Thursday, August 1, 2013

Situational Awareness Blog

Paying Attention- The Situational Awareness Blog

“How did you know where he went?” The rookie cop was in awe of the sergeant.

The crook had been interrupted in the middle of stealing a radio from a car and had fled into the woodsy brushy area nearby. He probably heard the first police car coming. Back then (mid-late 1990s) there was a distinct rush of air through the wide-open four barrel carburetor that could be heard for miles in the cool night air if the cop driving didn't take it easy. 

“I used the force”, I answered.

“You’re full of crap.”

I know I didn't hear that. I looked at the rookie, said, “excuse me?”

“Errr, I mean, you’re full of crap, sir.” Ahh, that’s better.

“OK, I didn't really use the force. Mother Nature told me,” I replied.  Quite truthfully, too, this time.  I had simply paid attention to what the woods were saying.  Night birds, frogs and crickets could be heard all around us, except for one area where they were quiet.  It was a dead giveaway.

You are wondering what the heck this has to do with anything at Ann Arbor Arms.  Well, it leads in to my next defense-oriented topic quite nicely.

There is a rhythm to everything, a feel, an atmosphere that is right. There is also a feeling of something wrong when someone is up to no good.

Right, you say. Still you wonder what this has to do with self defense.  Simple, paying attention to these types of things can help you avoid a self-defense situation. Avoidance is always the best option.

So pay attention to details around you:
-Walking to your car in the dark lot, do you feel uneasy?  Is there a shadow under your car that you don’t feel belongs?
-Is the group of people ahead of you on the sidewalk acting too casual or too tense as you approach?
-Does the guy who just walked in for a happy meal act wrong somehow? And is he wearing a jacket too heavy for the weather?
-Is the guy across from you on the bus dressed too heavy? Is he sweating nervously? Is he muttering to himself? Does he have a package with him or bulges under his garments?

The first rule of self-defense is to avoid a problem.  That is far better than getting into it and then having to deal with it.  Simply paying attention to what is going on around you is priceless. Some survival theories have color-coded alert levels but they tend to make things more complicated than necessary.

I’ll make it simple. Look about you. Consider your surroundings. Do not bury your head in your smart phone like a dummy. Make eye contact with those you pass on the street. Act confident, not tentative and unsure of yourself. Act like a survivor, not a victim. Lastly, if things start to feel like they're going south, heighten your alert level and be prepared.

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