Marine Corps Martial Arts Tan Belt - Front Break Fall

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Marine Corps Martial Arts Tan Belt - Front Break Fall

This section focuses on tan belt techniques used by the Marine Corps martial arts program. This page examines the front break fall used in the Marine Corps martial arts program. Information from Public Domain Document, MCRP 3-02B, Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP).

For more Marine Corps techniques, please visit the main Marine Corps Martial Arts Program section.


The purpose of break-falls is to reduce the chance of injury. Break-falls are used to absorb the impact if you should fall or are thrown. This will allow you to quickly get back on your feet and minimize any injury sustained by the fall. This section will cover the front break-fall, back
break-fall, left/right side break-fall, and the forward shoulder roll.

Front Break-Fall

A front break-fall is executed to break your fall when falling forward and will never be executed from the standing position during training.


The front break-fall is taught and practiced in stages, from the deck and from a kneeling position. The front break-fall is never executed from the standing position.

From the Deck

~ Begin by lying on the deck on your stomach.
~ Place your forearms and palms flat on the deck, with your elbows bent and your chest and head raised off of the deck.
~ Raise your head and neck so that you are looking straight ahead.
~ Determine the proper hand placement that will allow your forearms and palms to support your upper torso and keep your head off of the deck.
~ Proper hand and forearm placement will disperse the impact of the fall and help to keep your head from hitting the deck.
~ Practice by raising the forearm and slapping the deck with the fingers extended and joined.

From a Kneeling Position

~ Assume a two-knee kneeling position and look up raising your chin.
~ Bend your elbows in close to your body and place your palms facing away from you in the position that will allow you to disperse the impact of the fall.
~ Fall forward, breaking your fall with your forearms and palms. The forearms and palms, should strike the deck simultaneously. Fingers will be extended and joined.
~ Keep your head up to avoid striking your chin on the deck.


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  1. Information from Public Domain Document, MCRP 3-02B, Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP),, Added - 02/18/15

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