U.S. Marines – United States Marine Corps

Marine recruits take sparring to ring

Recruits practice their Marine Corps Martial Arts skills during the body sparring portion of the Crucible

Two recruits yell at the top of their lungs as they rush into the small wooden ring. Both tired and hungry, they give everything they have left to come out on top.

Body sparring is an event on the Crucible in which recruits put their Marine Corps martial arts moves to use.
The Crucible is a 54-hour training event conducted during Marine Corps Recruit Training at Edson Range, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. It is here where Marine recruits go through simulated combat stress scenarios, which consist of food and sleep deprivation, and overcome mentally and physically-demanding obstacles.
Although recruits are tested daily throughout recruit training, the Crucible is the most anticipated event, where they apply everything they have learned in recruit training up to this point.
Around the ring, the drill instructors yell advice to the recruits to help them learn to follow instructions and think clearly in stressful situations.

Recruits practice their Marine Corps Martial Arts skills during the body sparring portion of the Crucible

“Some recruits have never been in a fight before, so it takes everything they have learned here,” said Sgt. Evan J. Sterner, Drill Instructor, Platoon 3207, Company I. “We would like to see that they can apply it in a real situation.”

Around the ring, the rest of the platoon awaits their turn at stations. At each station there is a different exercise or MCMAP move they must complete, such as push-ups, squats or lead-hand punches.
“The stations help to build mental and physical toughness,” said Sgt. Andrew W. Gabriel, field instructor, Field Co., Weapons and Field Training Bn. “You won’t be fresh going into a fight.”
In the ring, the recruits are able to find the strength needed to push themselves further than they thought, said Sterner. Even here, on the Crucible, they continue to work on self-improvement and confidence.

Recruit William Johnson, gears up for his turn in the ring during the body sparring event on the Crucible

“I was very motivated and pumped up to get in the ring,” said recruit Luke B. Vanotterloo, Platoon 3207, Co. I. “It gave me confidence knowing I could take a hit.”

Before earning the title U.S. Marine, the Crucible is the final test that recruits will go through to see if the Marine Corps’ core values have sunk in their minds.
“The Marine Corps’ core values are drilled into the minds of the recruits from day one,” said Sterner. “Here they are tested to see if they can use them in their day to day lives.”

Recruits put their Marine Corps Martial Arts Program skills to the test during the body sparring portion of the

Recruit Myquel Zimmerman strikes his opponent during the body sparring portion of the Crucible

Recruits Enrique Ortega, left, and Justin Kohn, do push-ups while waiting for their turn to fight in the body sparring event at the Crucible

Recruits put their Marine Corps Martial Arts Program skills to the test during the body sparring portion of the Crucible

Recruit Dillon Peters prepares to overcome his opponent during the crucible, Oct 12. The recruits are on the body sparring portion of the Crucible at Edson Range, Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, Calif. The recruits are from platoons 3207 and 3208, Company I, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, Recruit Training.,


1 Comment for this entry

  • Jean Lasichak

    I was wondering if i can get any information about the history of my fathers service in the USMC. He fought in WWII and is gone now. He refused to talk about his tour and I’d love to know what he faced and when. I know he was in H company, 3rd Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Division. He was at Paris Island in March of 1944 in Basic training. I have some of his serial number from his target practice book, but little else is known. Does anyone know how I can find anything out about him?
    thank you

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