Before there was MCMAP, there was LINE, the US Marine Corps used what was known as the Linear Infighting Neural Override Engagement (LINE) System. Used between 1989 to 1998, there LINE System is a lethal close quarter combat system that is taught to Marines for the sake of bringing lethal force to an opponent, with one primary objective: death.

The LINE System

Linear Infighting Neural Override Engagement LINE

Broken into six parts to educate and train practitioners an efficient means to truly cause lethal damage to your opponent, the LINE System is broken down like so:

LINE I – This is the foundation of the entire LINE System and is what every other part is based off. Students are taught how to deal with grappling. It specifically aims to help practitioners with opponents that have their hand on you, whether standing or on the ground. It provides education in chocks, headlocks, and grabs can neutralize and/or lethally take out the opponent. For example, the main four techniques that are taught are front and rear chokes, along with front and rear headlocks. The whole idea behind LINE I is to get the person onto the floor and use the large muscle groups to bring the opponent to death through a grappling technique mentioned above or maneuvering so that important limbs can be crushed.

LINE II – Students learn the basics of punching and kicking in this phase. They are taught techniques that allow them to effectively counter various punches and kicks to place users back into an advantageous position for executing the grappling moves learnt in LINE I. knock out opponents through various deadly strikes, focusing on a multitude of vulnerable parts of the body that would instantly neutralize any opponent.

LINE III – During Phase 3, students are taught how to deal with ground fighting. While LINE I focuses on primarily on any form of grappling – placing the hand anywhere on the body – LINE III aims to help the user get back up when pinned or tied to the ground. Since the battlefield is much more vicious and spontaneous than what is typically taught in other forms of fighting, LINE III is all about making sure you don’t remain stuck to the ground by the opponent, as in war, that would essentially mean death since it is not a matter of who wins, but who can hold down the opponent longest until their mates come. It teaches how to engage the opponent when they are attempting to stand up after you – how to break extended limbs and body parts.

Linear Infighting Neural Override Engagement LINE

LINE IV – In this part of the system, students are taught to defend themselves against edged or hand-held weapons. The primary aim is to learn how to first immobilize the opponent by breaking their hand or arm, and then neutralizing them through any of the techniques mentioned in the previous parts of the system.

LINE V – In this part, students learn how to use a hand-held weapon – specifically a knife. What differs LINE from any other knife-based training is that they focus on using a reverse grip. The reason for this choice was because it was discovered that most people who have little experience or knowledge in using a knife tended to grab a knife in this manner. Thus, since the LINE system teaches entry-level trainees, this reverse grip methodology was adapted. Focused on targeting the face or neck due to their vulnerability and unconventional area of target. Most people have grown up watching movies and shows that do not show this sort of action, thus to throw opponents’ expectations off, the choice to target the face and neck was specifically made. 

LINE VI – The last part is all about ending an enemy’s life in the most subtle and silent way possible. Teachings on concealment and stalking are taught. Students are reminded and taught how to take out an enemy that may not be assertively attacking you. It aims to help practitioners get over the psychological trauma of murder. There is in-depth discussion into the moral struggle of killing an opponent that may not be armed or in any way out get you, since it is much harder to kill an opponent that bares no ill-will toward you or is defenseless, versus killing someone that is actively out to get you. Students reflect on what it means to kill their opponent and deal with the harsh reality of this act of murder being part of their job in the military. 

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