The thoughts of Marcus Wynne

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The thoughts of Marcus Wynne

Post  Alan Bec on Thu Aug 17, 2006 2:14 pm

Here we've assembled several notable posts from Marcus in one convenient place as The Thoughts Of Marcus Wynne . Enjoy
Den

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ON THE SEAL BLITZ
I noticed this thread while reading through past posts, and thought I’d add a little bit to Dennis’s explanation. First off, it’s not a “Marcus Wynne” technique! The lineage is FMA as developed first by Paul Vunak, who while training the West Coast SEAL Teams came up with the principles and initial application. It was known then as “The SEAL Blitz.” Rick Faye of the Minnesota Kali Group, a good friend and long time collaborator, further refined it for his students, and then the two of us worked together to modify it for my professional purposes in the early 90s. I needed an application that would enable the operator to quickly disable an attacker in a crowded environment that only allowed forward or backward motion – an aircraft aisle. Rick Faye, IMHO one of the finest martial arts instructors around, has a brilliant mind when it comes to adapting techniques, and we worked out the variant that I later taught and used in various venues. So it’s really a Paul Vunak-Rick Faye technique. They are the two guys who came up with it. The Blitz is as Dennis said, first of all a completely committed forward drive technique, delivered with maximum aggression. What I like about it is that you can start from any fence position with your hands up, including a surrender position or any of the other variants. It also works anywhere in a 180 degree semi-circle to your front. It starts with a fast, aggressive eye jab delivered with whatever hand is closest to the opponent, followed immediately by another eye jab with the other hand. The idea is to get square, get moving forward, and cycling the eye jabs in a motion similar to that a dog does when swimming or a hamster does when running on a wheel in a cage. This rapid cycling motion does several things well – it throws so many attacks at the eyes that something will get through, and the downward cycling of the hands may tie up/break through the guard or reflexive defensive positioning of your opponent. Incidentally, there is no attempt at defence in this – the idea is total attack. What this looks like, in application, is that both hands are up, driving forward, cycling eye jabs, the head is lowered a bit between the shoulders. This positioning makes it hard to the opponent to get a clean shot to your head, and scoops the torso out a bit. You’re moving forward at a sprint. This is a very aggressive physiology, which helps in seeing things through to the appropriate resolution. Attacking the eyes is central to the concept. The eyes are directly wired to your brain, and the flinch response that occurs when you are poked/scratched/flicked in the eye can’t be trained out. If you stick your finger in someone’s eye, their head is going to move. The goal is to get that head to move backward or to the side, enabling the next phase of the flow.

Also, from a tactical perspective, attacking the eyes serves to disrupt the opponent’s OODA loop in the most fundamental way. If you remove or interfere with the opponent’s ability to observe, you have introduced a major break in their cognitive processing, which assists in their systems breakdown and defeat. Part of my personal lineage is in the won hop kuen do/kajukenbo systems as taught in the Bay Area of California during the late 60s and early 70s. One of the lessons hammered into me by the guys I trained under -- and without getting into the history of the kajukenbo system and its culture, those guys were all experienced street fighters -- was this: if he can’t see you, he can’t fight; if he can’t breathe, he can’t fight; if he can’t stand, he can’t fight. If you take away or interfere with your opponent’s ability to observe you, he can’t fight effectively. What’s also very useful about eye attacks is that they require minimal strength to be effective – hence their application in women’s self defence. Back to the flow…once you’ve gotten their head to move either backwards or to the side, you’ve also introduced another key element: you’ve broken their combative physiology, which leads to breaking their mental attitude. It’s hard to continue to fight effectively when your head is going backward or turned to the side…and, if you’ll remember from Dennis’s discussions on state, a fighting state is a combination of physiology and mental representation. Change one, you change the other. What this does, quite effectively, is break the dynamic of the combative encounter with a reversal – you put the opponent on the defensive by changing his physiology which leads to a change in his mental representation, which helps take the fight out of him. The goal is to get one or both of your hands on the opponent’s head with a thumb in an eye. Either rake or gouge the eye, both work to turn the head. In the Vunak-Faye application, when the head turns away, one of your hands serves to pin the head (hooking behind the neck) while the other hand delivers elbow strikes to the side of the head/jaw, etc. Repeat as needed. Also you can be cycling in low kicks and knees as well. In the variant Rick and I worked out for my applications, I transitioned into two basic options. In a less than lethal encounter, once the head is turning, you can continue to turn the opponent in the same direction by assisting the shoulder (or using the neck twist – see below) to spin them so their back is to you. Then control the neck/head with a rear choke. Or you can just push them away from you and create distance. This is useful for a doorman. In an encounter calling for maximum violence, you can go for a neck twist takedown, in which you strike the chin up, unlocking the otherwise strong neck muscles, and with one hand on the chin and the other on the back of the head, twist the head violently (like turning a steering wheel) while turning to one side. Executed with moderate force it can bring an opponent to the ground quickly. Executed with full force while kicking out the opponent’s knee or dropping them across your leg or stepping back to hyperextend them will break the neck.



So in a nutshell, it’s both hands up in your fence or flinch response or whatever you want to call it, full aggressive state access, cycle eye jabs repeatedly till the head turns, close with eye gouge/rake, turn his head/body, go into whatever options you deem appropriate. It’s not pretty, it looks like a couple of cats going at it, but as you all know so well, real fighting never looks pretty. I’ve had success with this technique on several real-world occasions, once against a fit individual who outweighed me by at least fifty pounds. All the weight lifting in the world doesn’t armour the eyes or the reflexive response that comes from an eye jab. Many people I’ve worked with or taught this to have had excellent results on the street. It’s a useful tool for your toolbox. On training points, we used to use old x-ray films for targets. They were easier on the finger tips than striking pads and lent themselves well to giving the auditory/visual/kinaesthetic feedback necessary to get that good quick snap for the attack. Key points are the fighting state access, forward drive, the constant cycle of the eye attacks, breaking the opponent’s physiology, turning the head, then whatever options you choose to exercise. You can teach the basics of this in less than five minutes and a student, if taught how to properly access a fighting state and how to couple it to the techniques, can use it immediately on the street if they have to. It’s very instinctive. If you train/test/validate this in a stress scenario with impact, make sure the women students have short fingernails or you can get painful injuries (torn nail beds on their part). I hope this helps clarify. Train well and stay safe!
Cheers, Marcus [To read more and discuss this topic click here ]

ON NLP A useful thing I learned from NLP is to adopt a questioning attitude. Like, all this NLP conceptual stuff is cool, but bottom line, like Udhi says, how do I use it to be a better fighter or better human being or to meet girls or improve my life or whatever? Whenever I find myself bogged down in NLP terminology I ask myself -- How can I put this into practice in the real world? It's nice to have intellectual knowledge about communication and logical levels and so on, but it's something else to actually apply that knowledge in the world and translate it into a usable skill at the level of unconscious competence. The cool thing about NLP/psychology/whatever is that the whole world can be your
laboratory. You can practice on every person you meet. And every person has something to teach you. Something to consider. On modelling, CM, you don't need to have access to all the people Den and I networked with to do our study to get results. As you already know, NLP is all about studying what people already do. Even modelling is something you already know how to do. You didn't learn to walk by reading about it on the internet...you learned by modelling your parents and other people, and actually going out and doing it. Over and over till you got it right. In terms of finding models, well, the first thing I'd suggest if you were looking to improve combatives is first be specific about what you want to improve. The more focused your question, the more likely you'll get a useful answer. What, specifically, out of all the things that fall under the label "Combatives" do you want to improve? Then take that list of attributes and find somebody who does them well. Like Dennis. Or whoever you think might have the attributes/skills. Then turn the actual technology you talk about in your post onto studying that person...HOW do they do what they do? Ask yourself that question. And after you have your ideas, ask them. Be specific and you'll often get specific answers. In technique specific stuff, that's how I'd go about improvement. For modelling "bad asses"? Well, something I'd invite you to consider would be to take a look at what is one common thread with most of the experienced guys on this forum/board...martial arts for sure, but a great many of them worked (or still work) on the door someplace. Have you ever considered going down to the pub under the guise of research (I love that kind of research!) paying your entry fee, parking yourself where you've got a good view of the door, and watching how the door men go about dealing first psychologically, verbally, and then physically with problems? Turn those NLP skills on that problem, man! And when you're not watching the door, you can practice rapport skills with the young lovelies in their summer dresses (NLP has lots of uses...; ) ) NLP is a great way of learning some useful skills, but those skills are useless if you don't take them out and apply them in the real world. Every day. All the time. It's not just about combat, mate...it's about developing the skills that make us most human. (Okay, no more philosophising...) For somebody wanting a one-stop overview of the NLP field, so some of this jargon makes sense, check out INTRODUCING NEURO-LINGUISTIC PROGRAMMING: The New Psychology of Personal Excellence, by Joseph O'Connor and John Seymour. Even better, if I lived in the UK and wanted the best training in NLP, I'd go to London and study with Richard Bandler (who developed NLP) and Paul McKenna when they do their seminars. I'd go into the training with the mindset..."How can I use this in my world?" and take it from there.
Food for thought...great post. Looking forward to hearing from others on the subject. Udhi -- fair question, mate. How do we use this stuff? A short list: to improve physical performance, through the use of modelling superior practitioners, and through the practice of visualization coupled with auditory and kinaesthetic practice routines. To improve mental performance, through an understanding of communication both verbal and non-verbal, and state management of one's own performance. To create useful states like "Switched On" "Full Attack" etc. And to learn how to properly manage your own various states. Combative applications: using sophisticated mental deception to give you an advantage over an opponent before or during a fight (and yes, mate, I haven't forgotten about the breaking the OODA loop thing!) To access the appropriate state and properly manage it before, during, and after a fight. To dominate an interpersonal encounter at the psychological level so that you "win without winning." That's a few. Food for thought. I don't want to sit here and lecture at you guys -- you are all too experienced for that. Share some experiences! Take care, guys!
cheers, Marcus


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Alan Bec
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Re: The thoughts of Marcus Wynne

Post  Alan Bec on Thu Aug 17, 2006 11:31 pm

ON NLP (2) So, random thoughts: intuition may be trainable. Mostly it's a function of getting out of our own way and actively listening to what our subconscious is saying to us. A useful approach is once an hour, all day, for five minutes at a time to ask yourself: what am I feeling right now? What do I see right now? What am I hearing right now? What do I smell right now? What do I taste right now? What do I KNOW right now? Just those questions. Five minutes every hour for a day. See if things improve for your use of intuition. When you feel stumped or puzzled, stop and ask yourself: What do I already know?
You may be surprised by the answers you give yourself. Fighting state while training: if you train with the full emotional content and colorization that you experience in a real fight, then to the brain there is no difference between training and the fight. You'll fight like you've trained...but the emotional content/involvement and total mental engagement is necessary while you train the physical technique. Beliefs: key point extracted from the strategy of multiple combat survivors...it's not "I can win a (this) fight”; it's "I've already won the fight." Very different thoughts if you look at them. IN your visualization rehearsals, you want to play them with full emotional content, bright colours, appropriate auditory script, etc...But you need to take that mental rehearsal all the way through to a successful resolution, "standing over your downed opponent" In very experienced guys, the strategy is even more refined, the belief is "I have already won any fight I enter." Pretty formidable, especially when reinforced with hard training AND experience (which can come from the training and the creation of high-stress scenarios...) NLP as a daily endeavour, as an attitude -- remember, you do all this stuff already...unconsciously. All this stuff does is bring your conscious attention to what you're doing so you can improve it. Besides, it's fun to practice, and you don't need to go to the gym to do it. Though it will definitely increase the intensity of your workouts if you do. Pain management -- a subject near and dear to my heart, being the beat-up oldie I am these days. Specifics here, guys... I have three basic strategies for pain control. Option 1: my in-fight, or sudden trauma, or serious accident pain management. This is for sudden, immediate pain: shot, stabbed, punched HARD, car crash, bad fall. On experiencing sudden immediate LARGE pain, I have anchored that state to a state of ANGER. Think of a sliding bar...the more pain I'm in, the angrier I get. The state is fully associated; I stay in my body (looking out through my eyes). Might need to drive it if I'm in a fight, or have to drag myself out of a wreck, etc. The auditory driver for the state comes a position at the base of my neck, as
though I had a loudspeaker facing towards the inside of my skull aimed upwards out my forehead. The sound tonality is savage, like a lion roaring in pain. The script goes like this: AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH'MMMM GOING TO KILL YOU! Very Loud. The visual driver is a wounded lion turning on the hunter and ripping his throat out with teeth. The physiology is fighting physiology; head hunched forward, chin down, hands up...like a lion pouncing. The reason I choose anger for this state is because of it's combative applications...anger releases massive amounts of the body's natural pain killers, prepares me for further combat, anaesthetizes the pain...and I use it to drive forward to do whatever I have to do...finish the fight, crawl to safety, drag somebody with me, whatever. So the more you hurt me, the angrier I get. The angrier I get, the less pain I feel, and the harder I am to kill. When I've used this, I've scared the crap out of people, because I literally roar out loud, though if I'm not in immediate threat (fight) I stop at the AAAAAAAHHHHHHH. Remember in LETHAL WEAPON when Mel Gibson was being tortured by James Lew with the electrical prods? Gibson screams, but it's not pain...it's anger. And what did he say? "I'm going to kill you..." Like that. I have some very powerful stacked resource states and anchors going back to my childhood and early fights attached to this state that have served me in good stead. Works great for me. Option 2: for pain where you don't have to be fully associated (in your body, or looking out from your eyes) like laying in bed recovering from surgery, or going under surgery, or your teeth fixed, or whatever. I use this all the time, especially in the last two years when I've been in hospital a lot... Disassociate. By that I mean step out of yourself and see yourself as though you were watching a picture or movie of yourself. To decrease the pain, make the picture of yourself you're watching black and white. To decrease it even more, disassociate one step further: watch yourself watching yourself (confused? Think of a person watching another person who's watching another person...) Make it all black and white. Works wonder. Auditory soundtrack? Carly Simon's song, "I Haven't got time for the pain..." Option 3: for chronic pain (arthritis, post surgical pain, nagging injuries)
Change the sub modalities. Experience the pain. Notice how it feels and the different components of that. Then change them...Generally I make the pain a colour (bright bright red) and put it in a box in front of me. Make it brighter, it hurts more. Make it dimmer, hurts less. Make it a different colour, (green for instance) and it goes away. Takes some practice (or not. I taught a wounded vet this technique in 3 minutes walking through a crowded mall and he was able to do it immediately...being in pain is a good motivator). Final option: can't really describe this stuff, since it involves internal state management like self-hypnosis, but, if you have time to prepare, you can hypnotise yourself (i.e. manage your state and internal representations) to turn off significant amounts of pain. Incidentally, it was an experience with this that made me a believer in NLP over 15 years ago. In the course of a training program, we were taught to turn off pain via self-hypnosis...and we tested it. A medical doctor and a surgical nurse participated in the course, and a voluntary test was to allow them to insert a large gauge surgical needle completely through your hand while you managed the pain. I was able to completely turn it off while they did that (I am very sceptical about everything, and require anything that I'm going to adapt to be something that will work in the real world under the worst circumstances, hence I liked this test). That was the powerful anchor that drove me to learn more about this stuff. Food for thought, guys. cheers, Marcus To read more or to discuss this topic click here ] ON TRANSITION TRAINING I've been talking about this particular combative problem a lot lately, with a number of people and some very highly skilled instructors: Southnarc, Dennis, Ernest Emerson, a few others. The issue of transition, especially the integration of the skills and "seamless transition" (as Southnarc and Dennis say...) is one that seems to be garnering a lot of interest in training circles...because it's a very tough nut to address well. Commonality is a point...too often the skill sets of stick, knife, gun, empty hand are taught separately...with a different physiology for each skill set. One of the things instructors seem to agree on is that there has to be a common physiology linking the skill sets -- the universal fighting position, whatever that expression might be. If you train one way with a knife, and then another with empty hands, what makes you think you'll be able to put that together under real world stress? Just a thought.
On training, how often do we include elements of improvised weapons (bottles, rocks, silverware, tables, chairs), environmental weapons (walls, floors, doors, street lamps -- obviously not to throw, but to bang people into...), weapons access to any weapon you might have on you, PREVENTING weapons access by an armed opponent, using a weapon you take from an opponent or he drops, and so on? Another thought. On weapons training and combatives, I agree with Den that unarmed techniques are the core...and I have a slightly different preference in my own expression. I prefer to think of empty hand methods as my means to fight to a tool that I can use to my advantage to decisively terminate a problem. Now I'm not advocating weapons as a solution to all problems, it's just my humble opinion that tools are in general a more efficient way of solving combat problems then empty hands. If you don't have the option of carrying tools, or choose not to, then you may want to consider evaluating your environment to see what you could use as a tool if you had to. Another thought. Southnarc, on his website www.shivworks.com, has some very good essays about the myth of proportionate armament, which I think are germane to any discussion of weapons in combatives and transition from empty hand to weapons or back. You may face multiple attackers, armed or unarmed; you may be engaged with someone massively larger and stronger and maybe more skilled at empty hand then you; you may be weak from illness or injury...those are just a few instances where tools and tool usage, and transition to tool usage, might be useful. Some great points from Jimmy and Em -- Improvised/environmental weapons...I worked with some folks who had to spend a lot of times overseas, quite often alone and unarmed. One of the exercises I built for them was similar to an exercise I’ve mentioned elsewhere in a post, about training situational awareness, heightening your sensory acuity, etc.: once an hour, for five minutes, take stock by asking yourself these questions: 1. What do I see? 2. What do I hear? 3. What do I smell? 4. What do I taste? 5. What do I feel? 6. What do I know? A variant of that exercise is to also ask yourself, for five minutes every hour: 1. what around me would serve as cover from small arms fire? 2. What around me could serve as concealment from small arms? 3. What around me could I pick up and use as a weapon? 4. What in my environment could I put someone into as a weapon?
If you're not concerned about the firearms, skip the first two. Taking stock of what is around you that could be used as a weapon is a useful skill. I was teaching a group of people surveillance skills in a crowded mall, and I asked one operator what he could use right now...he looked around and said "Nothing." We were standing in the doorway of a sport shop with a whole rack of hunting knives in the front display, literally two steps and a hand grab away...he didn't think about going after that because "It would be illegal to take that from the store without paying for it..." Interesting limiting thought/belief, especially if your life is on the line. Again, I'm not advocating smash and grabs, but you may want to examine your own built-in limiters when it comes to that sort of thing. Some people in Iraq were involved in an ambush, and when their vehicles were stopped, they had to fight out of the kill zone and then literally car-jack a civilian's car to get away...they left the civvy with a $1000 US in his lap and told him where he could get his car back...I'm not advocating breaking the law, but there are times you may want to save your life (or somebody else’s) first, and worry about the niceties later. Environmental awareness is useful, too -- knowing where the walls, doors, holes in the ground, uneven pavement, etc, are might be useful if you can get a good shove on somebody and put them in a hole or uneven ground into a wall or slam their head in a door or shove them in front of a car... I'm rambling a bit here...back to transition w/weapons in combatives. The key thing seems to be universal body mechanics across the skill sets, coupled to superior body awareness especially at close range, where the issue is critical. Southnarc is doing some very interesting work in this area. The body awareness piece is something worth working on...you know how you size somebody up when you first face off with them, if you don't know them already? And then there's the evaluation that comes when you actually hit/grapple with them? There's this weird thing that happens when you first make contact with an opponent, that if you're tuned in, you can feel the body positioning and angling for their attacks/defences. I think that's key to dominating with your own body mechanics so you can access your tools and/or prevent them from sticking/shooting you or getting their tools out. You need to train, in state, adrenalized, from a universal fighting position with those weapons you habitually carry, in the clothing you habitually aware, in contact scenarios in order to know what you will and won't do under stress. You need to work on dealing with the presentation of opponent's weapons at close range or mid-fight. Back to a point that Black Ice brings up -- you don't want to overcomplicate your decision making in advance. My rules at close quarters were simple...if I
can't see your hands, you're armed, and I escalate appropriately. I won't go near the legal issues, because I'm not a lawyer and this is an international forum, any way. Just to add to BI story about his encounter with the burglar...predators will play that legal/moral hesitation issue to their advantage. That's something useful to game out in your scenario training, to explore your personal options as to how to deal with that. On the issue of carrying "tools" when you're legally proscribed from doing so...that's where being creative is useful. When I worked overseas a lot, I often carried an "every day" bag...looked like those shoulder satchels birders carry. I'd carry my lunch, an apple, a sandwich, cheese, tea, something like that, and of course a nice sharp paring knife and a small cutting board. that only works during the day and if you're a "tourist" but it's an example...at night I carried a small chain dog collar with a metal padlock on it...to lock my bag to the chair/table in case I went to the restroom, again useful if you're a "tourist"...but another example. Just some thoughts. Any way, enough for now, sorry to ramble, but I've got to dash back to the massive job I've got on. Take care! cheers, Marcus [Read more and discuss this topic here ]

Alan Bec
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Re: The thoughts of Marcus Wynne

Post  Alan Bec on Thu Aug 17, 2006 11:32 pm

ON "CRASH TRAINING" A couple of years ago (like ten or so) I was having this discussion with Dennis and some other Senior Jedi At that time, given the parameter that you had one hour to teach a moderately motivated person SOMETHING about self-protection, what would you teach, the consensus was to focus on awareness and avoidance. Personally, I think that's still a very good answer, especially if you're talking about one person taking on multiple opponents. If avoiding and evading are simply not options, then appropriate mindset coupled to simple weapon usage would be my next bet. As Den pointed out, if handguns (and yes, a Remmy 11-87 would be far better) are not an option, then a knife wielded with ferocious resolve MAY create an opportunity to escape. I'd install the appropriate state, and utilize the offensive knife framework of Southnarc's expression of pikal as a vehicle for blade usage, have them cutting live targets with the live blade right off the bat (within the first 10 minutes) and transitioning to an ergonomically identical drone blade and using it against padded human opponents in an adrenalized state, modelling the necessary manoeuvre skills for multiple attackers . All that in the first thirty minutes. Continue with modelling the multiple attacker drills, full contact with the drone against human targets. Needless to say, very little talking, no discussion or explanation, model the technique, do it, immediately validate it with contact it; stress it with adrenaline, forcing them to stay in the fighting state the whole time. Finish off with the live blade making cuts and thrusts into meat and then anchor and compress the entire experience and install the appropriate triggers. Then show them how to hide the knife. And send them on their way. If weapons aren't an option, then a similar progression: install the state, anchor it to a simple technique. I like the eye jab entry for the SEAL blitz -- low maintenance, ease of installation, high pay off, can use it to enter with more sophisticated weapons later -- I would not spend any time, no matter what empty hand tool you choose, hitting pads. Pad up a human and have them start there. That's where you want to end up, right? Model the manoeuvre techniques and have them follow along, just like teaching baby to walk. Then immediately do it with humans, padded up, get them used to hitting people who are moving around. All that in the first ten-15 minutes. Add more people, add more adrenaline. Manage the state. Conclude with full blown full scale full contact scenario. Make sure to install the procedure to escape if at all possible -- fight to escape. Compress the experience and install the appropriate triggers. Send them on their way. Is it perfect? We all know the answer to that. Will it work? Depends on the individual and the instructor. I've never taught a knife in just 60 minutes...but I know it can be done, especially with a simple approach like the Southnarc pikal. I have taught the eye-jab/palm-thrust as outlined above. While the individual never had to use it, she was, four years after the fact, with no practice other than occasional mental rehearsal, able to access the state and, hitting through a couch pillow, knock her much larger husband across the room when he challenged her to do so. That, of course, is not on the street, but quite interesting in the implications for retention. Den talks about the Nikita project...in the first four hours, we took women who were afraid of guns to firing real guns with cotton wad ammunition at human opponents in full blown adrenal stress scenarios -- with over 95% torso hits. Police officers, seasoned guys with SWAT experience, most in excess of ten years experience, when put into the identical scenarios, ran around 50-60%. In the second four hours, Rick Faye taught them the SEAL Blitz, and they finished with a full blown adrenal stress scenario against a bulletman who weighed 260 pounds of muscle, going full bore against them. They all did just fine. And you know what, it IS a great test for an instructor to see what they can
do in an hour. Marcus Discuss this topic, or read more here ON ARTIFICE So in the spirit of keeping things going while Den is away jumping out of helicopters in Africa, I’d like to ask about the psychological components of combatives. “Get the best training you can afford. But train with the understanding that firearms practice is about 75% physical and 25% mental. However, a gun fight is about 25% physical and 75% mental.” Clint Smith, a highly regarded American tactical instructor. When I asked Clint how he thought those percentages applied to unarmed combat, he said something to the effect of (I don’t have the exact quote): “Fighting is fighting, whether it’s with a pistol or your empty hands. I think it applies across the board.” Den and I found that to resonate with our own takes on the matter, and that was one of the reasons we worked together to develop methods of bringing more mental effort into the physical training – the state-based work – and have experimented over the years with ways to better deliver that. I’ve always been interested in the refinement of the mental aspects. One of Fairbairn’s principles is Artifice – a mental/psychological principle. I understand the principle of using distraction or verbal engagement to set up an opponent for a pre-emptive strike. But is that all Fairbairn meant when he talked about Artifice? Pete Robins (God bless you and rest you, Peter) and I had a long correspondence about this as well, and my opinion then, and now, is that those techniques of distraction were really the tip of the iceberg in Artifice. I found it interesting that, at least in the OSS/SOE sphere, the training was provided to people who’s very survival depended on the sophisticated use of deception to survive, the undercover operators working in denied territory. It’s been my experience that in personal combat, the “fight” starts a long time before the opponent is in your face and you’re setting them up for a strike. The psychological assessment process goes on in many instances long before the players move into striking distance, whether with weapons or empty hands. It’s the early “Mental” part of the fight. Part of that assessment is based on the evaluation of you.
What I mean by that is the human being is by nature wired to communicate constantly: body language, verbal cues, eye accessing cues, choice of clothing, etc. What do you communicate consciously or unconsciously about your fighting capability to others who observe you? And how might that information benefit your opponent? I refined my observation skills working on a door, like many here (and that was really the experience that moved me from the martial artist expression to a combative expression) and then later in military and government service, as a protection specialist, and as a researcher in neural-based training. One of the really profound lessons I learned was from another operator, a woman (one of the very few at that time working in a gun carrying counter-terrorist position). I had made a stupid, ignorant remark about the suitability of women for the job. This gal, who later became a great friend, had been a uniformed police officer in Florida and then later worked in very high risk undercover work for the Drug Enforcement Agency. “Marcus,” she said. “When things get ugly and we have to go to work, tell me something: who do you think is going to get shot first? Little ole me in my mini-skirt, or you? Take a look at you. Swaggering around in a leather jacket, sweatshirt, jeans and boots. It’s like you’re wearing a sign that says “Tough Guy. Shoot here.” Bad guys won’t expect me to be tough. Or armed. And when push comes to shove, it might just be me to save your macho ass.” Hmm. Hurt to hear. Truth sometimes does. So I started taking a look at what I was transmitting about me, both on the job and off. And that’s when I really started looking for ways to apply artifice and deception across the board. I didn’t want to look tough. I didn’t want to appear to be trained. I wanted to be the “grey man.” And when I started looking at myself, there was a lot of work to be done. First were easy things, like clothing and accessories: lose the tough guy undercover clothes and soften the profile. Off duty lose the martial arts sweatshirts and hats from the shooting schools that advertise your possible training and experience. Stop training in public. Don’t talk about your skills unless people had a need to know. And so on. The hard part is changing your physiology. The way you stand and move, the patterns of tension in your musculature, the way your eyes move, all of those things spell “Switched On” to the skilled observer. Ever notice how cops pick out cops even off duty, or how you can spot a trained guy by the way he moves? I remember working on a door and watching how guys would puff up, or not, meet my eyes, or not, when they came up to me. And that speaks volumes about what they’re thinking and what they’re capable of. I would venture to say that all of you, whether you’re professionally involved
in violence or not, go through this type of evaluation of other people consciously or unconsciously, even if it’s just, “Could I take him or not?” What do people think when they see you? And how could they use that to hurt you? What could you do with your “presentation” that would benefit you in a combative scenario? I see that as part of the “mental fight” and a combatives aspect worth considering. So in my long winded fashion (and I apologize for that…I’m a writer and storyteller by profession, so I tend to go on and on…) what I’m most curious about is this: 1. Do you accept that strategic deception (hiding your capabilities and intentions from all who observe you) is an integral part of combatives? If not, why? 2. If you do accept it, what do you do to train that? 3. What kind of experiences would you share about the practical application of strategic deception? I look forward to hearing your thoughts and getting the benefit of your experiences. Cheers, Marcus To read more and to discuss this topic click here

Alan Bec
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Re: The thoughts of Marcus Wynne

Post  Alan Bec on Thu Aug 17, 2006 11:33 pm

ON THE LETHALITY OF COMBATIVES, TEACHING RESPONSIBILITY, AND THREAT EVALUATION I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir here, but combatives were designed from the ground up to be "tools designed to efficiently end the life of another human being." That's what and how they were intended to be used as originally developed, at least that's my understanding of what Fairbairn's mission was in designing his syllabus for SOE/OSS and the other units. I think one of the issues involved in teaching combatives as opposed to "traditional" martial arts, even boxing, etc., is that the core of combatives can be made usable (assuming proper mindset, i.e. aggressiveness, etc. is there) in a very short time and with very little formal training. After all, what other systems can you get a credible skill level from taking a one day seminar, getting some good video tapes and a copy of GET TOUGH and KILL OR BE KILLED and some training equipment, and working hard at it? In many other martial approaches, there's a lengthy period of time before you develop "lethal" capability, and that could theoretically allow time for a moral and ethical instructor to make a measured evaluation of a student's capability to handle lethal force.
And I know some of you are going to say, well, you can always go less than lethal with the techniques. Of course you can. But I will strongly state (my opinion only, of course) that most of the techniques that comprise the core curriculum can be fatal if applied with force and vehemence, which is how they were designed to be used. A chin jab can take a life. An axe hand. A slap to the head. A cradle blow to the throat. An elbow to the back of the neck. And yeah, the human body can soak up a lot of punishment and still keep ticking (I'm living proof of that!) And I'll just ask this question: is anyone reading or posting here so skilled that they can control the force of their blows in a full on adrenal rush in a real fight, so skilled at calibrating a person that they can determine what kind of blow someone can soak up and still live, so in tune with their surroundings in-fight so that the person they KO doesn't crack his skull on the pavement or fall down a flight of stairs? That by the way is a real scenario from my youth -- an acquaintance of mine, in a drunk punch up at a party, knocked his opponent out cold with a cross...and the guy fell down a flight of stairs outside an apartment building, broke his neck, and died. DOS -- dead on scene. And that guy was originally charged with murder, plea bargained to manslaughter, and did time for it. One life ended, another ruined. What I'm getting at here is that there is a responsibility involved when you train in this stuff, when you enter into any combat, whether it's just "bitch-slapping" some hapless drunk, or going through a door with a gun in your hand, whether you think somebody's a "real threat" (more on that in a minute), and especially when you teach this stuff. When Den and I were teaching hard skills to civilian classes, there were people we wouldn't train. I have turned people away from a class because I didn't feel right about them, and I've learned the hard way to trust my intuition in most things. I have also taken a student by the throat, taken his gun away, and thrown him out the door of a class because my initial reservation was confirmed by his actions in the class. I think there is no getting away from that responsibility as an instructor, and it is a major challenge for an instructor as he/she develops, to cultivate the discernment necessary, and the stones to back it up when you have to take action. There ARE bad guys who train very seriously...not many, but some. I wrote two books loosely based on true stories about highly trained bad guys. I've known very competent real-world fighters with serious martial arts pedigrees who were stone baddies, druggies, enforcers...killers. Somebody trained them. Make sure it's not you.
I don't want this to sound preachy, and if it does, I apologize in advance. I have too much respect for you guys to do that. But I feel very strongly about the moral and ethical responsibilities any instructor of life and death skills take on -- and make no bones about it, if you're teaching combatives, you're teaching life and death skills. Okay. On threat assessment: One of the things I found challenging when I started teaching was just this -- how do you teach people who don't have your experience base in the real world or your martial education how to recognize threat? The best way I've found is to break it down into small bits and apply the KISS principle across the board. The following formula is not mine; it's a standard in VIP protection and hard security everywhere. THREAT = CAPABILITY + INTENTION. That's what makes a threat, those two things existing simultaneously in a situation/person. What I've found is that most people focus on CAPABILITY, or the perception of capability. "He's a big old boy, he's a threat," or "He's a Chav (or biker or banger or whatever)," he's a threat...so on. That's all based on appearance and your evaluation of what makes up a threat. If you're 130 pounds and you bump into a 260 pound body builder, you're going to see him as a threat. If that 260 pound body builder bumps into a world renowned MMA fighter in the same weight class, he's going to see that MMA fighter as a threat (maybe). A lot of that is relative/subjective, and is based on the person's perceptions and experience. The truth is, EVERYBODY has SOME capability to do harm. A pint sized guy just thrown out of a bar might look harmless, but can you see the knife in his pocket? A gang of 12-year olds looks pretty harmless, unless they rat pack you and take you to the ground, as happened to a federal agent I know, who was beaten and robbed by around 15 teens in Rome. The biggest one only weighed maybe 100 pounds, but take 15 of them, and who wouldn't find that a handful? Another guy I know ignored three teens ages 12-14 when they skateboarded up on him -- what kind of threat do three kids pose? -- The first one maced him, the second one fractured his skull with the skateboard; the third one robbed him, till somebody chased them off. Good thing, because they hadn't yet found his badge and gun. It's pretty hard, no matter how well trained and experienced you are, to make a firm determination about what someone's CAPABILITY is...all you can do is hazard an estimate based on what you actually see. If you didn't
know Dennis Martin, and you saw him dressed in neat casual clothes in a bookstore, would you be able to clock his capabilities? Maybe you think so. I've seen Den in full "soft profile" and he's passed as a bookworm by some seasoned guys. They found out different later, though! So after some time, I focused my attention on sussing out INTENTION. Now there, you have something to work with. If you've been reading my various posts on sensory acuity, vision drills, deception, etc., you know that I talk a lot about the soft skills, the mental skills that make up situational awareness, etc. Determining INTENTION is a faster way to identifying a threat, in my thirty odd years of professional experience with this stuff. So how do you suss out INTENTION? Remember the OODA loop? Observation and Orientation are the entry points. Are they paying attention to you? Are they observing you? What is the quality of their attention/observation? I'd guess that the knifer in the scenario we're talking about wasn't focused on Rom's student TILL he got slapped, and then his attention and his INTENTION changed dramatically. if you're the focus of attention, and you calibrate (with all the deception/violence detection cues you can get form the real world, or from studying Ekman, et alia, using your vision skills etc in training and scenarios, working with skilled role players) that there is hostile intent, THAT's your THREAT. That's where all the mental skills I babble on and on about come into play, because I guarantee you, if I was to watch ANY of you experienced guys out there on the door, I could tell you to the microsecond when you suss out somebody's attention or intention on you has changed. That's the cue that experienced guys work off, though they might not call it that. They'll call it something else, but that's what it is. So how to id threat? Work on recognizing shifts in INTENTION, which starts with attention to you, attention with an emotional content, hostile in nature. Hope that's useful and maybe we'll get some good discussion out of it. This topic discussed in detail here

Alan Bec
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Re: The thoughts of Marcus Wynne

Post  Alan Bec on Thu Aug 17, 2006 11:34 pm

ON STRESS IN TRAINING (Comment from Dennis Martin: This section on "stress in training" by Marcus just blew me away. You could create an entire training program from what's written in this concise post below) I got to keep this short, since there's a book or two in this...so I'll just throw random thoughts out.
Go to your local neighbourhood theatre group or college/university drama department and recruit some actors to come in and do role-plays with you...see if you can swap some training for their participation. Adds to your stress if you don't know the role players already... Go hire/coerce some big old power-lifters/hard guys to come in and "slap the shit out of us." (Not joking, a friend of mine hired fellow bouncers to come and fight his advanced students...everybody got benefit out of it) Mess with your environment...if you're training in the gym, move into somebody's garage and train in there, full contact, with low lighting, tables and chairs and other things you'd find in a bar, crank up the music till you can't think straight, get a strobe light and use that as primary illumination, then get some black painted training knives and work on dealing with those with strobe light illumination... Introduce weapons that your assailants can produce or not as they see fit, without telling you in advance... Something we did a long long time ago (early 70s) was set up a training room in a garage that one of the instructors had -- put in chairs, etc. tables, bottles, ashtrays, pool table/cues/balls, etc. Cranked up the music, strobe lights, etc. Everybody showed up in street/party clothes, brought girlfriends, and other friends. The practitioners had, in advance, a list of things the other guys wanted to work on (warm-up -- what we called the interview, etc. for example) and they would make up a scenario to meet that. But, there was a period of about 15 minutes where no scenario would be run (remember we've got all kinds of "civilians" in there...) then, completely at random, with no control whatsoever, the guys would start whenever they wanted to run down the script they'd worked on. So sometimes there would be several different scenarios running simultaneously! This can degenerate into total chaos pretty quickly, which is really the intent, to see what works when nobody knows what the script is, when you have variables like girlfriends and friends butting in, and working that out. It was ENORMOUS fun, and really useful as a training tool as long as you didn't over do it. And a great warm up to a party! Mess with the environment and break the usual place you train to make sure you incorporate elements of the end-use environment and improvised weapons etc. that might be around; mess with lighting, install thermal stress (like somebody already mentioned, crank up the heat) clutter the floor space, bring in civilians and actors to change the psychological landscape, etc. Mess with the practitioner -- put a knee/leg brace on him and make him fight with one leg out of commission (and yes, he can use a cane or crutch); tape up one eye and fight as though blinded in one eye (happened to me,
still have permanent damage to my left eye from that...) sling up one arm so you have to fight with one hand as though injured; train in street shoes and clothes, start the scenario cold with no warm-up; introduce weapons by the attackers and/or have the practitioner introduce weapons, spray him in the face with mace and have him fight through it with multiple attackers (done it, hated it, found it useful); shock them with an industrial strength cattle prod (the ones that drop bulls to their knees) like Dennis does on his drills (I never laughed so hard as I did when I first saw Den spring that unannounced on someone...) and have them fight through, ask him if he's ready and slap him -- hard-- when he's not expecting it. For more on this topic read the thread on Inducing Stress in training

Alan Bec
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