training package of our own."

The Marine Corps Martial Arts Program takes techniques from all forms of martial arts, according to Franklin, making it more combat effective for today's military forces.

"The difference between commercial martial arts and the Marine program is purpose," explained Bullock, a St. Louis, native. "We teach a more realistic, combative martial arts. As Marines we know we?re going into a 26-mile hike with packs, rifles and the rest of our gear. We need to be able to fight in all environments."

The Maldivian soldiers not only appreciated the new techniques, but also the opportunity to train with the world's best, the U.S. Marines.

"This is our first time training with Marines," said Muiz. "We heard much about them and what we've seen has been very impressive. It has been an honor to train with them."

Not only is the dual training beneficial to the recipients, but also to the trainers themselves, according to Franklin.

"Because we're apt to go places wear language may be a barrier, we have to rely on our abilities as instructors," said Franklin. "We have to have confidence in our abilities to demonstrate the techniques and how to accomplish the mission with minimal talking. Situations like that only make us stronger instructors."

It's obvious both Franklin and Bullock are great at what they do. Both are outstanding instructors and model Marines. From the drill field to the MCMAP School Far East, Franklin and Bullock are doing their part to build stronger Marines within the Corps and making stronger soldiers of our allies.