LINE Combat System

The LINE (Linear Infighting Neural Override Engagement) Combat System was a martial arts program used by the United States Marine Corps between 1989 and 1998. The LINE System is a system of close combat. It is a standardized system of close combat skills for every warrior at entry level training.

It is designed to do is give a military unit a close combat system that is the same regardless of MOS, regardless of age and regardless of gender or rank enabling everyone to train together. This gives you a standard, similar to a PT test.

The system was designed to be executed within specific combat conditions: limited visibility, extreme mental and physical fatigue, and when numerically inferior. The system was also designed to be executed within specific training parameters: Not vision dominated, mentally and physically fatigued while wearing full combat gear, techniques easily learned and retained through repetition, and designed to cause death to the opponent.

LINE was adopted by the Marine Corps in 1989 at a Course Content Review Board (CCRB) at Quantico, Virginia. All techniques were demonstrated for and deemed medically feasible by the Armed Forces Medical Examiner and a board of forensic pathologists from the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) in 1991.

LINE was removed in 1998 after a CCRB and was replaced that year by a close combat program more in line with the “millennial” battlefield, where Marines are engaged in many scenarios that require the use of less than lethal force. This system was refined and became the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP) in 2002.

The LINE System was adopted in 1998 by U.S. Army Special Forces at the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC). Primary instruction took place during phase II and was remediated in phases III and V at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. LINE is still currently taught at the SFQC, but will be replaced by the Modern Army Combatives Program (MACP) in October 2007.

Basic LINE is broken down into six parts:  The first part is LINE I. LINE I deals with attacks in the grappling range and in today’s era of BJJ and MMA, the word grappling sometimes has the wrong connotation. Grappling is the time when some one has their hands on someone else. It does not have to be on the ground, it could be standing, because that is normally where it starts. So LINE I takes care of all your grabs, chokes, and headlocks.

LINE II deals with punches and kicks. LINE III is our ground fighting phase. LINE IV defence against an edged or hand held weapon. LINE V is using the edged weapon and LINE VI is enemy neutralisation. LINE six is not sentry neutralisation. It is designed for use when someone has been separated from their unit; these techniques are designed to upgrade their situation when they don’t have the capabilities the enemy does have.

Within the military training community stress is simulated by time constraints, we have three basic tests for the instructors. The first is a simulated stress test, which is called time trials; they have to be able to do their techniques in proper form within a certain timeline. That timeline induces stress so we see how they work under stress.

The second thing they have to do is do the technique under a fatigued condition, so on the final day of testing they are doing aerobic and anaerobic exercise starting in the dark with full kit on for approximately four to six hours. This is before they do their physical test on technique, so we know that their technique has been degraded through fatigue. The final phase is a teaching test and the teaching test is done to ensure that the system is taught the same way by all students.