How To Get Inside The Enemy OODA Loop

Dr. Jamie Schwandt
Oct 9, 2018 · 2 min read
Created by Dr. Jamie Schwandt via

The point of this short article is to quickly discuss how to get inside the enemy OODA Loop using an idea I call “Swarm-Square” to illustrate my point. Click the following links for a more in-depth discussion on: The OODA Loop and Swarming.

In Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives, Tim Harford describes the OODA Loop and the messy tactics of Erwin Rommel and The Phantom Major. Below you will find two separate Swarm Squares: Simple Rules for Messy Tactics and Simple Rules for Getting Inside the Enemy OODA Loop. The cover image is a combination of the two.

Simple Rules for Messy Tactics

Created by Dr. Jamie Schwandt via

Rule #1: Get into a position of opportunity.

Rule #2: Improvise around obstacles.

Rule #3: Move faster than those who try to stop you.

Synthesis: Change the situation faster than your adversary can figure out what’s going on.

Simple Rules for Getting Inside The Enemy OODA Loop

Created by Dr. Jamie Schwandt via

Rule #1: Make quick decisions.

Rule #2: Possess a strong sense of what is going on around you.

Rule #3: Disorient your opponent forcing them to stop and think about what’s going on.

Rule #4: Repeat relentlessly and paralyze your opponent with confusion.

Synthesis: As your opponent is about to act, do something NEW to force them to stop and think again.

Once you possess a basic understanding of the OODA Loop, you will find it can be used nearly anywhere… sports (trick plays, no-huddle offense, audibles, etc.), fighting (think of Bruce Lee’s speed), business (contract negotiation where you force the other to think multiple times or use shiny/distracting objects), arguments (confuse your opponent with complex questions… like weaponizing logical fallacies), the military (of course), and even education (see Swarm Learning).

Dr. Jamie Schwandt

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Dr. Schwandt (Ed.D.) is an American author, L6S master black belt, and red teamer.

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