OCdts. On Parade

P.E. a Necessary Part of Officer Development

The RMC P.E. Mission: “to establish a strong foundation of skills and knowledge in physical fitness, sports, and military-related activities through a progressive and diverse physical education program for RMC Officer Cadets”

The Vision: “foster a passion for active living and leadership in physical activity”

As part of their development at RMC cadets must take physical education classes every year. These classes are designed to enhance their physical fitness and develop military and athletic skills necessary to lead their troops.  The bottom line is: cadets must be fit. An unfit officer may be unable to lead under hard or strenuous conditions and troops are unlikely to trust an officer without the personal discipline to develop a certain degree of physical fitness.  Joining a batallion on workup training for Afghanistan is not a good time to learn that you can’t run with your troops.  RMC provides the perfect venue to train and prepare  before heading out into an all too often unforgiving “real world”.

Unarmed Combat workout: click on image for video

It is the RMC Physical Education Department’s role to ensure that cadets graduating from the College have attained an acceptable level of fitness.  In addition to fitness cadets acquire military skills which will prove useful, even necessary, throughout their careers.  This is achieved through the instructional component of the RMC Physical Education program.  Seemingly innocuous classes develop abilities which can be used to keep troops fit all the while developing morale and cohesion: learning to play soccer or even handball allows officers to vary the physical training they do with their troops, and so, the weekly ruck march might occasionally be traded for an intense soccer game.  Other physical education lessons translate into even more direct military applications: rappelling, swimming, and unarmed combat are essential skills every member of the profession of arms should be comfortable with.

The Program:

The instructional Physical Education Program consists of a progressive program of two mandatory consecutive periods per week (for a total of 100 min per week).

The Physical Education Program (P.E.) curriculum encompasses one program per academic year.

1st year : Personal Fitness Techniques

The first year program is aimed at giving officer-cadets the tools to take charge of their personal fitness. Courses in that program include: theory on exercise physiology, nutrition, training principles and injury prevention. The practical contents expose officer-cadets to the different training methods commonly used in the Canadian Forces. They are also required to complete the Basic Military Swim Standard test.

2nd year : Collective Sports

The second year program offers a variety of elective sport courses where officer-cadets select one course per term for a total of three sports. The second year program concentrates it’s options on collective sports activities played within the Canadian Forces plus some other popular ones. Among those sports, we have soccer, broomball, spinning, volleyball, basketball, squash, badminton, flag-football, handball, water polo and softball. Students also acquire basic knowledge related to organizing sports tournaments.

3rd year : Military Skills

The third year program is developed to expose all officer-cadets to military skills requiring physical fitness. These courses introduce activities such as various forms of unarmed combat, different obstacle courses, waterborne training as well as military rappelling.

4th year : Individual Sports

The fourth year program offers a variety of elective sport courses and follows the same principles as the second year program. It concentrates it’s options on individual sports and activities such as canoeing, rock climbing, weight training, swimming and life guarding, advanced unarmed combat, pressure points control tactics and spinning leadership.

Information taken from the RMC Physical Education Department Website.


3rd Year Striking Practice: click on image for video

3rd Year in Focus: Military Skills

In 3rd Year, officer cadets are exposed to a variety of military skills designed to familiarize them with basic military skills all the while developing the physical fitness.  Classes include theoretical lessons, demonstrations, and a whole lot of practice.  2nd Year officer cadets often look forward to this instruction: most of them have never been exposed to military skills as a means to physical fitness.  3rd Years going through this training realize that their eagerness in 2nd Year was well founded: while challenging, the classes are enjoyable and often get the blood pumping and the adrenaline surging.  Some are apprehensive at the thought of facing the pool for something else besides the traditional laps while others dread the “leap of faith” off the rappelling tower, but in the end, they agree it was all worth it.

It must be noted that P.E. classes are not all fun and games.  Fact of the matter is that cadets are evaluated on their practical skills and their participation.  Failing P.E. will result in a failure of the athletics pillar at RMC and may result in administrative action.  However, these are few and far between as members of the RMC Physical Education team are always there to provide assistance to those in need.

3rd Year P.E. Curriculum:

Obstacle Course : This course will require students to design obstacles with the available equipment. The students will design and lead their own obstacle course for their classmates and where they will be evaluated on their leadership and innovation.

Unarmed Combat (Grappling) : This course will offer the students a continuation to grappling in unarmed combat, developing on the base developed in the 1st Yr Introduction to Unarmed Combat. Classes will cover subjects from response to various attacks and situations to ground fighting.

3rd Year Grappling Practice: click on image for video

Military Rappel : This course will offer the student an opportunity to build their confidence and improve their military rappelling skill on a tower specially built for the course.

Unarmed Combat (Kicking) : This course will offer the student a continuation to kicking in unarmed combat, developing on the base developed in the 1st Yr Introduction to Unarmed Combat. Classes will cover subjects from the kicking distance and targets to the use of front and rear kicks and mobility.

Unarmed Combat (Hands) : This course will offer the student a continuation to the use of hands in unarmed combat, developing on the base developed in the 1st Yr Introduction to Unarmed Combat. Classes will cover subjects from hand distance and targets, to use of single and multiple strikes with the hands.

3rd Years Sparring: click on image for video

Water Borne Training : This course will offer the Cadet an opportunity to enhance their knowledge on aquatic obstacle courses training and improve their basic swimming skills.

Information taken from the RMC Physical Education Website.

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