Counter to a Rear Bear Hug - Marine Corps Martial Arts Technique

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Counter to a Rear Bear Hug - Marine Corps Martial Arts Technique

This page examines techniques that are used to counter a rear bear hug in the Marine Corps martial arts program. Overall, this section focuses on tan belt techniques used by 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.

Counter to the Rear Bear Hug

The counter to the rear bear hug is used when an aggressor approaches from the front or rear. The aggressor will grasp around the arms so that you end up in a vulnerable position with no use of
your arms.


~ The aggressor approaches you from behind and applies a bear hug with your arms included in his grasp.
~ Drop your body weight down, stepping out with your right leg. This places you more to the aggressor’s right side and also makes space for your left foot to step through. Simultaneously hook the aggressor’s arms with your hands, slightly flaring your elbows, preventing his arms from slipping off or up into a choke.
~ Step behind the aggressor’s right leg with your left foot, keeping both legs bent, almost in a squatting position. The left side of your body should be against the aggressor’s. Your left hip is in contact with the aggressor’s right thigh/buttock, breaking his balance.
~ While keeping positive control of your aggressor’s arms, turn forcefully to the left, strike and drive your left elbow into the aggressor’s torso while rotating your hips and pivoting to your left. The aggressor should fall to his back or side causing him to lose his grip.
~ Rapidly return to the basic warrior stance, ready for any follow-on techniques. See figure 2-43.


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  1. Information from Public Domain Document, MCRP 3-02B, Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP),, Added - 04/28/15

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