Photo Information

Lance Cpl. Taylor Jasper, a rifleman with Company E, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines (BLT 2/7), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), practices Pekithtirsia defense move with a Philippine martial arts instructor, March 13. The martial arts class was part of bilateral training being conducted during exercise Balikatan 2010 (BK ’10). (Official Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Michael A. Bianco)

Photo by Cpl. Michael A. Bianco

AFP, BLT 2/7 take a stab at it

13 Mar 2010 | Cpl. Michael A. Bianco

Martial Arts instructors with the Republic of the Philippines Marine Corps Martial Arts Program jabbed, hooked and stabbed their way through a class on Pekithtirsia training with U.S. Marines with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).

Philippine Marines with 1st Ready Force, Philippine Marine Corps and U.S. Marines with Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines (BLT 2/7), 31st MEU, took a break from their live-fire range to conduct the training.

Pekithtirsia training focuses on the use of knives and any objects they can use to help defend themselves during battle.

According to Tech Sgt. Manuel S. Prado Jr, a chief master instructor with the Philippines Martial Arts Program, one of the Philippine Marine Corps’ main focuses is on martial arts training; with numerous hours dedicated to perfecting their hand to hand combat skills.

“We would use these skills in combat if we were out of ammunition,” Prado said. “The last defense we have is using our hands or a weapon of opportunity. This is the number one way we train our Marines, so it feels good to be able to teach it to our counterparts in the U.S. Marines.”

            BLT 2/7 spent part of the day exhausting their bodies and learning the techniques from their counter parts. The class, which started with a demonstration from the Philippine Marines, quickly went to practical application and had the two countries’ war fighters on line executing the techniques, working out and strengthening their bond.

            “It enhances our camaraderie between the Filipino and U.S. Marines because we don’t necessarily have a lot of time to do this type of training,” said 1st Sgt. Rogelio Haro, company first sergeant for Company E (Co. E), BLT 2/7. “When we are able to do it we jump at the opportunity because t not only helps us bond with each other but we get some good physical training out of it as well.”

            The training proved to be a good learning experience for everyone. Some were even surprised at the difficulty and advanced moves involved.

            “It was an awesome experience to have learned the techniques from today,” said Kistopher Mercado, a rifleman with BLT 2/7.  “They were really proficient in performing the techniques. They are very good at what they do and it was a great opportunity to learn from then.”

            Philippine Martial Arts Program training was one of many bilateral training events being conducted of Balikatan 2010 (BK ’10).