LETHAL AND NONLETHAL WEAPONS TECHNIQUESThis chapter describes all techniques for a right-handed person. However, all techniques can be executed from either side.
In drawings, the Marine is depicted in woodland camouflage utilities; the opponent is depicted without camouflage. In photographs, the Marine is depicted in woodland camouflage utilities; the opponent is depicted in desert camouflage utilities.
1. Bayonet TechniquesWARNING
During training, Marines must have bayonets sheathed. Marines use bayonet dummies to practice bayonet techniques. When practicing offensive and defensive bayonet techniques student-on-student, Marines use pugil sticks.
All Marines armed with a rifle carry a bayonet. The bayonet is an effective weapon if Marines are properly trained in offensive and defensive bayonet techniques. An offensive attack, such as a thrust, is a devastating attack that can quickly end a fight. Defensive techniques, such as the block and parry, can deter the opponent’s attack and allow Marines to regain the initiative. Through proper training, Marines develop the courage and confidence required to effectively use a bayonet to protect themselves and destroy the enemy. In situations where friendly and enemy troops are closely mingled and rifle fire and grenades are impractical, the bayonet becomes the weapon of choice.
Holding the Rifle
To execute bayonet techniques, Marines hold the rifle in a modified basic warrior stance. All movement begins and ends with the basic warrior stance. To hold the rifle, Marines—
- Use an overhanded grasp to grab the small of the rifle’s stock. Use an underhanded grasp to grab the hand-guards of the rifle.
- Lock the buttstock of the rifle against the hip with the right forearm.
Orient the blade end of the rifle toward the opponent. Offensive Bayonet Techniques Straight Thrust. Marines use the straight thrust to disable or kill an opponent. It is the most deadly offensive technique because it causes the most trauma to an opponent. Target areas are the opponent’s throat, groin, or face. The opponent’s chest and stomach are also excellent target areas if not protected by body armor or combat equipment. To execute the straight thrust, Marines—
- Lift the left leg and lunge forward off the ball of the right foot while thrusting the blade end of the weapon forward, directly toward the opponent.
- Retract the weapon and return to the basic warrior stance.
Slash. Marines use the slash to kill an opponent or to create an opening in his defense. The target area is the opponent’s neck. To execute the slash, Marines—
Extend the left hand back toward the left shoulder.
Thrust the left hand forward and swing it to the right, bring the right hand back toward the hip, and turn the cutting edge of the blade toward the opponent’s neck. The movement is a slashing motion so the blade cuts across the opponent’s neck.
Horizontal Buttstroke. Marines use the horizontal buttstroke to weaken an opponent’s defenses, to cause serious injury, or to set him up for a killing blow. Target areas are the opponent’s head, neck, and legs. To execute the horizontal buttstroke, Marines—
- Step forward with the right foot and drive the right hand forward. Rotate the hips and shoulders into the strike. Move the left hand back toward the left shoulder.
- Strike the opponent with the butt of the weapon.
Vertical Buttstroke. Marines use the vertical buttstroke to weaken an opponent’s defenses, to cause serious injury, or to set him up for a killing blow. Target areas are the opponent’s groin and face. To execute the vertical buttstroke, Marines—
- Step forward with the right foot and drive the right hand straight up.
- Pull the left hand back over the left shoulder.
- Strike the opponent with the butt of the weapon.
Smash. Marines use the smash as a follow-uptechnique to the horizontal or vertical buttstroke,particularly if they missed the target. The targetarea is the opponent’s head. To execute the smashfollowing a buttstroke, Marines—
- Step forward with the right foot and place the blade end of the weapon over the left shoulderand elevate the right elbow above the shoulders.
- Drive the arms straight forward, striking the opponent with the butt of the weapon.
Defensive Bayonet Techniques Parry. Marines use a parry as a defensive technique to redirect or deflect an attack. A parry is a slight redirection of a linear attack by an opponent; e.g., a straight thrust or a smash. To execute the parry, Marines—
- Use the bayonet end of the rifle to redirect the barrel or bayonet of the opponent’s weapon.
- Lock the weapon against the hip with the right forearm.
- Rotate to the right or left, moving the bayonet end of the rifle to parry the opponent’s attack. Rotation is generated from the hips.
- Redirect or guide the opponent’s weapon away from the body by exerting pressure against the opponent’s weapon.
High Block. Marines execute a high block against a vertical attack coming from high to low. To execute the high block, Marines—
- Thrust the arms up forcefully at approximately a 45-degree angle from the body. The weapon should be over the top of the head and parallel to the ground. The elbows are bent, but there is enough muscular tension in the arms to absorb the impact and deter the attack.
- Low Block. Marines execute the low block against a vertical attack coming from low to high.
To execute the low block, Marines—
Thrust the arms down forcefully at approximately a 45-degree angle from the body. The weapon should be at or below the waist and parallel to the ground. The elbows are bent, but there is enough muscular tension in the arms to absorb the impact and deter the attack.
Left and Right Block. Marines execute a left or right block against a horizontal buttstroke or a slash. To execute the left or right block, Marines—
Thrust the arms forcefully to the right or left, holding the rifle vertically in the direction of the attack. The elbows are bent, but there is enough muscular tension in the arms to absorb the impact and deter the attack.
Counter Action Following the Block. After deflecting an opponent’s attack with a block, Marines counter with a slash or a horizontal buttstroke to regain the initiative. However, the objective in any bayonet fight is to thrust forward with the blade end of the weapon to immediately end the fight.
On occasion, Marines may engage an opponent as a member of a group or numerous opponents by one’s self or as a member of a group. By combining bayonet fighting movements and simple strategies, Marines can effectively overcome their opponent or opponents.
Offensive Strategy: Two Against One. If two bayonet fighters engage one opponent, the fighters advance together.
Fighter 1 engages the opponent while fighter 2 swiftly and aggressively attacks the opponent’s exposed flank and destroys the opponent.
Offensive Strategy: Three Against Two. If three bayonet fighters engage two opponents, the fighters advance together keeping their opponents to the inside.
Fighters 1 and 3 engage opponents. Fighter 2 attacks the opponent’s exposed flank engaged by fighter 1 and destroys the opponent.
Fighters 1 and 2 turn and attack the exposed flank of the opponent engaged by fighter 3 and destroy the opponent.
Defensive Strategy: One Against Two. If a fighter is attacked by two opponents, the fighter immediately positions himself at the flank of the nearest opponent and keeps that opponent between himself and the other opponent.
Using the first opponent’s body as a shield against the second opponent, the fighter destroys the first opponent quickly before the second opponent moves to assist.
Then, the fighter engages and destroys the second opponent.
Defensive Strategy: Two Against Three. If two fighters are attacked by three opponents, the fighters immediately move to the opponent’s flanks.
Fighters 1 and 2 quickly attack and destroy their to hit the opponent with the rifle. The rifle is used opponents before the third opponent closes in. as a barrier.
Fighter 1 engages the third opponent while fighter 2 attacks the opponent’s exposed flank and destroys the opponent.
2. Nonlethal Rifle and Shotgun Retention TechniquesMost Marines are armed with the M16A2 service rifle. Marines are taught to keep their weapon with them at all times. Marines must be constantly alert to their surroundings and the people moving in and around their environment. Marines may be confronted by an individual who tries to take their weapons. If this happens, Marines should not struggle with the individual. To retain positive control of their weapons, Marines must understand and apply weapons retention techniques, otherwise known as armed manipulation. The following techniques can be used with either the rifle or the shotgun.
To execute a blocking technique, Marines—
Stand in a defensive posture.
Use the weapon to block the opponent by thrusting it out firmly, with the elbows bent. Do not try Technique if Opponent Grabs Weapon Underhanded
Usually an opponent will try to grab the weapon or block it as an instinctive action. If the opponent uses an underhand grab to seize the handguards of the weapon, Marines—
Trap the opponent’s closest finger(s) above the knuckle with the thumb so he cannot release his grip.
Apply bone pressure on the opponent’s finger to initiate pain compliance.
Rotate the barrel of the weapon up or down quickly while maintaining pressure on the opponent’s hand. At the same time, quickly pivot to off-balance the opponent.
Technique if Opponent Grabs Weapon Overhanded
If the opponent uses an overhand grab to seize the weapon overhanded, Marines—
Trap the opponent’s finger to hold his hand in place.
Rotate the barrel to place it across the opponent’s forearm and apply downward pressure. This ac
tion is similar to an armbar.
Technique if the Opponent Grabs the Muzzle
If the opponent grabs the muzzle of the weapon, Marines—
Rotate the muzzle quickly in a circle motion. Slash downward with the muzzle to release the opponent’s grip.
Strikes with the butt of the weapon control or ward off an attacker. During any of the retention techniques, Marines use the heel or cutting edge of the weapon to deliver butt strikes to the
inside or the outside of the opponent’s thigh. The inside butt strike targets the femoral nerve as illustrated in the photo to the left.
The outside butt strike targets the peroneal nerve as illustrated in the photo to the left. Strikes can be made to the outside or inside of the thighs. If a strike to one side of the
thigh misses, Marines follow back through with the butt of the weapon on the other side of the thigh.
Marines apply off-balancing techniques to throw an opponent to the ground and retain possession of the weapon.
If the opponent grabs the weapon and pushes, Marines should not push on the weapon. They should—
Move with the momentum and movement of the Throw the opponent to the ground with a quick jerking movement by lowering the muzzle and swinging the butt of the weapon.
opponent by pivoting in the direction of the movement by stepping back.
If the opponent grabs the weapon and pulls, Marines—
Step on the opponent’s foot and push forward to off-balance him and drive him to the ground.
Sweep the opponent’s feet out from under him by hooking his leg with the leg and kicking backward.
3. Nonlethal Handgun Retention Techniques
Many Marines are armed with the M9 service pistol. Marines must keep their weapons in their possession at all times. Marines must be constantlyalert to their surroundings and the people movingin and around the environment. Marines may beconfronted by an individual who tries to take their
weapons. To retain positive control of the weapon, Marines must understand and applyhandgun retention techniques.
Marines perform the following blocking techniques if an opponent attempts to grab their pistol in the holster. Marines— Place the body between the weapon and the opponent by immediately pivoting so the weapon is away from the opponent.
Step back and away from the opponent while placing the hand on the pistol grip.
Extend the left hand and block, deflect, or strike the opponent’s arm.
Marines use the armbar technique when an opponent uses his right hand to grab their pistol in the holster. To execute the armbar technique, Marines—
Trap the opponent’s right hand by grasping the opponent’s wrist or hand with the right hand and applying pressure against the body.
Step back with the right foot and pivot sharply to the right to be next to the opponent. Always pivot in a direction that keeps the weapon away from the opponent.
Straighten the opponent’s arm to apply an armbar. The arm should be straight across the torso.
Continue pivoting to the right while pulling back on the opponent’s shoulder. This action may break the opponent’s arm.
Place the left hand across the opponent’s face and Note: If the opponent grabs the pistol with his left apply pressure back and down to take the oppo-hand, Marines execute the wristlock with one hand and step in toward the opponent, rather than
nent to the ground. Pressure applied beneath the nose or on the trachea is equally effective.
Marines use the wristlock technique when an opponent grabs their pistol while it is in the holster with his right hand. To execute the wristlock technique, Marines—
Grasp the opponent’s wrist or hand with the right hand and apply pressure against the body.
Step back and away from the opponent and pivot to the right so the weapon is away from the opponent. Always pivot in a direction that keeps the weapon away from the opponent.
Reach over the opponent’s arm with the left handand grab his hand, applying pressure against hisarm with the left forearm. Execute a wristlock.
Incorporate the second hand into the wristlockand, stepping back with the left foot, pivot to theleft.
Execute a two-handed wristlock by exertingdownward pressure with the thumb and rotatinghis hand to the left.
Continue to pivot to off-balance the opponent anddrive him to the ground.
away from the opponent.
Softening Techniques Strikes. If it is difficult to apply a retention technique, Marines employ strikes or kicks to force
Handgun retention techniques use softening tech-the opponent to loosen his grip. Strikes to theniques applied to pressure points. Bone pressure
and strikes with the hands (i.e., hammer fist), eyes, the arms (radial nerve), or shoulder (brachi knees, and feet are also effective softening tech- al plexus tie in) soften the opponent’s grip on the niques. weapon.
Pressure Points. Marines use pressure point techniques to get the opponent to loosen his grip. Marines use their finger tips to apply pressure to the webbing between the index finger and thumb, the jugular notch, and the brachial plexus tie in. The following figure illustrates pressure applied to the brachial plexus tie in.
Bone Pressure. Bone pressure is the application of pressure on a bone against a hard object to initiate pain compliance. To apply bone pressure, Marines use their hand to trap the opponent’s hand on the weapon. Marines apply a slow, steady pressure to the opponent’s hand and fingers until his grip is softened or he releases his hold.
Kicks and knee strikes to the peroneal nerve, the femoral nerve, or the groin are effective because the opponent is typically unprepared to counter the strike.
Stomping on the top of the opponent’s foot may distract him or loosen his grip on the weapon.
4. Firearm Disarmament TechniquesMarines use firearm disarmament techniques during a close-range confrontation if they are un
armed and the opponent has a firearm (pistol). These techniques are equally effective if Marines are armed but do not have time to withdraw and present the weapon. The goal of firearm disarmament techniques is to gain control of the situation
so Marines gain the tactical advantage. The goal is not necessarily to get control of the opponent’s weapon.
Pistol to the Front
This technique is used when Marines are unarmed and the opponent has a pistol pointing at their front (e.g., head, chest). The technique is the same if the opponent sticks the pistol under the Marine’s chin. To execute the counter when an opponent is pointing a pistol toward the front of a Marine, Marines— Place the hands close to the weapon, about chest high, palms out.
Use the left hand to grab the opponent’s forearm and push the opponent’s hand with the pistol away to clear the body from in front of the weapon. At the same time, rotate the right shoulder back to clear the body from the weapon.
Maintain control of the opponent’s arm.
Grasp the weapon with the right hand by placing the thumb underneath the pistol and the fingers over top of the pistol.
Keep the right hand wrapped tightly around the muzzle and quickly rotate the pistol in the opponent’s hand so the muzzle is facing the opponent.
Grasp and pull the opponent’s wrist or forearm away from the body while rotating the weapon.
Rotate the weapon toward the opponent while pulling it up and back and out of the opponent’s grasp.
Pistol to the Rear
This technique is performed when Marines are unarmed and the opponent has a pistol pointing to the back of the Marine’s head. To execute the counter when the opponent is pointing a pistol to the rear, Marines—
Place the hands close together about chest high, palms out.
Step back with the left foot, pivoting on the right foot so the side is against the opponent’s front. This action clears the body from the weapon’s line of fire. Keep the left hand up.
Pivot on the left foot to face the opponent and, at the same time, raise the left elbow and reach over the top of the opponent’s arm with the left arm.
Wrap the left arm tightly around the opponent’s arm above his elbow to control it.
Push on the opponent’s shoulder with the right hand while pulling up with the left arm to achieve an armbar. This action releases the opponent’s grip on the weapon. If necessary, the opponent can be taken to the ground with a leg sweep.
Note: To execute this technique, the weapon must be close to or touching the rear of the Marine. If the weapon is too far away from the body, this technique would be difficult to execute or it would be ineffective.