News: Marines fight to win: Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro schools Marines in Brazilian Jujitsu
Story by Lance Cpl. Scott L. Tomaszycki
HAVELOCK, N.C. – “Close combat, man to man, is plainly to be regarded as the real basis of combat.” - Carl von Clausewitz, a German general and war philosopher, wrote more than 100 years ago. Marines train to destroy the enemy with a variety of weapons, including their bare hands.
In an opportunity to become even more deadly, Cherry Point Marines trained with Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro, four-time Brazilian Jujitsu world champion and a fourth degree black belt in the art, during a two hour class in Havelock, N.C., July 20.
The techniques Ribeiro demonstrated focused mostly on fighting on the ground, using arms, legs, and hands to gain leverage over an opponent and place them in a submission hold. Most moves ended in a variation of a “blood choke,” which cuts off blood flow to the brain, causing fainting in less than 10 seconds and death in less than a minute.
“I think Jujitsu is applicable anywhere because any fight you get into, sooner or later it goes to the ground,” said Lance Cpl. Benjamin J. Toner, a Brazilian Jujitsu student at Premier Martial Arts. “If at all possible, we’d like to eliminate our enemy before that, but if it goes to the ground, you want to be able to finish it.”
Marines prepare for close combat through the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program. Ribeiro’s class consisted of several MCMAP instructors who plan to take the new techniques and teach their own students.
Ribeiro said Brazilian Jujitsu could be useful for the Marines because it is the best martial art for man-to-man combat. Knowing how to use the body to control an opponent provides a major advantage.
“Even during the battles of Fallujah and the initial push into Iraq and Afghanistan, there’s still hand-to-hand combat,” said Gunnery Sgt. Donald Johnson, a MCMAP instructor trainer. “They’re still thrusting bayonets and doing all these basic techniques that we learn. If you’re engaged and your weapon runs dry, you still have to know how to defend yourself.”
Ribeiro lives in New Jersey with his family and owns a Brazilian Jujitsu school in New York. He sees teaching Marines new techniques, as a way to show his appreciation for the country.
“This is a dream for me to be here,” Ribeiro said. “If I could be here every three months, I would be more than happy. The country has done a lot for me, I’d like to support it in the best way I can.”
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