Photo Information

A student in the Martial Arts Instructor Course grapples with Staff Sgt. Roger Nelson, the chief instructor of the course, during a training session at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., Dec. 4, 2015. The three-week long course will qualify its students to be Martial Arts instructors. The course’s development of endurance, strength, fighting ability and knowledge will benefit Marines for future operations in any location. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Paul S. Martinez/Released)

Photo by Cpl. Paul S. Martinez

Spirit, discipline: MAI course pushes Marines to limit

10 Dec 2015 | Cpl. Paul S. Martinez II Marine Expeditionary Force

II Marine Expeditionary Force’s best and brightest are being pushed to the limit during a three-week long Martial Arts Instructor Course at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., Nov. 30 – Dec. 18, 2015.

The course, sponsored by 8th Communication Battalion, qualifies Marines to be martial arts instructors and is regarded by students and instructors alike as one of the most daunting challenges a Marine can undertake.

“This morning’s training session is a culmination of what MCMAP is founded upon,” said Sgt. Marque Jones, a student with the course. “The physical, mental and character discipline. We’re only on the first week and already I have been challenged on all three.”

An average day in the course consists of lengthy physical training sessions that incorporate both standard Marine Corps exercises and martial arts techniques. Physical endurance is put to the test when Marines spar with their instructor trainers, and their minds are kept sharp with classroom instructions on Marine Corps values and the warrior ethos.

“We are looking for someone who is mentally strong, physically strong, and has a good character discipline,” said Staff Sgt. Roger Nelson, the chief instructor of the course.

During the course, the students are expected to develop the mentality of ascending from student to teacher to include newfound responsibilities that will come with it when they have Marines of their own to train. 

“I’ve been pushed to my limit,” said Jones. “My body has been worn out from continuously throwing strikes and exercising, but character-wise, we are held a certain standard that we will have to hold our students too, so it starts to give us that instructor perspective.”

Nelson added the course’s development of endurance, strength, fighting ability and knowledge will benefit Marines for future operations in any location.

“Anytime as Marines, we are expected to deploy at a moment’s notice,” said Nelson. “At those times, we will have to be physically and mentally ready.”