Throughout Marine OCS candidates are exposed to a small amount of training from the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP). There will be much more MCMAP training at The Basic School. These sessions are generally not very physically intense, since you will only be doing basic punches, kicks, and a few other things. However, there was a very intense workout involving MCMAP that I can recall from my time at OCS. It has been a long time, so parts of this routine may be a little butchered.

MCMAP Circuit Workout

The workout is essentially a circuit filled with body and buddy exercises along with martial arts.

There is going to be something like 8 different stations setup as in the diagram below.


Each station is an exercise with the corners being martial arts related. There are also exercises used when traveling between stations. The distance between stations is about 15-20 meters.

Here is an example set of exercises that closely resembles the ones from OCS:

  1. Lead/Rear Hand Punch –> Buddy Drag to station 2
  2. Crunches –> Buddy Drag to station 3 (partner does it)
  3. Front Kick –> Low Crawl to station 4
  4. Push-ups –> High Crawl to station 5
  5. Uppercut –> Fireman’s Carry to station 6
  6. Squats –> Fireman’s Carry to station 7 (partner does it)
  7. Round Kick –> High Jump to station 8
  8. Burpees –> Lunge to station 1


Each station should last for about 2 minutes. THE PUSH-UPS ARE GOING TO KILL YOU! This doesn’t include the time to takes to travel between stations. The PTI will wait for everyone to reach their station before starting time.


Candidates will do the rotation at least two times with a few minutes to rest in between. If there is extra time you can expect to keep going. That’s just how things go at OCS.

MCMAP Instructions

If you aren’t already familiar with some of the MCMAP techniques you can look at the publication. The moves are simple enough where you can learn them just by reading the instructions. You will get more training and critique at OCS. During the circuit candidates will have pads to use for punching and kicking

Home version

Not everyone out there is going to have the equipment, or even a partner, to do the workout described above. Therefore, you should modify it accordingly to suit your needs and environment. The martial arts exercises can be done without a partner, or pads. If you can’t do the buddy drags and fireman’s carry then just repeat the crawls. There are no excuses when it comes to getting fit.

Improvise, adapt, and overcome