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Number of posts : 9139
Registration date : 2007-06-27



This program is based on the research done by Marcus Wynne. He used concepts from NLP, Accelerated Learning and DHE, filtered through his own operational experience in High Risk training.
His work with the NASA Astronauts, and with the NIKITA Program, are significant additions to the training for Critical Incident Performance under Stress.
I have worked extensively with Marcus, since 1988. He first presented the basic Mind’sEye concepts when he came over to the UK in 1996. The following year we co-taught the program in RSA. My main contribution was to devise drills and exercises to instil the concepts.
Since then, Marcus has continued to refine the material, and in September 2009 presented a three-day program in Sweden.
Anyone interested in having Marcus present a program can contact me at and I’ll pass the information on.
The guys in Switzerland have been hearing me talk about the program for a few years, and invited me to present it in late 2009. Slackbladder was able to attend and what follows is one of his classic reviews which are such a delight to read.

Peter Slackbladder Morgan

'Twas a cold and windy Thursday afternoon as I shouldered a Bergen and walked to catch the bus. A bus journey is hardly the best start to any holiday. The route is always three times longer than you remember, the seat is always wet through with a mystery substance and a small child will always fix you with a piercing stare that does not shift for the duration of the journey. It is also rather more expensive than I remember it. Per mile, my bus service is more expensive than the plane I am due to catch. At least on the plane you can be reasonably sure you won't get stabbed in the face for the sin of looking at someone in a manner which displeases them.

Bus leads to train and train leads to airport. Airport usually means at least one wistful visit to The Whisky Shop. I stand in front of the assembled bottles of wonderful vintage whiskies and wish there was a plate-glass window I could press my nose against. I would press my nose against the shelving as a makeshift measure, but it is likely to only result in a Qualified First Aider rushing to my assistance. I could suggest that a dram of Johnny Walker Blue Label would make me feel much better, but there's probably a page for that scam toward the back of 'The Whiskey Shop Manager's Handbook'. I settled for wistful glances at the Quarter Cask Laphroaig, hoping for the offer of a Free Taste, but I don't look the type to be discerning in my whiskey palette. I'll try again sometime wearing a suit (a real suit, not an elaborate gorilla costume) and report back. Hopelessly sober and bored, I treated myself to a visit to the bookstore and procured a couple of books.
Drunk on history, I boarded the craft and listened to the safety briefing in German, which sounds much more exciting than the English version. I can only presume that Teutonic air safety is rather more involved and dashing that the Anglicised version. They probably demand that the passenger nearest the emergency exit volunteer to climb onto the wing, armed with some moist towelettes to extinguish the blazing engine. It sounded that dramatic. I imagine some form of bonus snack would be awarded. Perhaps peanuts. Maybe chocolate.
I do remember that the gentleman who shouldered this incredible burden sneezed over a dozen times in the course of the flight, leaving me to miserably contemplate the probability of contracting a killer strain of flu. I cheered myself up with the thought that in the event of a mountain impeding the flight path, I would be saved from the hell of sampling all eight varieties of cough syrup available from my local supermarket.
Incredibly, probably never to be repeated again in my lifetime, my Bergen was the very first piece of luggage to emerge on the baggage carousel. I took a moment to look with scorn upon the impatient horde of businessmen who all wore suits that looked handmade and watches that look a lot like fake Rolexes, only the second hand moves much smoother.
Yobbo got his bag first. I walked through Customs without a hitch and was immediately greeted by Matt, a course participant and all-around good chap. Matt works as security for a Corporation and has had the privilege of following the cash-rich and sense-poor into risky situations. Matt is an excellent driver, I never once had the sensation that the vehicle was going to capsize and burst into flames - a common complaint in my passengers. Notes were taken for future reference.
Arriving at the house of the chap who put together the seminar, Simon proved himself a very generous host. A bottle of whisky was produced and a couple of hours was spent discussing the evils of the world and the best ways by which they may be righted. Schnapps was also produced in this time, but assurances that my eyesight would be unaffected did not sway my decision to stick to the whisky. I carefully examine all my drinks for labels that state “This fine liquor is made of the only the highest quality ingredients that guarantee your eyesight will return after a relatively short period of time” and steer well clear. We all have our little peccadilloes, and that one is mine. I should mention Si's wife is a person who seems to believe that a person leaving her house hungry brings shame upon the nation. A charming woman and an excellent cook, I gained several pounds in weight during my stay as a result of her abilities as a host. A short walk in the pitch dark later deposited me at my hotel. I flopped into bed, read half a paragraph about the Cotentin Peninsula and fell into a deep and dreamless sleep.
Friday morning was all about The Mission To Collect Den. After several leisurely cups of tea in a smart cafe, it was decided that a leisurely drive to the airport was due. Traffic in the Zurich region was unexpectedly thick on Friday morning owing to construction workers working at a leisurely rate. Crawling along the tarmac at a leisurely pace, Simon was gnawing on the steering wheel with the strain of the thought of being late. Punctuality is more than a virtue to Simon – it appears to be a defining characteristic. This was, no joke, the most stress he suffered the whole weekend. Despite my assurances that Den would not respond to tardiness by decimating holidaymakers in the arrivals lounge, poor Simon's blood pressure was straining the button at his shirt collar when we finally found a car parking space. A jog to the arrivals gate brought us to gate at the precise moment Den emerged. Crisis over.

Following lunch, a trip to the range followed. A fun shoot had been organised, and folks from the course had been kind enough to show up with an array of weaponry that any Swiss citizen is legally entitled to own. The selection was startling. A SIG 550 rifle, the standard battle rifle for the Swiss Armed Forces, was present in three different barrel lengths. A very well thought out bit of kit, I have seen them hanging on gunshop walls in the USA with insane price tags hanging off them. For the money you pay, you'd be entitled to think that Leonardo Da Vinci himself had machined each piece out of platinum, before using bits of kryptonite to fashion the trigger mechanism. I very much enjoyed shooting the 550 – very forgiving in the hands of an amateur like myself and just plain dangerous in the hands of a competent marksman. Si informed me that the Swiss Army holds a marksmanship course that lasts a single day and pretty much every single student finishes the day able to zap targets out to 600 metres without much bother. Nice bit of kit. The AK47 model currently available to Afghan police was also available for shooting. I opted not to shoot it, I was having way too much fun with the 550, but Den put a few mags through it and looked less than pleased at the vast disparity between sights and hits on target [1].
The MP5K was handed over to atone for the sins of the AK, and Den has seldom looked happier than when drilling the face out of the paper targets with rapid shots. After the punchy recoil of the 550, the 9mm MP5 felt like a toy and was genuinely fun to shoot – you really cannot miss with one inside of ten yards.


A Steyr AUG with a very fancy set of optics proved itself to be very user friendly. All the bullets went where the red dot was pointing – the electronic red dot magic is the future.
A long series of drills with Glock pistols got us all warmed up for the weekend ahead. Special mention goes to a Grant-Taylor drill that comprised of firing two pistols at the target from 3-5 yards, much in the style favoured by John Woo. I'm an decidedly average shooter, but much to my surprise, the vast majority of my shots (3 x double taps from both pistols simultaneously) landed in a fair group. After each shooter had had a go, the target was thoroughly mashed. Grant Taylor had a point. My request to rerun the drill in an abandoned church filled with doves as opera plays in the background was politely deferred. Looking back, I'm very glad the fun-fire shoot took place. I'm not comfortable handling firearms because I don't own one, plus I've read all about the results of bad handling skills with a live firearm. I was nervous for much of the afternoon, fervently muttering the prayer of the accident-prone everywhere: “Please, O lord, do not let me fuck this up.” To have to manage the stress of learning to safely handle a firearm while negotiating the Mind's Eye course is perhaps too much of a burden to bear.
I should take a moment here to thank each and every member of the course who brought their very expensive toys along to watch the British turn various shades of envious green. They did so entirely out of their generous spirit and had the good grace not to visibly flinch when I would unwittingly load magazines backwards or hit the magazine catch instead of working-parts-release. Their patience was a league beyond what I deserve.

Dinner that night was cooked and served by Carmen [Mrs Si]. We had been promised a Swiss meal, and we were not disappointed. I neglected to note the name of the foodstuff that formed the centrepiece, but I do recall that it translated as 'Flesh cheese'[2]. I know that some of you at home will be screwing up your face at that name, but hold your instinct in check for a moment. This stuff is good magic. Imagine a small loaf of sausage meat, with added peppers and herbs. Bake that for a while and serve hot with freshly baked bread and vegetables. I ate well that night.
During that evening, the kettle didn't stop boiling. According to legend, the Norse god Thor attempted to drink all the seas, cunningly contained inside a magical drinking horn. He very nearly managed to empty it. I would hazard a guess that Den would give Thor a run for his money, provided he could first boil the seas and allow a couple of supertankers of English Breakfast Tea to mash for a while. I understand that a kettle is a hungry beast when attached to the National Grid. To the citizens of Switzerland who wondered why the lights would dim every twenty minutes one weekend not long ago, I apologise.

The dawn arrived and we sped onward to the range, a very plush training facility indeed. The whole thing was indoors and air conditioned. When I say “air conditioned”, I don't mean it was chilly. I mean that you could barely smell gunsmoke thirty seconds after firing, and no smell of cordite at all after two minutes. An attached gym with padded floor and a lecture room were all within ten seconds of each other. Very, very nice.


I hesitate to reveal much about the exact composition of the weekend. I will share a few general impressions, though. I've perused the end section of Ken Murray's opus “Training at the speed of life” and therefore I know exactly what kind of million-to-one accidents befall those who are at all lax with the rules of gun safety. Nothing quite builds up trust between students than the act of pointing guns at one another and pulling the trigger. Den was emphatic that “Big boy's rules” were in force on the range and exhorted us to be thorough in our safety. On the topic of the 9mm vs .45 calibre debate, I will state that 9mm looks plenty big enough to me when viewed from the muzzle end, particularly so when the face behind the sights is unsmiling and entirely business – an interesting display of state access, given that the attendees were very amicable as a group3. In fact, I don't remember anyone smiling when a gun was in their hand. Being downrange of a “hot” fire and movement drill is quite an experience. I was twitching like I'd been plugged into the mains power supply, whereas the Swiss appeared to have ice in their veins. An amused grin or stoic boredom tied as the most popular response to having a firearm discharged close enough to your face to reach out and touch the front sight. A little squeeze on the adrenal gland, sure, but then again, I've read that folks learn best when stressed, not at play.

[Dario using cover]

A word on sighting, as it seems to be a popular topic for debate in some circles. Den teaches Tactical Sight Index shooting. This appears to hit the magic middle ground between kinaesthetically-oriented shooting styles (a la Shooting to live) and the absolute rigidity on front sight focus espoused by target shooters. The bulk of the “work” in getting the muzzle in line with the target is done almost exclusively by kinaesthetic awareness – the sights serve to confirm kinaesthetic aiming point while you are busy looking at the target/back drop. Sight alignment, ideally, is best left to the subconscious to arrange. I know a few will snort at the idea as it sounds dangerously close to “ignore the sights and believe that Sigmund Freud will do all the hard work for you”. My best shooting of the weekend as a whole was done during a drill where I was distracted to an extreme degree.

The course is evenly split between dry fire and live. The dry fire is, if anything, even more taxing than the live fire, as you have to exercise your imagination and shift perspectives frequently. Those wishing to take part in this course would be well advise to spend a while to work on their visualisation if they do not do so already. Being able to create, hold and shift between high fidelity constructs would be a big help to the raw beginner.
The pen and paper are another necessary tool. To create breathing room between drills, visits to the lecture hall to discuss the course as it progresses are frequent. They also provide ample opportunity to drink tea, though I am assured by Den that this is purely a coincidence, and not at all the aim of the breaks.

The evening meal was arranged to give the heathen Brits a taste of real Switzerland. The whole course travelled to a rather plush restaurant, where we were introduced to real fondue. This is nothing to take lightly. Two kilos of cheese is melted with white wine and other unnamed ingredients, served together with fresh bread, new potatoes and schnapps. The prospect of eating a pound of molten cheese filled me with some trepidation. I was told that drinking the wrong fluids along with the meal would lead to severe digestive difficulties and mockery. Black tea was advised as an accompaniment, a suggestion I bravely leapt upon. Other fondue difficulties the neophyte may encounter is the ordeal of  Dropping The Bread In The Fondue. This is a cardinal sin, the likes of which can only be forgiven by sacrificing your dignity. Singing while stood upon your chair, drinking a litre of beer, shooting an apple off the head of your waitress … you get the idea. All this meant my bread was so securely attached to the dipping fork it would have made a serviceable anchoring point for future Eiger expeditions.


Following the meal, a fair number of the group retired to the hotel and sat in the foyer punishing the free supply of tea and coffee. Suitably relaxed, tales were told of derring-do and humorous accidents while paid to keep people safe. Simon has a penchant for social engineering, a skill that once resulted in his sharing an umbrella with, if I recall correctly, Arafat and Netanyahu. The dude is a ninja, though he insists that he doesn't own a pair of special slippers with the separate big toe.

A solid nights sleep brought a new day and fresh challenges. The day opened with a presentation by Den on the US Secret Services Four Rules For Winning A Gunfight. Regrettably, there's no introduction to something akin to Equlibrium's Gun Kata, no mysterious magic. Simple guidelines, that lend themselves well to extrapolation to the Nth degree. Thinking back on how I treat solid yet mundane advice, I'm reminded that diligent exploration of basic precepts can yield and awful lot that is useful. We moved on to a bout of adversarial challenges. One half of the course would devise a scenario shoot for the other half to complete, switching roles on completion. Much attention was given to construction of embuggerance factors such as shoot/no shoot targets, poor lighting, noise and gunfire. These proved to be rather stressful encounters, with each individual bringing their own solution to the table – no two students solved the problem alike.

[Slacky being debriefed by Simon]

Several snacks and some delicious cake later, we set to work on speed drills. Some of the Swiss were already pretty darned quick on the draw. I had a hard time keeping up with the times labelled as 'standard' and had to make a major effort to keep up with time constraints. At the end of the course, I could draw and hit a paper plate at five yards in two seconds dead (Hands near the sternum in a compressed fence. Wooly jumper as a covering garment on OWB holster). A lass called Uzi (that's how I pronounced her name, anyway) was demonstrably smooth in all her firearm manipulations and deceptively fast to boot. I almost pity the fool who dismisses her as a secretary and makes a bid on the life of her principal.

[Ursi working on Combative knife with Simon]

During the lunch hour, Si was gracious enough to hand over a H&K P7 for a test drive. What a pistol! Very very accurate in the hands of a competent marksman, and easily provides an instant 50% boost in skills for a neophyte like myself. What fun!

THE MIND’S EYE SHOOTING PROGRAM, ZURICH Den%20firing%20P7_zpsypxter3n
[Den with an old friend, the P7]

Other nifty bits of kit that arrived with the express purpose of making me sick which included, a SIG 226.. Given that I'm legally allowed to own nothing more dangerous than an elastic band, I thoroughly enjoyed putting several magazines of rounds through each weapon. Its like looking into a Ferrari showroom window, but louder and with more smiles.

Next up was a short course in knife combatives. Simple angles combined with plenty of angry stabs. Forward drive and aggression was the common factor in effectively overwhelming the opposition. I was then handed the reins and took the guys through a very short overview of ECQC drawstroke mechanics, combined with positional dominance in the clinch. The guys all threw themselves into this section with gusto and, despite exhortations to go easy, they battered each other for a solid hour.

[Slacky demonstrating clinch work with Simon ]

Thoroughly worn out and glad to call it a day in the gym, we were retired and taken to the range for the final shoot. Final shoot was an evaluation drill devised by John Farnham that encompasses marksmanship, malfunction drills and reloads. Simple yet revealing – I have lots of work to do on reloads!

[Class photo]

[Slacky discussing the Clinch-pick knife]

The day finished with a group photo and handshakes all round. The guys (and gal) are an absolutely great bunch and excellent company. I genuinely enjoyed my time spent with them and look forward to a return trip.

[Den showed the Spyderco Rescue-Assist knife]

The final night was spent listening to Den and Simon discuss a wide variety of topics that covered WWII generals, Simunitions training , internal politics of large organisations, worthy literature and tea. I ate far too much marvellous bolognese and experienced shutdown of most of my peripheral systems as my stomach struggled to cope with the onslaught. I remember Den advising me to check my carry-on luggage for cartridge cases and stray ammo, lest I generate paperwork for some poor soul in the Airport. I waddled back to the hotel and collapsed in my bed under the weight of all the carbohydrate.

Morning brought with it a trip to the airport, where Den was deposited and guided through the automated check-in. As Den observed, it seems that the automated check in process saves you from wasting your time in a queue by wasting your time with cleverly assembled lasers and sticky labels. A last cup of coffee in the departure lounge saw Simon at the peak of his administrative powers (Wink. Ha!) and we waved Den on his way.

Warning: Extreme Geekery ahead.


In order to fill the last afternoon, Simon and I travelled to Lucerne, a city which quite possibly contains a higher concentration of Japanese citizens than, say, Tokyo. Lucerne is home to quite possibly the best museum in Europe (N.B. The National Air and Space Museum, Washinton D.C. has way too much cool stuff in it.) The Swiss Transport Museum contains an example of everything with an engine that has ever entered Swiss territory. It even has a satellite. A real, honest-to-goodness satellite. I touched it. Another cool artefact on display is a chunk of moon rock, a gift from Nixon to each and every recognised government on Earth. This was not for touching. The automotive display is something that will warm the heart of any petrolhead. A gigantic rack of classic cars fills one huge wall. Every quarter of an hour or so, an automated thingummy rattles up to a randomly selected car, plucks it off the shelf, and transports it to a small auditorium for detailed viewing along with a recorded lecture on how super cool the car happens to be. The lecture was entirely in foreign lingo, but I'm quite content to watch what is essentially a Fisher Price toy with industrial hydraulics attached. Hours flew past as I wandered from exhibit to exhibit, saying “Wow” a lot.

Warning: Extreme stupidity ahead.
Zurich airport is a civilised affair. Simon and I spent a gentlemanly hour sipping tea and discussing the usual topics of: Interesting stuff. Violence. Interesting stuff that pertains to violence. Bureaucratic warfare. I shook hands, bid my friend farewell and toddled off to the security gate. Several checkpoints later, I'm stood in a queue leading to the metal detector and, as the gentleman in front of me steps forward to be scanned, I recall Den's warning to search my kit for brass before braving security. I stepped to one side and opened my bag to rummage around. I discovered two Nok trainers, a dummy Clinch Pick and a very sharp Clinch Pick. I don't remember the exact noise I made, but people stared at me, so it may have been an expletive of some kind. The wooshing noise on the edge of my hearing was probably the noise that six months in Swiss prison makes as is passes through a nearby alternate reality. My flight was due to take off in less than half an hour. There was no way on earth I could backtrack and get to a post office or even reclaim my hold luggage. I put my faith in the customer service training afforded to airport employees and approached a rather stern looking woman in charge of slinging people's stuff through the X-Ray machine.


“Excuse me Fraulein, but I appear to have inadvertently left a knife in my baggage.”
The returning look was one that I am familiar with. It communicates that although this is indeed a problem, it is not a problem that touches upon her world and is entirely mine. Options are suggested by me for surrendering the offending item to someone now, in the hope that I may claim it back at some point at the other end of the journey. The answer was very clear on this this matter.
I considered my options. There was a monetary value of $385 in the training bag and I was somewhat reluctant to lose it. Hobson's choice prevailed and I was forced to drop the Clinch Pick into a bin filled with drinks bottles, fruit and hair brushes. If you want to get an idea as to what that is like, watch the last 15 minutes of the Lord of the Rings saga. The bit in the volcano. Its rather like that, only with more anguish and less lava. Nevertheless, I still had a very harmless trainer and two Noks that I was less than willing to bin. I'm an inveterate cheapskate and short on common sense. I elected to see if the 'safe' training gear would pass muster. The bag shuddered through the rubber flaps and I walked unmolested through the metal detector. I stared at the monitor and saw my bag roll under its gaze with what was very obviously a knife in it, albeit with lots and lots of holes drilled in it. While this looks very inoffensive in real life, in silhouette it looks very, very dodgy. This caused much consternation at the console and several pairs of eyes all turned to stare at me. Oh dear. A much sterner looking woman asked me to unpack this bag while standing at a safe distance. I produced the Clinch Pick trainer and showed that it was blunter than many spoons in any household cabinet by slashing my open hand and demonstrating the startling lack of reconstructive surgery in my immediate future. This was a novel concept and the question was returned “What is it for?”
“Practice.” Big smile.
She looked horrified. A quick meeting was held regarding this new and interesting artefact with the rest of her crew. They all looked at me, and then at the trainer. Not impressed.
“This is not allowed.”
The Nok trainers were subject to the same intense scrutiny. She just looked at me and shook her head. “These too are not allowed.” I considered telling her that you could stab people quite hard with the Noks and they'd only be a little bit bruised. The sole surviving cluster of neurons responsible for self-preservation sent up their last Very flare and I bit my tongue.
The sole piece of kit that received the blessing of security was a mouthguard.
“That is fine” she said, tapping the box lightly with a fingernail.
Whoopty do. Fifty pence saved.
I offered my profuse apologies for being born a fuckwit and turned and fled for the gate. The flight back was spent wondering if my credit card would know what I had just done and spontaneously combusted at home; preferring a life as a crispy, blackened wafer to that of loyal service to an idiot master. I was also mildly relieved that I would never have to learn the name of Her Majesty's Ambassador to Switzerland.

1 The Afghan Police and that particular AK-47 deserve each other. The ANP is a double-dealing, drugged-out group of treacherous opportunists.
2 Fleishkase
3 At no time were live weapons pointed at each other. Triple-checked, unloaded weapons were used for the scenario drills. We did do live, close-proximity firing, to install weapons-handling in street conditions

Check Six,
Dennis Martin
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