Random Thoughts: A Mindful Miscellany

from Marcus Wynne

Archive for March 2019

Swaggering Around, Unseemly As It May Be

with 6 comments

I remember, not long ago, doing a training demonstration for the Assistant Chief of the Minneapolis Police Department, her Training Lieutenant, and the very seasoned Sergeant in charge of the MPD Tactical Team (used to be ERU when I kicked a few doors with them, don’t know what they call themselves now…). After going through a brief session (30 minutes) designed to help them recognize their own somatic markers in the presence of danger, the Sergeant made six out of six entries into a room where he was required to state, based on his monitoring of his somatic markers, where the “bad guy” inside the room was — before he entered.

He was right on six for six out of all entries.

What I remember most, with a mix of amusement and resignation, was his complete flabbergastment at his own performance. He didn’t want to believe what he’d just done, because by his (previous) belief system, what he had just done was impossible, and therefore was some kind of arcane trickery on my part.

I gave him a technical explanation, and his immediate pushback was: “Where’s the research?” My rebuttal was, “Did you just do it? Six times in a row? Do you need research to convince you that you just did what you did? And, by the way, we (me and my crew at Accentus) are DOING the latest research we just gifted you in an exercise.”

It took him awhile to sort it out, and when I saw him at a later date in his role as firearms instructor, he’d absorbed that experience, made it part of his reality map, and was passing on his own flavor to his students.

One of the reason’s I’ve always brought research up AFTER I do exercises that are designed to create immediate change in the brain is that most people who are on the cutting edge of doing, rather than blogging/YouTubing/blagging (similar to blogging, but more annoying) are immediately and justifiably skeptical about “research” unless you can show them, right there, right now, how it benefits them operationally.

Dude, I’m down with that approach.

Back in the old timey times, when 3-4 revolvers and a sawed off shotgun were the “operators” tools of choice, I immediately questioned all “research” with my default “Oh, bullshit, show me.” So I get it why some of my colleagues and clients and students don’t want to hear about research UNLESS you can demonstrate why they need to spend some of their very limited time on that.

As my good friend and colleague Ralph Mroz points out in this article (insert Mind’s Eye link) we’ve been about 20-30 years ahead of the “firearms/training industry research” pretty much forever.

So it’s very gratifying when the mainstream science community catches up with our applications. One of my many attorneys pointed out with some amusement, “Marcus, you’re in a unique position. You’ve been proving this stuff works on the street and the battlefield for 30 years…and you had to go back to the lab to prove that street results were real!”

Word, bro. Word. Good thing I’m scary patient by nature.

There’s been a slew of recent research studies that have come out recently that lend support to the controversial exercises I’ve developed, taught, and validated in very hard arenas all over the world.

Specifically we’ve developed a number of exercises designed to help operators more rapidly recognize (and act) upon their individual somatic markers (insert Wikipedia link Somatic Marker Hypothesis) in the presence of danger. Primarily this is focused on refining the sense of imminent danger from humans nearby (though we have validated it in the field at over 300 meters) and the response it elicits in humans who, these days, are more unaware than not of everything, especially subtle feelings in the body traditionally associated with emotions (hair standing up on the neck, sinking feeling in the stomach, etc. are examples).

This plays off our fundamental emphasis on the importance of preconscious processing as a foundational element in survival in the face of extreme stress and extreme danger.

In other words, we train the brain’s pattern recognition program to recognize its own signals faster and sooner so as to speed up the decision making process in fast breaking human on human conflict. To recognize danger early. To recognize the shift in another human from OBSERVATION to ATTENTION and then ATTENTION to INTENTION.

Kind of a useful skill, wouldn’t you agree?

We reliably, and repeatedly, train brains to recognize the precursors before the precursors that are normally taught as fight precursors, to recognize the subtle muscle pre-firing that occurs before conscious thought as long as 2-7 seconds before action. As one of the studies cited below indicates, they’ve demonstrated in the lab the ability to predict 14 seconds before conscious thought and action. We have some anecdotes of that time frame from the field, problem is that our guys either left the area or decisively killed their opponents before they got well into their action sequence.

So if you’re interested in the hard science behind the stuff we do, which has been for 30 years often dismissed as hoo-doo (though embraced by some of the very best in the world and utilized operationally right now in some of the hardest counter-terror environments in the world) skim through these recent science articles.


How does the ability to respond and sense magnetic fields matter to the brain of a gunfighter?

BLUF*: The human organism generates an electromagnetic field from the heart and brain (see research at HeartMath, a DOD contractor and JSOC provider). At the preconscious level all humans feel variations in that field in other humans especially under stress or intention focused at another.


How does the ability to decode imagery before “volitional engagement” matter to a brain of a gunfighter?

BLUF*: Human brains visualize in the visual cortex before taking action, working off pattern recognition fragments or whole patterns. This causes measurable change in the brain which in turn is reflected in EM activity which is detected by nearby human brains.


How does the ability to read brain activity to predict decisions 11 seconds before people act matter to the brain of a gunfighter?

BLUF*: Uh, if a gunfighter can predict you 11 seconds in advance, even an ancient one eyed fat man like me could shoot you lots of times before you shoot me. Sorry — this is a more accessible and popular science explanation of the study above.

If you go back to the PDF of our peer reviewed research study published in THE JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL AND POLICE PSYCHOLOGY https://marcuswynne.wordpress.com/2018/08/29/a-major-milestone-for-accentus-ludus/ you’ll see reference to our somatic marker training. Still plenty of room to improve what we’re doing out in the field. And my brilliant research staff, when they’re not tutoring the Dalai Lama or treating PTSD with wolf therapy, will drive on with that mission.

Try it. You might save some lives, including your own.

*BLUF = Bottom Line Up Front

And while I rarely swagger around, thinking it unseemly in someone of my age, I’m going to post this video, because it captures how I’m feeling today. Thanks to my researchers, and the many hundreds of thousands of men and women out there who took this stuff on board to save their lives and many others, and thanks to God for gifting me with the ability to take this out into the world and save lives.

If you’re interested in this kind of stuff, please go here www.marcuswynne.com and sign up for my newsletter.  While it’s right now focused on selling books, I’m in the process of creating a consolidated website and newsletter that covers all this stuff.  Free, no spam.

From The One-Eyed Fat Man —


Written by marcuswynne

March 19, 2019 at 6:35 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Everything Old Is New Again

with 2 comments

A friend recently sent me this video of the very talented Pat MacNamara and mentioned how the “proprioceptive” drills Pat Mac is doing here looked familiar.  I don’t take credit for his excellent drills, and I have done similar exercises when I was a firearms instructor back in the days of Barney and Fred in THE FLINTSTONES.

I remember the pushback from some students (and most instructors) back in the day who wanted to know “What’s the benefit to my shooting to balance on one foot?  How does that pertain to a gunfight?”

Okay, legit questions then, legit question now.

As PM says here in a much more entertaining fashion, the purpose of his drill, and similar drills, is to develop and to exercise the ability to shoot decisively, i.e. quickly and accurately, while moving.  His point is that flat range training, especially amongst those who don’t have access to private ranges where you can easily run drills like this, doesn’t promote the use of the pistol while moving — and that every fight, gunfight or fist fight, involves movement.

In the older video below, Super Dave Harrington demonstrates a moving while shooting exercise that many Error-Net types ridiculed — because they didn’t understand what they were seeing, and not just because they couldn’t spell proprioceptive to save their lives, guns or not.  SD is also demonstrating utilizing the pistol shooting skillset while moving.  SD, I believe, first came up with the analogy that a pistol gunfighter has to be like a football quarterback:  you have to access your weapon, get out, align it with a target that is also moving, and snap the shot at the exact second necessary for it to hit what you aim with.  All the time while ducking and bobbing and weaving to avoid getting clobbered by big sweaty dudes who crush humans for a living.

I like that analogy.

It’s like the difference between punching air, to punching a heavy bag, to punching a human who’s moving and punching you back.

So what these drills do is isolate the elements of knowing where you are in three-dimensional space (like a street) and how you are moving (direction, speed, stability), as well as training your TRANSITIONAL movements neurologically and physiologically (in your muscles, etc).

You may not be able to bust moves like PM on your indoor range, but I’m going to give you some exercises below that you CAN do on an indoor regulated range as a Joe Citizen.

But first watch two Grand Masters of the Fighting Pistol below.

Okay.  Now that you’ve seen that, here’s some ideas for drills you can do to exercise your proprioception and general kinesthetics to enhance your ability to move and fight with a pistol.  The intention here is to give you simple exercises you can do on an indoor regulated range where you may not be able to draw from the holster, and are limited to  movement within the box defined by your indoor range shooting stall.  Ideally you’d train this, and then go somewhere you could move and shoot to graph your improvement from baseline — if you can’t live fire, Blue Gun or Air Soft it and see how it works.

Start with your weapon loaded and laid on the shooting booth shelf.

From your hands in a ready position, or by your side, and standing center in the square defined by the walls of your booth

  • Step to your far right, shoulder to the booth wall, pick up your pistol, and fire one shot at a 3×5 card at 5 or 7 yds.
  • After that shot, take a long step to your left, shoulder to the booth wall, and fire one shot at the card.
  • Scan over your shoulders behind you and step back one step (remaining within the defined box of the shooter’s booth) on the left, fire one shot
  • Scan around you and step to your right to the far right of the booth and fire one shot.
  • Four shots, simple movement right, left, back and sideways, incorporating a real awareness scan,


  • Same sequence but start with your weight on your right foot when you step right, stay on one foot if you can, or use your tiptoe like PM does on your left to balance you — take your time and place your shot
  • Step to the left, weight on the left, tiptoe right to balance — place your shot
  • Scan behind and around you, step back with your left, weight on your left, place your shot
  • Scan behind and around you, step to the right, weight on your right, use your tiptoe left to balance, place your shot.
  • Four shots, exercising proprioception, balance, and maintaining your “wobble zone” in your sight picture, movement, scanning.


  • Same sequence as above, but with strong hand only.


  • Same sequence as above, with other strong hand only


It’s harder — and more useful — than it seems, Pilgrims.

Take care, enjoy.

The One Eyed Fat Man

I’m consolidating much of my writing into a new, in-progress, website.  To keep current on my fiction, non-fiction, tactical writing, cognitive neuroscience, and strange adventures please go to www.marcuswynne.com and sign up at the bottom of the page for my newly revamped e-mail newsletter.

Written by marcuswynne

March 18, 2019 at 7:53 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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