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 Interview part one: THE WAY OF THE JEDI

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Registration date : 2007-06-27

PostSubject: Interview part one: THE WAY OF THE JEDI   Fri 04 Sep 2015, 11:50


I first met Marcus Wynne when he attended a CQB SERVICES Bodyguard course in Detroit. We quickly discovered we shared martial arts backgrounds, and had both spent time in Japan. We kept in touch, and Marcus subsequently organised a series of training courses for our training team in Minneapolis and Washington.
Marcus served in the US Airborne Forces, and his service included being Sergeant of a Military Reaction Team in Korea. Already experienced in Kempo, he sampled the Korean systems. After leaving the military he pursued his education and after graduating with his degree entered the field of specialised security. During this time he kept up his training, primarily in Escrima/Kali. Being of partial Filipino descent gave him a particular interest in these arts, and he has specialised in offensive/defensive knife systems.

[Marcus and Den in a US Government "killing house"]

Marcus spent several years in Government counter-terrorism as a US Federal Air Marshal, the unit with the most exacting training of any Federal Agency. He flew world-wide as an operator in the Unit, and later became a Tactics Instructor and a Team Leader. During these years he worked in numerous countries and liaised with many foreign agencies. He was sent on various firearms and close-combat courses with many outstanding instructors.
This series promised interviews with top professionals in the field of personal defensive training. Within the world of Special Operations, (known by insiders as "The Community") Marcus Wynne is regarded as a "total Pro". I am delighted to introduce him to our readers.
The interview was conducted in Minneapolis, USA in October 1994, and first published in my “ON GUARD” Column. I later updated it by interviewing Marcus by email, and in person on subsequent training events, in the USA, UK and RSA

DM: Marcus, last week we both instructed on a High-Risk Bodyguard Course in Dayton, Ohio; and on it you taught a class on the Mental Conditioning for Close Combat. During this class you mentioned the Jedi Project, can you tell our readers something about it?

[Marcus during the Dayton course]

MARCUS: In the early 1980s the US Army’s' Intelligence & Security Command {INSCOM} commissioned a study of alternative human learning technologies; when I say  "alternative" I mean some of the stuff that's considered to be "New Age" in terms of biofeedback, hypnosis, visualisation technique, and, specifically, Neuro-Linguistic Programming. The object of this project was to apply the concepts of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, that is the modelling of excellence, to identify those people, those operators, who were working at a superior performance level; and model their behaviours, re-create their inner and outer representations, so that the training processes can then be installed in other operators going through a specific training course. The primary model utilised for that was in shooting. What this particular program, whose desired end result was to create "high-speed" operators in covert ops, Special Warfare and the shooting Community, Was called was the Jedi Project after the mythical Jedi Warriors in George Lucas' Star Wars movies.

The Jedi Project is covered in some detail in a book I know you're familiar with Den, called The Warrior's Edge, and the statistical results were phenomenal. While the database was too small to provide an absolute statistical analysis, the results were undeniable. They showed indisputable effectiveness of performance in terms of a different, more effective, more modern way of training combative skills around shooting. It was a real effective project, and then those techniques as developed by the INSCOM was then utilised throughout the Special Operations "community" with Delta Force, SEAL Team Six in specific, and also some of the paramilitary units that work with US Intelligence Agencies.

DM: Well it sounds like a fascinating project. You mentioned Neuro-Linguistic Programming, or, NLP; can you tell us more about the strategies involved, and how it applies to the martial arts?

MW: Absolutely, actually there's a lot of congruence between Neuro-Linguistic Programming and martial arts training, especially traditional martial arts training.
One of the presuppositions in Neuro-Linguistic Programming is that you manage your internal mental state. This is the challenge, to manage your internal state, and to recognise state in other human beings...and also to communicate more effectively. It's an extraordinary learning tool. One of the direct applications, something that both of us having trained originally in real traditional martial arts appreciate, is the appropriate use of kata. We both come from the generation that remembers when Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon was lecturing his student and talked about striking with "emotional content".  That's one of the things we worked on with the use of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, whether it's for hand-to-hand combat, or, close-quarter-battle involving weapons or anything else. The techniques of NLP enable us to anchor that are to re-create the desired mental state on demand. This adds that emotional content which gives much more focus to the intensity and the effectiveness of the technique. What NLP can specifically provide to the martial artist is a more effective tool for that martial artist to re-create, emotionally anchor, and to access those powerful emotional states in a self-defence, or, fighting scenario.

[Marcus taught his Neural-based methods in Liverpool, 2006]

What Neuro-Linguistic Programming does, is it really codifies and gives you a strategy and a structure to systematically access those states, rather than as we have always relied on in the past, either through years and years of meditation, or, years and years of practice, or through sheer blind luck, stumble into the state. NLP teaches you how to find the state, to model it off of a Master, or, someone else, then re-create and install that state in yourself in relatively short order. It's a short circuit, a short cut, to effective and immediate results in terms of "combat congruence"; that ability to bring all your resources, physical, emotional, spiritual and mental to bear on the resolution of your combative problem.

DM: That's a fine explanation, and NLP obviously has much to offer our readers. I know you are heavily involved in exploring ways in which NLP can be adapted to combat, continuing the Jedi Project as it were. Indeed today you and I both went through a modelling process under Minneapolis NLP Master Instructor Linda Shrader, who was eliciting our physiology and mental states, as a pilot study for a project you are both working on...can you tell the readers something about this?

MW: Yes, what we're calling it, and thanks to you Den for naming the project, we call it the Nikita Project. Specifically, we're looking to take women and train them.... the desired outcome being to empower women with the ability to access a fighting and aggressive mental state, and to anchor that to the effective use of weaponry, specifically, with handguns. One of the goals is to elicit the state response, the state modulation, that you and I demonstrate after approximately twenty-some-odd years apiece in the martial arts; and we're looking to install that in a four hour training session. It's a real kind of exciting challenge, but as you know, and we'll make your readers  aware of, we've demonstrated this already with two other women.
Firstly, Rosie Brecken, who was a student in our recent High-risk Bodyguard Course in Ohio, had never handled a semi-automatic pistol until three weeks before the course. She fired fifty rounds under intensive coached NLP sessions over a period of about an hour and a half. After that  she spent fifteen minutes a day doing a visualisation/kinaesthetic anchoring exercise we created for her. After that she went into a class where she was the only women out of nineteen students...the rest of whom were SWAT Officers and Police firearms instructors, with an average of 10-15 years law enforcement experience operating at a very high level of handgun performance. She outperformed over half of the class, and in that demonstrated her ability not only to use her weapon in a marksmanship sense, but to use it in combat oriented scenarios, where she had to deal with the emotional duress and stress that she would actually encounter in a real world situation. It was an impressive result considering she has fewer hours in training than most of these guys had years in training!
The second example is Linda Shrader, who is the Master NLP Practitioner we were working with to develop and elicit this model, using the very latest in human learning technologies, was another person that I spent approximately an hour with, working on fine-tuning her visual and kinaesthetic modalities for shooting...and this woman, in the course of three shooting sessions is now shooting at a very respectable competition level in terms of target acquisition and marksmanship.

DM: I think some readers may be a little incredulous about just how quickly you can produce these results. I've seen the results for myself and can confirm their validity. Obviously your Nikita Project has exciting implications for the training of women; and I'd like to pursue the topic a little further. Would you say that, in comparison with NLP based training, some of the more conventional existing training contains a lot of material which is extraneous to the desired outcome?

[Federal Air Marshal training]

MW: This is one of our presuppositions and we have met considerable resistance institutionally from people when we provide this training. What we've found is that there's disbelief that this training can be installed at that level, and that we can get this kind of end result. What we decided is "let's do it...let's not talk about it". The truth is, especially in the field of CQB firearms training; especially as it applies to the police sphere; over the past sixty years the training courses, and the training programs have been designed by people who shoot in the upper 5-10%, and would regardless of what training they receive. Those people are developing courses to train other people like them. What they are doing is serving that 5-10%, while the other 80-90% are not getting training that they can use under stress. So what's happened is while we have been training people we have lost track of our desired outcome...which is, in terms of close-quarter-battle training that the operator survives the lethal force encounter It is not that the operator qualifies at a certain score on a range in a two-dimensional environment. That's the difference that we have in terms of our installation of training in that we operate on a three-dimensional level; that is, we operate with the human organism as a cybernetic organism in a give and take situation. Not merely a linear, two-dimensional, sterile and static target range situation. And there's no arguing with the results!

A recruit intake into the US Army was split demographically into two groups. Group One was a control group, who were given the usual Army Combat Pistol Qualification Course, lasting 4˝ days.
Group Two, were the test group, who were given the new NLP based training, lasting just 1˝ days.
At the end of the training each group fired the same pistol test, and scores were evaluated. Among the findings were:-
Group One had 73% of personnel pass the test, with 10% scoring "expert" ranking.
Group Two, the NLP group, had 100% pass, with 25% qualify as "expert".
The Jedi Project undeniably demonstrated that advanced human learning technologies, especially Neuro Linguistic Programming, advantages, both in reduction of training time, and increase of proficiency levels.

Details of Marcus' books here

For training with Marcus contact here

Check Six,
Dennis Martin
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