Random Thoughts: A Mindful Miscellany

from Marcus Wynne

New Training Paradigms and The Courage To Go Outside The Box (read to the bottom for free e-book till Wednesday)

with 4 comments

Just this morning I received an e-mail from a veteran who is a long time reader of my fiction, and a follower of my training research.  After a distinguished military career, he’s now doing other things which include teaching civilian CCW classes.  Out of respect for his privacy, I’m going to excerpt a snippet from his e-mail here:


    Just wanted to drop you a note to say thanks.  I was filling in for a friend on a [state level] CCW class the other day and, for the first time, had two first time shooters in the class.  I thought, “what the hell, let’s give it a go.  I went back and pulled up the post you did on rethinking teaching the novice shooter.  When it came time for the qualification shoot, I put them in the last firing order and, when everyone else was gone, I went through your method.  It worked like a freakin’ charm.  While they weren’t anywhere near prepared for an actual encounter with the Bad Man (no one is on a mere CCW qual course), they were shooting as well as the, ahem, “experienced” shooters in the group.  So thanks.  I’ll be using that again.

Can’t wait for the non-fiction books.

Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret.)


As I often mention in this blog, my research work in training, especially in firearms and “soft skills” like situational awareness has been adopted at the national level in Sweden, Norway, South Africa, and Israel.  Individual units and regional LE/military organizations in many other countries have adopted some of it.

It’s always refreshing to me to get an e-mail like that (I consider those e-mails to be of more value than all the certificates and contracts I can hang on my wall — to me these e-mails represent lives saved now and down stream) from people out in the field.  And especially so when it’s a (now) civilian instructor teaching newbie civilian shooters as I set out below in my older blog post from three or four years ago.

I’m reminded of this YouTube video on leadership.  It starts off like one of my post-training parties when I was younger, and the lessons become self-evident.  This very much applies to the willingness to go outside of the box, to safely experiment with new training concepts, and more to the point — be among the first to do so.

Thanks, LTC!

This post below is from 2016.  The truth is out there:

Here’s a few training hacks derived from our going research (and the research of others) into training for performance under stress.

Scroll down for some recommended fundamental books that should be read by anyone who wants to discuss “cognitive neuroscience” in the context of firearms and combative training before they start slinging “most scientific” in their marketing material (hat tip to Alfred Bester in THE STARS MY DESTINATION — “Very quant! Most Scientific!”)


Whether you’re a gun enthusiast or seasoned tactician, you’ve probably run across some of the many new gun owners at ranges. Many experienced people have taken it upon themselves to offer training (familiarization) and experiences on ranges to those new to firearms. These ideas are offered from research into learning that applies to beginning firearms students.

As usual, don’t take anything said here (or by anybody) as gospel unless you verify it through your direct experience. Don’t recycle and remouth what somebody else says until you’ve done it for yourself. Feel free to read the books listed below and come to your own conclusions, or ask questions (please don’t e-mail them to me, just post in the comments, thx).

Here’s a recommended sequence of instruction for a new handgun shooter:

1. Determine status of weapon (loaded, unloaded? External safety or no? Magazine in or out, loaded or unloaded, external safety or not?
2. How to make a weapon safe: If safety,look for F/S, engage safety. Remove magazine. Lock back slide and visually/physical inspect chamber.
3. How to load the weapon.
4. Muzzle awareness — guns are geometric instruments
5. Trigger finger awareness — location of finger trigger at all time.

The only safety briefing necessary for an experienced instructor and a novice is: “Do what I tell you to do. And only that.” At this point.

The above steps are all hands on. No lecture, just show them one time, then let them do it. Don’t do it for them, let them make mistakes and figure it out by themselves. You are standing right there and you are responsible for safety. You can use snap caps/dummy rounds if you want; using real ammo under your close supervision increases stress for the student. Keep it simple, brief sentences, positive reinforcement. Don’t lecture, don’t preach. Maximize hands on by the student and hands off by the instructor. That includes talking them through. Let them figure it out. Doesn’t matter (at this point) if it looks like crap.

Once they’ve gone through this sequence above (should not take more than five to seven minutes max) go hot with the pistol. Let them do it. If somebody is really a stress wreck, load it for them and put it into their hand.

Then let them shoot. No instruction on grip, stance, aim, breathing, blah blah blah. Just make sure their fingers don’t get caught in the slide. Bring the target up close. Let them shoot like 5 rounds, take a break, shoot five more. Doesn’t matter at all what the target looks like and don’t coach. Just let them go bang. No more than ten rounds.

Then have them determine the status of their weapon, unload, make it safe.

And shake it off.

No negative comments, no coaching, no endless mouth noise about trigger control and grip and stance blah blah blah.

Then go through the whole sequence again. No talk, no lecture, just do it and let them work through the whole sequence, hands shaking whatever. It’s your job to ensure safety at this point, do so. Muzzle awareness and trigger awareness, and save the four rules lecture for another time.


Then pick ONE thing, and one thing only. I suggest starting with grip. Fine tune their grip and spend no more than one minute doing so. Don’t talk about it, just adjust their hand and have them feel whether it works for them or not.

Five shots. Let them notice improvement. If there’s no improvement by fine tuning their grip, then you better work harder as an instructor.

Then trigger. Put a coin on the front sight and have them do no more than five slow presses. if they’re able to keep the coin from falling, that’s good enough for now. No more than a minute.

Five shots.

Then stance. No more than one minute.

Five shots.

No improvement? Shame on you, instructor. There should be.

Eye-sight-target alignment. No more than one minute.

Five shots.

Take a break.

Nothing negative, just chat, let them process. No feedback from you or fine tuning at this point.

After about five minutes or so, have them go through the whole sequence (determine status, load, muzzle awareness, trigger finger, grip, stance, eye-sight-target alignment).

Shoot 10 rounds in this sequence (hat tip to Claude Werner, Tactical Professor) Fire 1 from ready, lower to low ready, fire 2, low ready, fire 3, low ready, fire 4 to slide lock, go through sequence (determine status, etc. etc.).

Take a break and congratulate them on their improvement. No improvement? Shame on you, instructor.

50 rds, about 30 minutes. See targets below.


Handgun target — 7 yards, last 25 rounds of first 50 rounds from a handgun Evah.


Student being coached by some old vagrant.


Works with ARs, too. At CQB range 10 yds — notice group on targets. First time with AR. First 20 rounds.


100 yard target.

Total AR rounds — 60 rds. Never handled one. Can identify weapon status, make safe, load, engage targets, make weapon safe. Total training time on AR platform — 30 minutes.

9mm handgun — 50 rds. Never handled one. Can identify weapon status, make safe, load, engage targets, make weapon safe. Total training time on pistol platform — 30 minutes.

One hour, 50 handgun rounds, 60 AR rounds.

Can you do this? Why not?

Dudes and dudettes, this is why this works, every single time, if you do it this way (which requires you instructor types to rethink your presuppositions, biases and perceptual framework that defines your definition of firearms instruction)

The student has no first hand experience of firearms. All her presuppositions, imagining, biases come second or third hand delivered through the opinions of others or perceptions from media like TV, movies, and the Errornet.

Biases and presuppositions come from our experiences and training. Every word that comes out of an instructors mouth comes from previous experience/learning/knowledge.

In this case, the student is a blank slate with NO EXPERIENCE to build any sort of cognitive framework on which to build a perception or to acquire skill.

So, dudes and dudettes, how about we CREATE an experience for the student, so they have some kind of cognitive framework in which to hang all the learning you expect them to get? In other words, how about building a box for them to put the learning in, and make sure that box from day one will translate to the self defense application?

Give them the experience WITHOUT you interfering, only guiding and doing the minimal necessary to provide safety (you’re responsible during this particular first session). Let them work through errors on their own. Then get on with it.

So here’s an example: devout Muslims and Orthodox Jews. The subject of your lecture? The Joy of Virginia Ham. So you gots your PowerPoint, you gots your training AIDS, you gots your lecture notes all set out. So now…describe the taste of Virginia Ham to an audience that has no experience with eating ham.

C’mon, you’re an instructor. What’s so tough about that?

So now explain (use your words, now, as my fellow FLETC instructor Raylan Givens once said), to an audience with no experience with real firearms or shooting. Use your words only. Now go have them do what you TALKED about. Or maybe skip the lectures till you BUILD a cognitive framework based on EXPERIENCE so the students can then hang your abstractions and lecture onto their experiential framework.




And then ask yourself this question: What’s more important in a gunfight? Being able to rattle off cognitive neuroscience, or do the skill in real time under real stress? What’s more important to a teacher of gun fighting? The ability to rattle off “Yerkes-Dodson! Hicks Law! Most scientific!” Or the ability to take a chance and reshape the paradigm of firearms training which dates back to the 1700s and incorporate some simple and extremely proven research (which is just now creeping into firearms training) so that you can SAVE SOME LIVES and make sure that new shooters start off right?

Food for thought, dudes and dudettes.

Have a good ‘un.

PS: Shout out to the Achy Man haters! Hope you’re enjoying yourselves in Minnesota! Drop by any time, and bring your catamites — we’re very gay-friendly in Minneapolis. Say hi to Uncle Rico next time!

PPS:  Go here for a free e-book/Kindle copy of my best selling first novel NO OTHER OPTION.  Free till Wednesday! https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004YKUE6M/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i1

Written by marcuswynne

April 15, 2019 at 12:33 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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

A New Novel, And Upcoming Training Books (Update with Free Book)

with 10 comments


For my writing fans who just want to cut to the chase, here’s links to the new book WYLDE:  BOOKS 1-3 on Amazon and Smashwords.  By the time you read this it should be live on Amazon and Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks and Kobo.

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/WYLDE-BOOKS-1-3-Marcus-Wynne-ebook/dp/B07LDZ3JWV/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1545332990&sr=8-2&keywords=wylde+books+1-3

Smashwords link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/912989


On Smashwords you can download these books as .mobi files to read with the Kindle app or on any Kindle device, as well as in PDF and all other e-book formats.  Sign up is free and they don’t spam you.

One new book:  WYLDE BOOKS 1-3 https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/912989

One free book:  NO OTHER OPTION https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/56252

One book on sale:  WARRIOR IN THE SHADOWS https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/538353

New Book synopsis:

This compilation of the two previous WYLDE books JOHNNY WYLDE and TWO’S WYLDE with 60,000 additional words of new story brings the WYLDE story to a dramatic finale.  The two previous books have been revised, corrected and combined to flow with the new content.

WYLDE is a manic gunfighter-noir-crime story that blows up in high drama when you mix a bar bouncer with a shadowy military past, a gleefully criminal South African gun dealer, a sado-masochistic Russian couple who traffic in weapons and women, a Buddhist exotic dancer, a man-killing woman detective, assorted highly skilled dark side shooters and the sunniest down-home female assassin in the business.

Lyrical sex. Poetic violence. And poetry.
For adults only. Rated R for graphic sex, violence, language and mordant humor.


For those who are curious about what’s up with the business, stick around.

I’ve been working on integrating the best research in sports psychology, cognitive neuroscience, stress inoculation, accelerated expertise and adult learning into military, law enforcement and private sector training since the late 1980s.  I’ve taught at hundreds of military and law enforcement academies, including the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center at the Marana AZ satellite campus.  My work was adopted at the national level by the Norwegian National Police, the Swedish National Police, and the South African Police Force.  It’s also been adopted been adopted by specialty military and police units within those nations as well as the Israeli and UK training communities.  I continue to consult with a number of elite military and law enforcement units domestically and abroad.

So what?

In 2014, I started Accentus-Ludus LLC, a Department of Defense Research and Development Company focusing on integrating all the work we’ve done with innovative training design.


We do good work.  Some has already been published after peer review in THE JOURNAL OF POLICE AND CRIMINAL PSYCHOLOGY and some of which is yet forthcoming elsewhere.  We have patents pending on specific training protocols and processes that create specific cognitive, neurological and behavioral changes that result in dramatic improvements in ability.  We’ve been invited to present at Google’s “X” facility, one of the most advanced research and development labs in the world, and DARPA (Defense Advanced Research and Projects Administration) the US Department of Defense’s military Research and Development organization.  And we continue to consult with cutting edge researchers all over the world to refine what we do.

So what?

During the last five years I focused all my energy on getting the company up and running.  Now that we’ve taken it as far as we can, we’re selling the company along with some of the patents and intellectual property.  That whole burdensome process is being handled by Fredrickson & Byron www.fredlaw.com one of the largest law firms in the country, which specializes in IP sale, IPOs, financial packaging, etc. for companies like Medtronics and Cray, to use two local examples.

So what?

It means I can let someone truly competent run with that and I can get back to my *second* (after using research to save lives) true love which is writing.  The first order of business was to finish up the WYLDE series.  I just published that two days ago as a Christmas present for my very patient fans.  My roster of upcoming fiction includes a novella which wraps up the story of Dale and Charley from BROTHERS IN ARMS, and another long book like WYLDE titled THE ACHY MAN.  I’m already in discussion with major online streaming services about creating original series out of WYLDE and THE ACHY MAN.  I’ll keep you in the loop on when we move past talking and into doing.

My peers, colleagues, and students have long urged me to write a book about our training methods.  I’ve resisted for a long time because our approach is focused on fast effective immediate change to the human brain in the context of a carefully crafted training environment.  Setting down the complexity of that, especially while the process was in dynamic evolution, didn’t seem like an appropriate course of action at the time.

I’ve changed my thinking.  I think it’s time to do that.  I’ve become motivated since there’s been a concentrated effort on the behalf of unscrupulous individuals and organizations to steal some of our intellectual property, and attempts to take credit (to the point of plagiarism) for content we’ve written and research that we did.

I’m not, nor have I ever been, concerned with the “Hey look at me!  Look at what I did!”  factor. I am concerned with, and will always remain concerned with, saving as many lives as we can through our training innovations.  It’s irritating to see unscrupulous and unskilled wannabes attempting to take credit for their bastardized version of our work.  More to the point, they compromise student safety and downstream training effectiveness because they don’t know what the hell they’re doing.  The individuals who’ve actually trained directly with me have gone on to train hundreds of thousands of students:  the entire South African and Swedish National Police, much of the Norwegian National Police, and multiple elite military units all over the world.

Those vetted instructors know what they’re doing because they were trained properly and went out and applied and evolved their processes with my follow up coaching.

These unscrupulous individuals and organizations do not know what they’re doing.

So why not sue them?  I have the biggest, best and most expensive attorney roster in the upper Midwest.  Suing them would be trivial.  But I’d rather not spend the energy.  Let their own unscrupulous actions expose them.  The best revenge is living well.  In this instance, the best revenge is training others well — and let these LOSERS fall by the wayside.

So in the interest of setting the record straight, I have two training books lined up for release next year.

The first book is a compilation from my blog. Edited, curated, annotated, and cross referenced.

The second book is a detailed “working book” which is combination illustrated journal with hard science references and detailed case studies, most of which have never been publicized.

After that, it’s back to consultation, working with the new owners of Accentus for a period of time, and back to my fiction writing career.

That’s the long winded answer.

Stay tuned, and thanks for reading.


Written by marcuswynne

December 20, 2018 at 7:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

A Major Milestone for Accentus Ludus (edited 28 Sep 2018, to add direct link for approved PDF of the research paper)

with 18 comments

I’m very humbled to announce that THE JOURNAL OF POLICING AND CRIMINAL PSYCHOLOGYhas completed its rigorous independent peer review of a research study measuring the efficacy of the neural-based training methods we’ve developed over the last 31 years of research and experimentation. (click here for the PDF: Approved Pre-Print Release

The paper establishes a brand new field of academic and scientific inquiry:  the fusion of accelerated expertise concurrent with stress inoculation.  It establishes us as pioneers in this new field and validates our training protocols in the laboratory.  We’ve already validated our results on the street and on the battlefield for over 31 years.

Our patented process and training protocols change the brain through the mechanism of neural plasticity to create accelerated expertise concurrent with stress inoculation.

It’s this process that enables us to take two novices with the MP-5 and train them to perform and qualify, both on paper and in sim fights against non-compliant opponents. as experts who outperformed master instructors.

In four hours.  Case study here: INSERT LINK

With an early version of that process, we worked with a group of rape survivors so traumatized that they were triggered into severe PTSD symptoms at the mere sight of a handgun. After training, women who were previously unable to look at a handgun were fighting with that same handgun against two large aggressive and highly skilled male fighters armed with real machetes and baseball bats.

The women won their fights. 100% lethal hits in dynamic full contact force on force.  They outperformed the local SWAT shooters who were, at best, around 40% hits in the exact same scenarios.

From start to finish, four hours.

Ed Lovette, who was in charge of paramilitary training for an Other Government Agency, was an expert witness to the training that day.  He turned to me and said, “Chico, you broke the code.”

We’ve since then been quietly invited to many of the most elite military and law enforcement units in the world to provide training for their instructor cadres:  CASE STUDY HERE

We’re now taking our refined process and automating it with cutting edge technology.  We’re going to do just what Neo experienced in the Matrix:

This is my amazing research team.  One of them is a tenured professor who, when she’s not tutoring the Dalai Lama and his monks in cognitive neuroscience, is busy defining the cognitive neuroscience of mindfulness and how to apply that to keeping good guys and gals alive.  The other works with wolves in a therapeutic setting to help veterans cope with PTSD, when she’s not saving lives at her clinical practice or running her roller derby team.

They are both amazing and brilliant woman who I am very honored to work with.

Dr. Aminda O’Hare, Research Director, Cognitive Neuroscience Advisor


Dr. O’Hare is a tenured assistant professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. She is the Principal Investigator of the Cognitive and Affective Psychophysiology and Experimental Science (CAPES) laboratory, which uses event-related potentials (ERP) techniques to investigate cognition and emotion interactions.  She has been awarded a Multidisciplinary Seed Funding Grant from the UMass system to study the relationships among perceived stress, biomarkers of stress and performance in college students.  She has been honored with a grant from the Mind and Life Foundation to study the effects of mindfulness practice on college relationships in first semester college students.  This grant takes her to India where she tutors the Dalai Lama and others at His Holiness’s educational institution in Dharamsala, India. Previously she completed a two year fellowship on the Cognitive Psychophysiology National Institutes of Health Training Grant at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she specialized in the neuroscience of anxiety, depression, and executive functioning.

Dr. Amanda Beer, Clinician, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Clinical Applications Advisor


Dr. Beer is a licensed clinical psychologist (licensed in NC, WA, CA) who specializes in integrating awareness and strength-based approaches to help clients transform fear, stress and trauma.  She works with individuals and groups from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds and has specific expertise collaborating with clients facing gender or racial oppression.  Her approach is collaborative in nature and grounded in feminist and Buddhist psychology frameworks.  As a scientist-practitioner, Dr. Beer is committed to utilizing evidence based and cutting-edge strategies while simultaneously honoring her clients innate power to change. Her clinical background involves specialized training in multi-cultural counseling competence, group psychotherapy and intervention, and mindfulness- based approaches to wellness.  She has engaged in intensive training on psychological trauma and healing.  Currently Dr. Beer facilitates educational and therapeutic programs that empower individuals, specifically at-risk youth, to identify with their inner wisdom and innate healing potential via connections with animals and nature in a setting working with wolves and wolf dogs in a unique educational context.

I want to thank all my friends and colleagues who have supported me in this crazy uphill struggle for 31 years.  And I want to also thank the many doubters and haters – our enemies can be great teachers. Mine certainly have been.

See you around the campus. Or out on the street.

Written by marcuswynne

August 29, 2018 at 1:03 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Six Years Of Random Thoughts (as of today)

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Wow.  Who’d of thunk it?  Six years.

Stand by for a brief video about the mental training open enrollment, pro and con.  Sometime this week in between other things.

cheers, m

Written by marcuswynne

May 2, 2018 at 5:20 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Brain Hacks For Better Shooting

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Below is a description of a stripped down version of one of our military programs.  It focuses on the mental attributes to support the act of shooting, not the emotional hardening and management of aggressive fighting physiology involved in gunfighting.  Obviously there’s some overlap but this is aimed at the general shooting community like competitive shooters, firearms instructors, firearms enthusiasts and not just the professional gun-fighter.

After discussion with our legal counsel, we’re going to experiment with a few open enrollment classes along this line.

We won’t be taking this on the road right away as we want to run a few to refine and test curriculum.

If interested, please leave comments or questions in the reply below or if you prefer an email to marcus@accentusludus.com


Cheers, m

 Brain Hacks for Better shooting

 The performance of your BRAIN drives your BODY to excellence.  This course builds the mental platform talked about, but rarely trained, in traditional shooting courses.  The methods taught are proven in both competition and in combat.  The instructor is the leading authority in applying these methods to shooting.  After professionally training federal law enforcement and military special operations worldwide for the last 20 years, he is now opening up instruction to civilian shooters.

 Course Overview

  •  You will leave with a better ability to shoot under stress and a personalized practice program to reinforce your mental skills at home.
  • This is a one-day course.  We’ll do live fire, dry fire, experiential exercises, and a minimum of lecture.
  • This is NOT another shooting skills course like you are used to – it is a mental skills course that will ENABLE you to shoot better.
  • We put the latest in cognitive neuroscience research into easy to apply practical exercises proven to dramatically improve shooting skills.


Subjects Covered:

  • How your brain works when you shoot.
  • Brain hacks to make your brain work better.
  • How to manage stress before, during and after shooting.
  • Every high-level shooter talks about how valuable visualization is:  have you ever been taught how to manipulate your visual processing and improve it?  We do that.
  • How to refine your physical movement using your brain.
  • How to manipulate your brain’s processing so that “you have all the time you need…fast.”
  • Putting it all together with “Deliberate Practice,” a method of self-training used by master performers in every field and profession. NOTE:  one of my colleagues, a naval special warfare instructor, pointed out that what we do is combine Deliberate Practice AND Deliberate Play (ala Cote) so for all the training-neuroscience nerds out there, that’s a better description of what we do and how we are different. (Edited 17 Apr 2018)

Sample Day:

  • Safety briefing
  • Live fire baseline drills
  • Introduction to concepts and overview of the brain
  • Visualization skills
  •  Stress management skills to mitigate stress before, during and after shooting.
  • Kinesthetic skills to improve how your body uses real time information
  • Temporal processing or how to manage how fast you perceive time
  • Deliberate Practice techniques to build a practice program that will build on your progress after this one-day training.
  • Baseline check to measure shooting progress after one day’s training.
  • Techniques for retaining and integrating your new mental skills
o Sleep cycle
o Hydration
o Refresher/checks
o Deliberate Practice


Taught by Marcus Wynne:  Marcus is the CEO of Accentus Ludus LLC, a DOD research company focused on enhancing mental performance.  He has been a pioneer in the field of enhancing mental performance in combative applications for 30 years.  He’s taught at national law enforcement academies in over ten countries, including the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, and consults regularly with elite military counter-terror units in the US and abroad.  He served in the 82d Airborne and the United Nations Command Joint Security Force on active military duty during the 70s and 80s, and served again as a Federal Air Marshal, Air Marshal Team Leader, and Lead Firearms/Tactics Instructor during the First Gulf War in the early 90s.



Written by marcuswynne

April 16, 2018 at 7:15 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

In Honor Of Peter Wang

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If you don’t know who Peter Wang is, let me educate you. Peter Wang was a 15-year-old young MAN who died in the recent Florida school shooting. Peter Wang was a proud member of the Army Junior Reserve Officer Training program at his high school. He dreamed of attending West Point and serving his country in the military. As an ROTC cadet, he received firearms training and was reportedly an accomplished marksman.

He knew how to shoot a rifle and he knew what one can do.

He knew exactly what he was facing when he stood, in his grey and black uniform, in the line of fire and held open the door to his study hall. He herded dozens of his terrified classmates through to safety. He stood there protecting his classmates and saved all that he could till he was shot down.

He died where he stood.

15 years old. A young MAN. A MAN who gave his life to serve others by going in harm’s way to protect those unable to protect themselves.

A MAN. Very politically incorrect in these days of “toxic masculinity” to celebrate Old Skool virtues like courage, service to others, putting oneself at risk to protect those who cannot protect themselves, standing up in the face of evil, and holding the line despite terrible fear so that others may live.

I celebrate those values. And I honor this young MAN who delivered his young life to save others.

Today, in honor of Peter Wang, I’m going to share some insights about school and church security that WORK. How do I know they work? Among other things, I am a researcher. I went to Israel and interviewed and trained with the operators who provide training to the teachers and school security staff (remember, just about every Israeli is a veteran). I studied what others were doing in the US. I studied what worked and didn’t work at events from Colombine and Sandy Hook. I didn’t just recycle the endless Errornet commentary. I worked off actual police reports, autopsy findings, multiple perspectives of the incidents. And I ran all that through the filter of someone who has done high threat protection for over 40 years in some of the most dangerous places in the world.

Then I went and tested these concepts (as I always do and have been documenting and sharing in various forms of media from pre-web gun rags to this little blog since the 1980s) out in the real world. I was asked to consult with a religious school that in the estimate of the FBI and the Joint Terror Task Force has an extremely high threat from terror attack and organized criminal activity. I drafted a plan and launched it and have watched it evolve and survive significant risks over three years. One of the challenges in doing security is how do you document success? With good to great security, nothing bad happens to the target. But quite often there’s a lot of unseen or undiscussed action out at the perimeter.

As I always do, let me say this is not the only way. It is a way. It is a way that was rigorously researched, carefully designed, and then tested continuously. Thus far it has worked well. For OPSEC I’m not going to discuss some specifics.

• Do the school officials understand that there is a risk?
• If so, how much money are they willing to spend to mitigate that risk?
• Do they understand how to do a real threat assessment or do they know how to evaluate one done by an outsider?
• Are all the school officials on board?
• Are all the teachers and staff (including janitors and maintenance people)?
• What about the students? How far is the school administration willing to push them in terms of education and exposure to the reality of danger?

WHERE ARE THE BOUNDARIES? Before you can protect something you must define what it is you want to protect. You want to protect your kids at a school? Okay, then where are the boundaries? During school they’re in a classroom, they are moving between classrooms, or they are outside, or they are leaving or coming to the school.

• Where is the school physically located?
• Where and who are the nearest neighbors within two blocks of the school property line?
• Where is the closest fire station, hospital, police presence?
• Is there a fence around the school?
• Where are the primary entrances to the school?
• Where is the parking lot/bus debus area?
• How are the access points controlled if at all?

• Is there any sort of access control? Locked doors, ID requirements? What if any measures are there to control or monitor people coming and going into the school?
• What sort of alarm system or public announcement system exists?

• Does the school administration have a policy to address violence?
• Do any school administrators have formal training in how to address violence?
• Do any teachers or staff have any formal training (including experience as veterans etc.) in how to address violence?
• Is there a School Resource Officer? Is he/she an armed fully sworn law enforcement officer? Is there a specific spelled out policy on how to utilize a SRO along with detailed rules of engagement in specific scenarios? Does the SRO have radio communications with police dispatch?
• Is there a private security guard? Is he/she armed or unarmed? Is there a specific spelled out police on how to utilize? Are there detailed rules of engagement in an armed or unarmed violent scenario?

• Are there regular fire drills? How are those conducted?
• Are there lock down procedures? How are those conducted?
• Are alternative procedures taught (if fire blocks the normal egress route, what do you do? If an active shooter starts breaking in your door when you are locked down, what do you do?)
• Are these documented? Are they evaluated by an objective observer?

This basic data set provides the baseline for evaluating the school’s current posture, which is essential to improvement. One person can gather this baseline information inside one working day. At the school I’m discussing, it took about two hours with the school executive director.

Then here’s what we did:

The mindset was right on. Everyone from the school administration to the teachers and the parents were concerned (rightly so) about security. They were very smart in that they took advantage of the Department of Homeland Security Security Grant Program which provides some very healthy sums in the forms of outright grants to improve security in schools and religious institutions. People who bleat that there isn’t money to improve security in schools haven’t looked hard enough. Is it an easy procedure? No. it takes attention to detail and diligence, but significant sums (tens of thousands of dollars and up) are available through the process.

Mindset was there. Money was there.

The next smart thing was they asked SEVERAL different people how do we best spend this grant money and the other money we’ve raised to protect our children? We’re educators, we don’t know security.

Very smart to know that you don’t know. The challenge is to find the right person to give you an appropriate answer. Plenty of security experts willing to capitalize on fear and lack of knowledge to take money out of your pockets. So what they did was ask many experts.

Here’s some of the answers:
• Build a bullet proof safe room in the auditorium and in an active shooting event, lock everybody in the auditorium.
• Arm former Navy SEALs and put one in every hallway.
• Put in an extensive camera system.
• Replace all the doors and windows with bullet proof glass.
• Ask the police department to station a police officer full time.
And so on and so forth.

There are several WTF? Answers above, which was my response when I came in at the end and asked the questions none of the others did: have you done a detailed physical security survey including access control, AND have you done a threat assessment in conjunction with the FBI and local law enforcement.

No and No, so I handled that for them.

Here’s the comprehensive solution we came up with, implemented, and test continuously:

We created a one page handout with a list of suspicious things to watch for along with the number of the school/religious institution AND the police department in a RECOMMENDED REPORT FORMAT and made sure every single neighbor for two blocks in all directions around the school got it. That pushes the perimeter back and adds to the number of eyes watching the school. It has worked EXCELLENTLY in terms of quashing some serious pre-operational elicitation and surveillance by bad actors.

We met with the Chief of Police, the County Sheriff, the FBI ASAC and representatives from the local JTTF. We established an ongoing liaison where our information on sightings/tests/suspicious events are reported directly into their system. As civilians its mostly a one way street (us to them) but it does keep the channels open.

We invited the local tactical units, EOD and bomb dog teams, and police training teams into the school and facilitated them using the school as a training resource. We’ve had SWAT teams, bomb dogs and EOD teams, and active shooter response training by the local police conducted there. This promotes familiarity with the facility and alternate breach points to make entry and places to stage from for the people most likely to respond.

We designed a comprehensive physical security upgrade. This included an extensive computerized camera system around the school and the perimeter that records 24/7 AND training for the people who watch the cameras as to WHAT to watch for. Upgraded access controls, better locks/intercoms, hardened primary access point, bullet/blast resistant enhancement to windows and doors. Budgeted for a better exterior fencing.

We identified and recruited an experienced school resource officer out of a gang populated public school. After additional training he was placed into the full time position of armed security director. He has since received extensive additional training in firearms, close protection, active shooter response (he’s an ALICE training certified instructor), unarmed combat, patrol procedures. He is the ideal mix of skilled and seasoned professional gunfighter AND a dad who’s great with kids. He is the primary training resource for the next line of protection, the school security volunteers.

The school implemented a procedure to identify, vett and train parents/grandparents/relatives of kids attending the school (or alumni) with an interest in volunteering to augment security. There are two tracks: armed and unarmed.

Unarmed: basic orientation on the dos and don’ts of security. No hands on, eyes only, radio procedures backed up with a cellphone report protocol in case the radios go down. Their job is to be eyes only, to watch and report on suspicious activity on or around the school during events or the school day. They are trained and coordinated by the school security director.

Armed: All of the above. If they wish to be armed, then they must on their own time and expense attend the necessary training to obtain a state CCW. They must qualify at the state level to do so. After that they must attend a mandatory intensive advanced pistol class conducted by the security director. Upon successful completion of that they must attend a detailed legal overview of the law and their responsibilities by a nationally recognized firearms legal expert. After that they are added to a roster that legally enables them to carry weapons on the school grounds WHEN DIRECTED by the security director. This particular group includes multiple veterans with combat experience.

The security director maintains a roster of volunteers and tasks them at random intervals to assess their continued willingness. If they are unwilling to come when needed, they are dropped off the volunteer rosters and they are no longer able to carry weapons on or around the school.

The training continues on a monthly basis and has included: ALICE active shooter response training, first aid/GSW management, bomb searches, and today there’s a class on responding to a terrorist bomb incident taught by Homeland Security – mandatory attendance for all volunteers.

Training extends to the teachers as well. All the teachers are taught (and regularly tested) about challenging anyone without ID or not known to them on the school grounds or inside the school. There is a set procedure involving challenge and notification of the school security officer/front desk. Inexpensive radios are available to all teachers in the classroom and to those monitoring outside activity that radio net is monitored by the school security director and the front office. The general awareness training includes bomb/IED awareness – unattended packages or abandoned backpacks, etc.

Ongoing initiatives include extending the opportunity to train and be armed to teachers who wish to volunteer, continuing education with volunteers and staff, continual upgrade and hardening of the physical plant and structure, and expansion of the full time security staff.

Someone, somewhere, is saying we can’t do that, we don’t have the money or whatever. I’d suggest reading this again and focusing on the smart process: figure out what you need or find someone trustworthy who can help you do that, get the money from DHS and augment it with local funds, spend it wisely, and invest a good amount in basic physical security and augment it with the force multiplier of good training and education and involve as many people in it as possible. You can’t secure a place with one armed person. You need to have EVERYONE in the facility and outside the facility feeding real time information into a diffuse security network so that the good guys with the guns can act most efficiently.

Some concluding guns and gear data for the people interested in that:

Handguns are whatever they qualify with and maintain. Ammunition is what the local PD or Feds issue. Concealment gear is up to the individual. I see primarily Glocks in various flavors and concealment by Raven, Blade Tech and several custom holsters by Dale Fricke, who is a specialist in church security.

Long guns are available. Because of the law prohibiting the carry of loaded rifles by civilian security forces, AR pistols have been utilized. The Daniel Defense MK18 (10.3 inch barrel) with a LAW folder and a SB Tactical brace topped with Troy folding irons and an Aimpoint Micro fits into a large bookbag and is good for a fast COM out to 200 yards which is the longest legitimate shot outside the school. It is legally a pistol and is so blessed by a national level firearms lawyer. There may be standard ARs with a variety of ammo and shotguns with slugs capable of stopping vehicles in some of the civilian patrol vehicles.

An intermediate option between the pistols and the long guns is the scoped/accurized “long distance pistol.” I was first introduced to the concept by Gary Wistrand, who was at the time the Deputy Director of the Secret Service, who carried an accurized Browning High Power while on Gerald Ford’s detail. He needed it for long distance shots while skiing with the then-President and was (I witnessed) capable of fast presentations and hits on steel at 100 yards with that High Power. At a measured 2 seconds. Gary was the first tactician of the now defunct (sadly) National Tactical Invitational Match to take first place on two separate occasions. We utilize a variant of the “Roland Special” concept – a G19 modified with a KKM match barrel and compensator topped with a Trijicon RMR 3.5 MOA. Good for handheld hits out to 100 yards which is the longest inside shot, and more concealable and faster into play than a bagged rifle that must be debagged, unfolded, charged and then put into action.

There are multiple trauma kits available throughout the school with a “throw bag” of throw down kits and light sticks in the main office. The concept is that a responder can grab the throw down bag and run to the worst injured and drop a basic kit off to someone with first aid training (like the teachers) to use and start immediate medic care. These are inexpensive, packed in plastic bags and include a tourniquet, a pressure bandage, duct tape, and Kerlix gauze.

In conclusion I want to say this to anyone who bleats about money or time and not having enough whatever: Shut up, step up, and make things safe instead of crying about it. Do something.

And honor the courage of a 15-year-old that stood up and did something.

God rest you and keep you, Peter Wang. You earned your seat at the Warrior’s Table. See you on the Other Side.

Written by marcuswynne

March 7, 2018 at 3:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Veteran’s Day, 12 years ago…

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Twelve years ago today, a disabled veteran was pursued to a cheap motel in a small town in the Midwest. His pursuers were a collection of corrupt police officers, sheriff deputies, private investigators and several private citizens who among other things laundered money for a variety of criminal enterprises.

Their intent was to intimidate or, if that didn’t work, hurt, kill or imprison by any means necessary the 50 year old disabled veteran they were following.


His misfortune was to discover through a variety of means the involvement of some of them in murder and extortion. Small town criminals, especially low level ones with badges, like to brag amongst themselves or to intimidate others, and in the course of some bad dealings they bumped up against an old man recuperating from a long illness.

There’s something very disconcerting to bullies, cowards and criminals when someone refuses to be intimidated. Of course, that’s not always the smartest or healthiest path to choose. As one of them said, “He could get rolled in a hole.”

A hole in a cornfield, maybe on the edge of a farm owned by an acquaintance, where suspected informants, uncooperative fellow criminals or people who pissed off the bosses could end up.

Protecting the bosses and their lifestyles is the first imperative for the so-called “soldiers” or “troops” as the bosses liked to refer to their thugs. Rewards are plentiful for those who do that job well: prostitutes, bank loans that never need to be repaid, cash money, lucrative side jobs, nice houses and cars that never have to be paid for by the “troops.”

Of course referring to people like that as “troops” especially on Veterans Day is a grave insult. Some people might just end up in a grave as those people liked to say.

And it never entered their mind that it might end up to be them.

It’s an interesting thing to those of us who study Evil. It’s almost a required subject these days for thriving and staying anti-fragile in chaotic times. There’s a lot of fascinating byroads in the study of Evil big and small, and both in my professional life and my personal life I’ve had ample opportunity to see it, smell it, hear it up close. There’s a spectrum that ranges from the casual hatred in a man’s face when he looks at a publicly affectionate lesbian couple, to the indifference shown by a man with a badge crushing a prostitute’s skull under his boot, to a judge that takes away somebody’s kids with the full knowledge that the foster home those children will be assigned to is run by abusive pedophiles who get paid to keep their mouths shut and, of course, there are the various officials who profit from various enterprises and enjoy sex with the “black girls” in the local whorehouse and who will ensure that those girls, should they get uppity, end up rolled in a hole.

So what do you do when you’re faced with that kind of top to bottom corruption? Who knows, maybe you live somewhere the entire line of “authority” up to and including the governor might be on the take. Maybe you have a child to protect, maybe there are other innocents in the line of fire. What do you do?

The smart course would be to go along, do what you have to do, move away.

But if that doesn’t work, and the bad people want to see you snuffed out? How far can you run, where you can hide?

Or what if you’re not inclined to run but have to keep other’s welfare in mind?

Interesting questions, yes?

Especially if the corrupt officials and their goons keep trying to kill or silence him or impeach any possible testimony. Maybe they’ll say the guy’s crazy, or threaten his children or friends, have him arrested on some minor charge so he ends up the recipient of a jailhouse beating that will kill him, compromise him with video of him having sex with a girlfriend he’d want to protect.

Just easier to kill him, yeah?

You’d think.

Maybe sneak into a deserted campground with a few friends armed with baseball bats, hoping to surprise him sleeping in his camp, or pull him over in your squad car, shoot him, and “Have the Lieutenant fix the crime scene.”

One would think they really have something they don’t want exposed to go through such lengths.

Sure makes you wonder what might that be, that an organization of corrupt cops, deputies, private investigators, and “officials” would continue to pursue someone for 12 years?

And why should they worry? After all, the only people with the resources and patience to pursue a 12 year case against corrupt officials and murdering cops for would be the Feds under RICO, which would take care of the whole statute of limitations things, or so I’ve been told. The Feds would have made an appearance, interviewed people, right?


Great grist for a story, huh?

I had an interesting discussion with a friend who is an attorney with Judicial Watch, and another discussion with a friend who is a high level investigator at the Department of Justice (the guys that investigate the stuff the FBI can’t touch) to seek their counsel in how to shape this novel properly.

“Just wait, dude,” said a very tough and experienced retired DEA agent. “There might be something cooking that’s just like that novel of yours, strangely enough. Lots of juicy details you can fictionalize in there.”

It feels like this pot is just about done, so in memory of that old veteran by himself in a cheap hotel surrounded by armed thugs 12 years ago, here’s a bit from THE ACHY MAN – soon to be a FINISHED novel — and movie.


They had been beating him for a long time.

One of them, who’d been a deputy for not quite as long as the other, wondered how long the prisoner would last. His partner, a big porcine man, had been working on the man’s face, which no longer looked like a face – it looked like old meat turning blue in the sun.

But there wasn’t any sun.

Just a quarter moon in the night sky, the only sounds beside the dull wet thump of flesh breaking under fists and boots the whisper of the wind in the corn stalks, and every once in awhile the distant hiss of a car passing by.

“How long before he dies?” the younger deputy said.

The older man looked over at him. Silent. Blood spray on his face. Considered the question. “Not long.”

He stepped away, then kicked the man curled in a ball at his feet.

“I want you to kick him,” the older deputy said.

“I’m not…”

The look on the older man’s face set the younger to almost shitting his pants.

“I’m not asking you. Kick him.”

The younger man poked at the prisoner with his boot.

A slap across his face stunned him, the solid thwock of the meaty palm across his narrow face echoing in the corn field.

“Don’t play with me,” the older deputy said. “Kick him. In the face.”

So he did.

After, when the last breath wheezed between the broken stubs of the dead man’s teeth, the younger deputy leaned over and vomited his fried chicken dinner. The older one threw him a shovel.

“I did the work,” the older deputy said. “You dig the hole. Dig it deep. And roll him in it.” He laughed. “That’s how we roll in Mason County.”

Chapter One

Lieutenant Dick Gant steered his Mason County Sheriff Department squad car around the parking lot in a big circle. The other deputies were careful to ignore him, avoid eye contact. Gant wasn’t a big man, but he had a hateful, bitter twist to his face, and besides the stink of tobacco that surrounded him there was always a sense of, well, jangling was what one deputy described it. Loose cannon didn’t catch all of it.

Just plain mean, was what one dog handler said.

“If he was a dog, I’d put him down,” the handler said. “No training that bitch.”

` The other deputies laughed long and loud, as they always did, as long as the lieutenant wasn’t around. The loot had a long memory, and if you got on his bad side, you never got off, and he had a gift for making life hell for people. He nursed a particular grudge for anybody who did their job well, and an open contempt for the deputies who might actually take their job and the shield they wore seriously.

Made you wonder what his idea of the job was about, but then, in Decanter, you didn’t ask those kind of questions. Not if you were a deputy and you wanted to get out of the jail and out on the road, not get caught in the hell of the corrections unit or, worse, court services.

And then there was always the question of the payroll.

Not the paycheck, meager as it was, they collected every other week.

The payroll.

The Loot had a lot to do with that.

But then, he’d been around for a long time.


Wilhelm (known as Will or Willy at his insistence) Eichmann threw his golf clubs in the truck of his Crown Vic, slammed the hood down and slid into the front seat. From a distance, the brown Crown Vic looked like a police cruiser; it was the same basic model as the State Police used, with a mounted light on the driver’s side, and a set of antennas on the rear bumper.

Pretty fancy ride for a bank guard, or so some of the cops he liked to hang around with said. He pretended not to hear, forced a laugh, and bought more rounds than he should, but that was the price he thought he had to pay to hang out with the real cops. Once, a long time ago, he’d thought about going for it, taking the exam, going through the academy…either the police department or the sheriff’s department, but the prospect of having to ride in a car alone, even with a gun, at night in Decanter, was something he never wanted to face up to.

So he settled for the next best thing, which was an okay paying job as a guard which led to pretty rapid advancement, and after twenty years he had his look alike cruiser, a lieutenant’s rank in the bank’s regional investigation team, and a whole team of his troops, as he liked to call them, to order around.

And he had his cruiser.

He backed out of the parking lot, shooting a hard look at a couple of old-timers who brushed by his car — washed everyday, stroked lovingly by hand himself, in the driveway of his house — almost marring the near mirror finish he liked to keep on the car. He rolled down the power window, and propped his elbow in the open window, just like a real cop, or so he thought.

He drove down Woodrow to Washington and made a left, tooling down past Sacred Heart Church, then onto the main drag that took him into the little downtown of Decanter. He parked his car across the street from the courthouse, checked the time on his cheap Rolex knock off, and went into the lobby, and paused beside the security checkpoint.

“Hey Will,” said Deputy Jeff Parrott. He was short, lean built in the same way a pit bull is, all muscle and bone, blond and with a certain coldness that led most anyone with any sense to avoid him. Hard to do when you’re a prisoner in custody, but then in Decanter, what happened in the jail stayed in the jail. Or so that was what word on the street was.

Willy Eichmann puffed up, looked around as he did, always checking to see if anyone was looking at him – especially someone of importance, somebody higher up the food chain than him, and even in a town this small, there were quite a few, in the Sheriff’s Department, the County Attorney’s office, the County Board, the bank management…the list went on.

But in his little world he liked to think he was the top dog. He wasn’t shy about reminding those that worked for him, including the deputies who moonlighted (against county regulations) as armed couriers on his armored truck runs, and they tolerated him because he paid well and on time, and in Decanter that went a long way.

“Jeff,” Eichmann said. “How’s it going? How’re the troops today?”

Jeff let the hint of a sneer cross his face and looked away. “Troops?” he said. “Yeah, us troops are just fine.”

The other deputy, a heavy-boned man with the long jowls of a hound dog, head closely shaven, crossed his arm and grinned at Eichmann.

“Hey Will,” said the deputy, whose name was Fergus. “Saw your kid the other night. Over by the high school.”

“That’s where he works,” Will said.

“I thought they was a law against school employees hitting on students,” Fergus said. “In this state I believe that’s a sex offense.”

Will grinned, quick and false, looked around. “That’s funny.”

Fergus grinned. “Yep. Real funny. Kinda weird, but what do I know?”

“Kids,” Will said. “Your kids, somebody else’s…pain in the ass. I don’t know why people bother anymore.”

“Funny thing for a father to say,” Jeff said.

Will shrugged and looked into the distance. “Some kids are more of a pain than others.”


Will Eichmann’s kid was cruising around in his red Ford Explorer, his elbow resting propped in the open window, his hand curled around a Styrofoam cup of coffee — just like a real cop. His buddy Danno was sitting in the passenger seat, flipping through a magazine of Eastern European porn, “the fancy stuff” as he liked to say.

“The fuck?” Bryant Eichmann said.

“What?” Danno (known as Good Twin) said, distracted by the high resolution close ups of shaved pussy and dick, something he thought of often in his role as catamite…

To Be Continued…

Written by marcuswynne

November 12, 2017 at 12:08 am

Posted in Uncategorized

The Internet Ate My Podcasts, So A Post On Situational Awareness Training

with 10 comments

As we curmudgeons are prone to do, I neglected to pay attention to my podcast platform, which apparently came down on 1 November along with all my pithy collection of hums and hahs over the last few months.

Ah well.

Another person might be screaming about “Lost content!  Disaster, disaster Will Robinson!” But not this old codger.  It’s still in my head, and all three of you that followed the podcasts, well, stick around.  I may resurrect something similar.  The ease of production for the lazy man I is be most difficult to bypass.  Writing is hard work, and I do too much of it anyway.

I had this great podcast set up, all my notes ready to go, ready to pontificate for my deliberately chosen 17 minutes on novelty and pattern recognition (buzz words in the Tacti-cool community now!) and how cultivating the art of fucking up makes your path to mastery and expertise much simpler — I supposed I could use my Internet Ate My Podcasts experience as an example, but I’m too lazy.

I remember back in the late 80s and early 90s when I first started writing about situational awareness and Boyd’s OODA loop and how interesting it was to watch it catch on as a buzzword and then become a subject of serious study by tacticians.  I’m watching a similar process going on now with integrating cognitive neuroscience into real world training and use by tacticians, and I’m watching with a kind of fuddy duddy paternalistic enjoyment.  You go, young ‘uns!

Anyway I guess I’m stuck writing till I figure out whether to bore you with short videos or do podcasts again.  Any thoughts most welcome.

In the meantime, as I’ve been working on a project about enhancing situational awareness which has been my primary wheelhouse for 30 years or so, I dug up this old piece.  It’s useful, as all this cognitive neuroscience-y kinda lingo comes back into favor (or disfavor) in the tacit-cool community, to realize that the basis of a good sound and productive conversation is an agreement upon the meaning of certain words.  I STILL see all kinds of debate about what defines “situational awareness” — even some people using my original definition from an article back in the early 90s — but here’s something that most hard science researchers in the field of perception and cognition know (unlike some people who love the neuroscience buzzwords but don’t do the research) there actually IS a consensus definition of what constitutes situational awareness, defined and agreed upon by the organizations that lead the way in situational research (the aerospace industry in the US like NASA and ALL of the international space agencies, something like 17 nations…).

I’ve extracted from the detailed study (with permission from NASA, thanks Steve!) the definition, the explanation, etc. with the hopes that researchers in firearms and police science will look to partner with the larger science community instead of adopting only the pieces that suit them or help to sell their products/services.  A good start would be working with established and rigorously (science wise anyway) vetted definitions and academic studies.

For your consideration, Gentle Readers.  Now I’m back to figuring out how I can do this podcast thing so I don’t have to type so much….


In 1996, I published what may have been the first article in the popular “tactical/gun” press on John Boyd’s OODA loop as a model for maintaining situational awareness and decision making for personal combat. I presented a simplified version of Boyd’s elegant thinking and detailed expansion of the OODA loop, in a way that I felt, at the time, would be immediately usable by tacticians unfamiliar with the concept.

Sixteen years later, the OODA loop and Boyd’s work and how to apply it to personal combatives armed and unarmed are the subject of endless articles and internet forum debates and the concept is an integral part for most credible combative training systems.

This wasn’t the case in 1996, when most of the established firearms instructors were weaned on Cooper’s Color Code.  In several discussions with notable tacticians, I pointed out that the OODA loop didn’t necessarily replace the Color Code, but it certainly added an additional dimension for utilizing efficient information processing.

The  OODA loop concept took hold in the tactical community (it had long been part of combat aviation, military psychology and strategic planning) after other instructors and writers found utility in the simplified model and joined me in spreading the word.

So today knowledge of the OODA loop is expected in any serious tactical practitioner.

The concept of situational awareness, which I also introduced in the same article, has grown significantly as well.  Let me make clear I didn’t develop the idea, I took it from military psychology and combat aviation research and put the idea into the context of personal combat.  Situational awareness is a topic of serious study for the military; applying Boyd’s model to personal combat raised questions the military has long batted around:  What is situational awareness?  Can it be specifically defined and identified?  Is it an inherent trait or is it instilled?  And, most to the point, can it be taught in training?

Based on the research, experimentation, and field testing I’d been doing since the late 80’s on how to utilize accelerated learning, stress inoculation, and pre-conscious processing to recalibrate habitual baseline states to enhance performance under stress, I went on to share those concepts in another 1996 article SHOOTING WITH THE MIND’S EYE in which I stated my position:  yes, the components — the critical path of the cognitive process I defined as situational awareness — can be identified, and since those components can be identified they can then be enhanced and taught.

Among the organizations I shared this with was NASA. NASA is the lead agency for study and research of “situational awareness” and provides a clearing house for the various interested agencies like military aviation, the intelligence and law enforcement communities. I consulted with the Psychological Services Division of the Medical Sciences Branch of NASA.  My consultation focused on how to apply the blend of stress inoculation, accelerated learning, pre-conscious processing and scenario based training I’d developed to parts of the Astronaut Training Program.

One of controversial (at that time) positions I took, in discussion with the top military and space psychologists and psychiatrists in the world, was that situational awareness, in my experience as a trainer, was one part genetics, one part life experience, and one part training; and that situational awareness could be identified in prospective candidates, and further enhanced or taught (installed) into astronaut trainees who lacked the operational experience and training of the candidates who came in from the hard-core Department of Defense flow (ie fighter pilots, combat veterans, test pilots, etc.).

The polite (i.e. “official”) response was:  “That’s not our position  The area merits more study, but we tend to believe that situational awareness is in large part a skill you either have or you don’t; if you don’t, all the training in the world won’t give it to you.”

The unofficial response, over beers in a famous astronaut bar also trafficked by the US Naval Special Warfare community, was:  “Ah, bullshit.  You can’t teach that.”  And then a long pause:  “…but if you could…”

I wrote my consultation report and then went on to do other things, among them develop a training program for installing situational awareness subsequently adopted by the South African Police Service (who, at the time, had more officer-involved shootings monthly than the US had yearly) titled “Mental Conditioning for Close Combat” and also taught a significant number of personnel involved in close protection, military special operations, law enforcement, and private sector security on how to enhance their own brand of situational awareness.

Over the last thirty years, I’ve received hundreds of phone calls, e-mails and letters attesting to the effectiveness of the situational awareness and performance enhancement training program from former students operating in America and many other countries.

Anecdotal evidence, yes, but then, I never claim to be a scientist, and those calls and letters are all I ever needed to be assured that what I was doing was not only working in the training environment but translating directly into usefulness on the street and on the battlefield.

I shared that information with the popular tactical/gun press in an article about situational awareness published in SWAT Magazine in 2007.

In August 2010, 15 years after my initial consultation with NASA, the project managers I worked with in 1995 now are in charge of the entire unit, and were good enough to take my nine year old son on the VIP tour of the training facility.  Over lunch they told me, “Remember back in 95 when we were talking about situational awareness and human performance indicators?  Situational awareness?  We did a study you might find interesting.”

They sent me two documents detailing a study: “Human Behavior Performance Competencies” generated by NASA, and the ESA (European Space Agency).  What this study did was focus on specific aspects of human behavior and performance essential to survival in the space environment, with particular emphasis on long duration space travel.  One of the unprecedented products of the study is an easy to use matrix that identifies the human performance competency, the behavior, the behavioral markers, details and examples.

Situational awareness is one of the major human performance competencies identified.  This is the first time that the top scientists and researchers from the world-wide psychological research community have come to a consensus definition of situational awareness.

In order to include it, they had to break down the components of situational awareness as they defined it, as shown in the graphics posted above.

What NASA is doing with this is using these behaviors and traits as tools in the selection and assessment of astronauts and crew selection for long-duration missions; they continue to add rigorously reviewed scientific studies on these traits.  They also work in conjunction with their Training Division to enhance training to develop these attributes, and completed a peer-reviewed study and presentation on the effectiveness and implications of training situational awareness.

This can be an extremely useful model with extraordinary implications for law enforcement and tactical training.

There are two major competencies identified by NASA as principal sub-components of “situational awareness.”  They are:

a.              Maintenance of an accurate perception of the situation; and

b.              Processing of information

Perceiving the situation in an accurate (usable) perception and processing that information adds up to a state of “situational awareness.”

What are some of the implications for situational awareness training?

If a behavior can be identified and deconstructed into components, it can then be reconstructed and woven into a training program.

One of the differences between this extremely useful model and what I’ve been doing is that I combine processing of information with the maintainance of the accurate perception; like the OODA loop, it’s all one flow from my perspective.  Without efficient processing of useful information in the moment, it’s not possible to perceive a given situation, especially a dynamic situation like combat, accurately.  So the two elements are interwoven.

My model for training and enhancing situational awareness focused on improving perception and enhancing cognition while under stress.  These are the principal components of the baseline state of relaxed alertness and situational awareness as I’ve trained it:

  • Vision skills (enhanced use of the full range of visual cues, which leads to enhancement of other sensory inputs i.e. hearing, etc., as well as designing training that enhances visual processing in the neurology),
  • Sensory cue acuity (enhanced use of all senses in conjunction along with pattern recognition templates fed into the other-than-conscious mind)
  • State management (managing the internal representation and physiology in such a manner as to enhance efficient processing of information)
  • Cognitive model (drawing critical path pattern-recognition models from high performers and installing directly into other than conscious mind of students)
  • Time distortion (how to manage and enhance processing of information and utilize time distortion to maximize personal processing time of incident-essential data).

So over twenty years, I’ve focused on simple exercises to install the skill, and test it immediately under stress and in open-ended scenarios to cement the skill in use under immediate onset threat to life stress.  In my last post, I shared a simple exercise that installs one small attribute of the larger skill set.

What I find most exciting about this study is the model NASA’s best researchers came up with; in the same way the OODA loop is a model for decision making and maintaining situational awareness, the Human Behavior and Performance Competency Model is a model for breaking out the components of situational awareness as they define it.

So while some pieces of their definition might not necessarily meet the needs of personal combat, the model of the matrix they’ve created makes a template for us to fill in with the working competencies drawn from personal combat.

So – shall we create one?

Upcoming posts:

Part Two:  The Matrix

Part Three:  Training the Jedi

Extracts used with permission from NASA.  All other content copyright by Marcus Wynne (as is all material on this blog — please respect that…)


Written by marcuswynne

November 10, 2017 at 12:51 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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