Camp Lejeune, N.C. --
Every Marine is taught the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, but not all Marines learn to teach it. The Martial Arts Instructor course at the 8th Communication Battalion Supply warehouse teaches Marines how to properly instruct other Marines to earn their next belt.
The course consists of 15 training days. The first week focuses on determining the fitness of every Marine and where they need to improve.
“We try to see who’s deficient and then we go with harder training to see how much they can take,” said Sgt. Ernesto Larranaga, MAI course instructor.
The second week tests the Marines’ character and forces them to work as a team to complete objectives.
“Everyone tries to outdo one another,” said Larranaga. “Around the second week, they start seeing that it hurts the squad. They have to humble themselves and be one unit to succeed, to get to the next week. They are not going to get to graduation alone, they have to do it as a unit because they’re all going to end up at the same place at the same time.”
The last week, Marines integrate what they’ve learned with their training as their final test in the course.
“This course is mentally and physically challenging,” said Cpl. Brian Guzman a student in the MAI course. “I never was a fighter or anything, but MCMAP really helped me become a fighter.”
Many Marines enter the course to improve themselves and their junior Marines.
“A man’s true colors come out when they have dealt with fear or pain,” said Larranaga. “During this course they are given both, the fear of uncertainty, failure and a lot of physical pain. They have to rise up above those fears and pain to get to the next objective and the next day.”