News: Marines teach martial arts to Afghan police
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – A pair of Afghan Uniformed Police underwent a one-day crash course in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program on Camp Leatherneck, Nov. 29.
The program teaches a system of close-quarter combat skills developed by the Marine Corps that combines martial arts techniques with morale and team building.
The Afghan policemen are members of Washir District Governor Daoud Mohammad’s security detail. Mohammad is a key figure in Helmand province, as it begins to transition toward Afghan control and away from the assistance of NATO International Security Assistance Forces.
“I want to be able to protect myself and also protect the people and the governor,” said Taj Mohammad, one of the Afghan policemen.
Training incorporated fundamental fighting skills including the “basic warrior stance,” and angles of movement, which aid in closing the distance with an enemy fighter.
These rudimentary skills are part of the tan belt skill set syllabus, which ranks as the lowest belt level in the program followed by grey, green, brown and black, respectively.
Once the fundamentals were established, the Afghan policemen moved on to the more advanced tan-belt moves like knife techniques, countering choke-holds and take down techniques like the leg sweep.
Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Cochran, instructor, and Sgt. Jesus Nivar, from Providence, R.I., an instructor-trainer, both with 1st Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, taught the Afghans the basic moves and techniques of the program.
“It’s my responsibility to go out there and teach these techniques to the Marines,” said Cochran, a Winchendon, Mass. native. “It makes no sense for me to hold all this information and not be able to provide it to others.”
Instead of using a translator, Cochran and Nivar used a methodology known as Explain, Demonstrate, Imitate and Practice, they say was essential in overcoming the language barrier between the Marines and policemen. First the instructors would explain and demonstrate each move, then have the Afghans imitate and, finally practice until they performed the techniques properly.
At the end of the session, covered in dust and a each displaying a few bruises, the Marine instructors and their Afghan students shook hands.
“These are some of the things that they might encounter while they are out there protecting the district governor so we wanted to give them the basic Marine Corps Martial Arts training for that,” Cochran said.
Date Posted:12.02.2011 02:42
Location:CAMP LEATHERNECK, AF
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