Professional climber and fitness vlogger Magnus Midtbø has been taking on a series of physically grueling military challenges on his YouTube channel lately, including the Marine Corps fitness test, and the Norwegian Special Forces combat test. In a new video, Midtbø meets up with a group of US Marines at Camp Pendleton to learn as much as he can in a day about different fighting styles used in combat situations.
The day begins with an assault course while wearing a 20-pound weighted vest (to “warm up”), followed by a half-mile run down to the beach. Once there, Gunnery Sergeant Torres coaches Midtbø through the exhausting “Shamrock drill,” where Marines perform a series of bodyweight exercises with training partners including high crawls, squats, burpees and body drags across eight stations as well as practicing punching and kicking form.
Only then, once he is already fatigued, does Midtbø learn what he is really here for: shallow water grappling. “As if normal grappling wasn’t hard enough, the point of this exercise is basically to drown the opponent, or get drowned yourself,” he explains.
In a shallow water grappling fight, Midtbø and his opponent start out on their knees in the tide, with the goal being to achieve a dominant position, subdue the other, and get their head under the water. Midtbø wins his first round relatively quickly, but his second fight is much longer and turns into a nailbiter. He eventually wins that one too.
“It’s been an honor to be with you,” he tells the team. “I only did it for half a day, and I’m exhausted, I’m going to go to bed now and never do this again, but thank you so much.”
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