Marine Corps Martial Arts is an intense program at all belt levels, but making it to the top and earning your black belt is a point of pride for many Marines. The climb to becoming a black belt in the program is not an easy one, but it can have big implications. Not only in each individual’s career, but perhaps it could even be the difference between life or death on the battlefield. The Marines must go through a series of events in order to successfully pass the tests, a few of which you can see in the video below.
A Martial Arts Instructor Trainer, or MAIT as they are commonly referred to by other Marines, monitors each Marine in order to gauge if they have successfully demonstrated the necessary knowledge sufficient to pass the exam. Encompassing more than area, Marines must show that they have the maturity that comes with holding that specific belt level, and be competent enough to teach it to others.
Going into greater detail, the various belt levels that can be earned in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program include Tan, Gray, Green, Brown, and Black.
The Tan Belt is the entry level belt, which can be earned once a basic understanding of mental, physical, and character disciplines are demonstrated.
The Gray Belt, which requires 25 hours of training represents an intermediate level of understanding of martial arts. To earn the Gray Belt, the Marine usually needs to have a report on the Marine Raiders and is required to complete the “Leading Marines” course.
The Green Belt, which also requires 25 hours of training is the beginning belt for Marines who can be martial arts instructors. A reporting senior must recommend the Marine to be a Green Belt.
The Brown Belt, which requires 33 hours of training also requires a recommendation of a reporting senior. Marines who have the Brown Belt must know each discipline’s fundamentals at an advanced level.
Finally, the Black Belt, which requires 40 hours of training is the highest level of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program. Marines who have a Black Belt can teach all the belt colors including other Black Belts. Just like the Green and Brown belts, there must be a recommendation of a reporting senior.
Once the Marines have passed the test they can breathe a sigh of relief. While it may not have been easy, it is something that they will cherish for a lifetime.
Check it out in the video below: