Welcome to 2021!
A few updates…
FICTION: I’m at work on Book #5 of THE REVENGERS: JEFF. I’m following the more expanded format I explored in MACON and digging into the characters a bit more. JEFF is a bank guard whose hobby is impersonating police, public safety and federal officers to exploit women. He’s been getting away with it for a long time. Unfortunately, for him, he crosses the path of a young woman who seeks help from one of the toughest girls she knows, a former barista named Ariel, and her two quiet older friends named Salt and Sanchez. Violence ensues. Probably out by March, as I’m giving SITUATIONAL AWARENESS priority and I’m dancing with Netflix about making THE REVENGERS into a streamer, so I’d like to see how that plays out before I plow on with the series.
NEURAL BASED TRAINING BOOK 2: SITUATIONAL AWARENESS: Also underway. A note (and thank you) to all the people who bought BOOK 1: RETROSPECTIVES and made it number #1 on a number of Amazon lists: the concept for all these books is more TAO OF JEET KUNE DO instead of NEURAL BASED TRAINING 101. My bias and practice for the 35 plus years I’ve been researching and training in this area is on translating cutting edge research into concepts that can then be applied in designing training for the brain. A misconception I’ve run into is people expect me to be churning out academic type papers heavily footnoted and peer reviewed.
One of the reasons I enjoy the credibility I do in military cognitive neuroscience and applied neuroscience circles is that I’m NOT a scientist, nor do I pretend that I am. I’m a researcher with a gift for translating research into practical applications. That’s my lane, and that’s why I play well with the top military cognitive neuroscience people here in the US and abroad. That’s also why I’m welcomed into a significant number of Tier 1 international military and specialized security units to share my information, concepts, exercises and training designs.
Stay in your lane, right?
So my focus in presenting information and exercises is to translate research into concepts, then make the concepts concrete via practical exercises that immediately change the brain to realize the goal of the training design. Make a novice more immediately situational aware immediately? I have exercises (and an app, but that’s a different story) that do that in real time. Take a novice driver and give them 80% of the practical skillset of a seasoned executive protection driver in two hours? Can do, on demand, will write about it in a few days or weeks. And so on.
If you’re unfamiliar with THE TAO OF JEET KUNE DO, it was Bruce Lee’s distillation of the concepts, exercises, practices, lesson plans and areas of interest that evolved into Jeet Kune Do as taught by Dan Inosanto today and practiced by hundreds of thousands around the world. I’m still figuring out how to put my sketches into the book, but will have that solved soon.
Look for SITUATIONAL AWARENESS in the next 45-60 days.
RANDOM QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Marcus, you’ve changed law enforcement training in several NATIONS. Why don’t you work with American law enforcement?
First, I have worked — a lot — with American law enforcement. Hundreds of departments and more than a handful of state and federal agencies, including stints at FLETC (Federal Law Enforcement Training Center). I stopped soliciting American LE business because in the US’s peculiar liability and litigation environment any training that’s “psychological” or works directly with the brain is highly sensitive with police unions and administrators. Those “psychological training” records fall into a grey area between HIPAA, Human Resources, and In-Service Training, and could conceivably be subpoenaed by defense attorneys and used in some way against officers. Some PDs, for instance, cannot do any type of military or “warrior training” because of the language describing the training; some police unions resist any type of training or cognitive measurements outside the minimum required psychological screening for entry into the department.
The larger issue is the lack of any national clearing house and agreed upon consensus for psychological measurements let alone psychological training in the United States. The countries where I’ve been able to assist in change all have a national police standard of training and certification for trainers. In Sweden, for instance, I trained the top 50 firearms and defensive tactics instructors in their National Police, as well as special sessions for administrators and researchers. In 3 years, the methods, practices and exercises had filtered down to the smallest village department. Uniform standards and training.
In the US, a city police department will likely have different standards from the next city over, the sheriff department will have another, the state organization will have some standards on their agreed upon definition of “police officer, sworn” and the Feds have a different standard varying from agency to agency about their employees with police power.
So it’s not that I was unwilling, it was out of the American liability and litigation nightmare around police training, especially psychological training. Not worth the headaches to me, and there has been essentially no interest from anyone in American LE with the exception of some individual trainers. Those trainers get benefit from me and the Jedi Council I’m proud of belonging to which includes the former lead trainers from DEA, CIA, FBI, DOS, numerous Tier 1 units, dozens of LE trainers domestic and foreign. It costs most of them a cup of coffee.
Do you offer open-enrollment courses for private citizens, or is it just special operations?
Well, I don’t train just special operators. The last three people I personally trained were a nurse, her college age daughter and a 60-year-old coffee shop owner. I’ve taught sexual assault survivors, children, teens, women, and just plain folks in seminars or classes. I’m not doing that right now because a) Covid-19 inhibits in-person delivery b) a lot of the exercises don’t translate well to Zoom (though I’m exploring that, using yoga classes as a model) c) in the US, I’ve found essentially zero interest in the general or “tactical training community” audiences. It seems that if you don’t shoot guns (though we often do in my classes) and have a high round count, you’re not high on the radar for “edu-train-ment”. That’s cool with me. I’m old and have little patience with the coddling of people looking to me for in-person entertainment. Read my novels if you want entertainment, or be a friend for a few years and enjoy my special brand of ball-busting, which provides great entertainment.
I prefer my coaching and mentoring of my senior instructors and the people they’re training in military and specialized units because a) there’s a uniform baseline of high-performance b) they don’t need to be convinced about the utility of what I do — many of them attribute that training to saving their lives or lives of their peers, which is all the convincing they need. Plus I can do it laying in bed via text or Signal, and I’m lazy that way. I’m old.
You have an amazing resume — are you rich?
ROTFLMAO. For those of you haven’t been around since before the internet, that means Rolling On The Floor Laughing My Ass Off.
- Thank you. I believe I am blessed to be able to do what I do.
- Not even remotely close to rich. If it weren’t for disability and social security, I’d probably be living in my car (again). Part of the challenge is that I don’t put enriching myself first. Idealistic and naive as people constantly remind me, but I measure my wealth in lives changed for the better, lives saved and the lineage (their children, and grandchildren) preserved. In that realm of measure I’m a Bezos or Musk.
I’ve helped people who could only pay in food, and I’ve helped billionaires. If I liked them. I am, on a regular basis, challenged by so-called “experts” on business that want to find a way to monetize me. That is usually to enrich themselves via me, through mining my unusual network and leveraging my access to peddle their sub-standard products or training.
I tell them to fuck off.
I do what I do because I love to do it. I don’t turn away good people because they don’t have money, and I don’t accept any asshole waving his checkbook. I’m Old Skool to the extreme because I grew up in the generation of martial artists before martial arts was an “industry” and paying dues meant blood sweat and tears — “showing your heart” — the people I train these days pay their dues and then some, and then I vet them. Many of them I don’t charge and would not. It’s an honor to help them.
Besides, Jedi don’t work for pay. ; )
Do you find that your training works outside of special operation and police training?
Absolutely. I started in the gunfighting world because that’s where I first identified the need. I got out of the gunfighting world not just to spread the word wider but I found that being a gunfighter had cred only within the gunfighting world and was looked at askance by others. I’ve trained astronauts, fighter pilots, race car drivers, EMT/Paramedics, firefighters, nurses, children, troubled at-risk teens, PTSD survivors, doctors, lawyers, even an Indian chief or two. The last three people I trained were civilians — two in driving, one in firearms, which would fall into police training I reckon.
I think we all, all of us humans, are living in extraordinarily stressful times. Using the latest research and findings into how our brain works and more importantly how to change it quickly to work better under stress is something that applies to EVERYONE — not just warfighters.
Thanks for all the questions, keep them coming!
PS: ADDENDUM AND VIDEO
A friend sent me this link to remind me of some incidents with individuals who never learned from Mommy and Daddy how to ask for things politely. If you’d like to train with me, the last thing you want to do is try to “impress me” by shooting at my target on a public range to prove you shoot better than me, or sneak up behind me to test my situational awareness. Really. Grow up. All you get from acting like an idiot is contempt.
Grown ups feel free to contact me via e-mail through this site.