Competing in BJJ/MMA while in the Marine Corps
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  1. #1

    Competing in BJJ/MMA while in the Marine Corps

    Anyone have any experience competing in BJJ/MMA while in the Marine Corps? What did you have to do to get command approval?

    Background: I am a Sgt with 6 years TIS as well as an MAI (Martial Arts Instructor). I trained and competed in BJJ and MMA prior to joining the service and recently began training again. I am hoping to compete again in both with a fight lined up for next month and several grappling tournaments in the near future. I have tried to do the right thing and keep my command informed, but despite not finding any kind of policy or oreder to say I cannot compete, I am getting all kinds of pushback and being forced to jump through all kinds of hoops, without the command even knowing what it wants from me. Does anybody know of any policies regarding this or any procedure you or someone you know has gone through to get cleared for competition? Thanks in advance

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  2. #2
    Can't answer your question but this reminds me a lot of when I was on active duty and pursuing my BS degree (which I eventually attained) off duty. Some commands were supportive, some neutral, and some even went out of their way to throw obstacles in my way (slowed me down but never stopped me from reaching my goal). Point is, your situation may simply be a command issue instead of a policy/procedure one.

    One issue your command may be concerned about is injury (you know more about the potential for injury than I do). My niece was up for meritorious Cpl and competing for her green belt with a male Marine when he got her in a submission hold and broke her ankle before she could tap-out. Long story short, she was medically discharged with a disability rating and is now working on a business degree at Indiana University. Stuff happens.

    As a MAI, you're obviously aware of what's going on in the BJJ/MMA in your area both on-and-off base. One thing you can do is talk to the Marines currently competing and find out from them how they got cleared by their commands to compete. What they did may not work for you but at least you'll know.

    Good luck Devil.

  3. #3
    Thank you MSgt. I have succeeded in getting command approval to compete in BJJ/Grappling tournaments and was able to go compete this past weekend (won my division!). I have also worked with my command to push up the potential of me competing in MMA to our higher headquarters and we are waiting from an answer. It could potentially get pushed up even higher, only time will tell. For now, I have done all I can do and my Command has helped me out as best they can.

  4. #4
    Good Luck, Marine.

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