(A necessary step but not the perfect solution)
We make a pretty big deal out of situational awareness when teaching our self defense classes. The most obvious reason being, that walking around, oblivious & distracted by your phone, listening to music with headsets on, lost in thought or fussing with your kids and being completely unaware of your surroundings, and those in it…can exponentially increase your desirability as a potential target.
Well, yes…but people ignore that logic every day. We get lost in our thoughts and the details of our daily lives. A self defense situation is not always just an intentional attack from a bad guy.
SELF DEFENSE = SELF PRESERVATION
One of my pet peeves are grocery store parking lots – I am amazed that more people aren’t run over given the number of patrons that exit stores directly into traffic, without even looking to see if a vehicle is coming! Often, focused on searching for their cars instead of noticing the vehicle bearing down on them from 5 feet away. Or those heading into the store, looking down at their phone, instead of being aware of the vehicle reversing out of a parking spot, that can’t see you. There are entire you tube videos dedicated to this “smart phone” phenomenon!
Women, shopping carts and purses can be another disaster waiting to happen. Try this…put yourself in the “bad guy“ role, for a moment. Let’s start with a simple theft. You’re at a grocery store, and there’s a woman in your aisle, with a toddler in her cart, along with her open purse. You act like a regular shopper, you don’t give any cause for alarm…but, when she reaches for the cereal, you quickly and quietly grab her wallet, and disappear around the next corner before she even registers the loss.
Odds are, she won’t even notice until she checks out, so she won’t even remember who could be responsible.
You now have whatever was in her wallet – money, cards…and, all sorts of specific & identifying, personal information that can lead you right to her front door, at your leisure. Who wants to live with that kind of aggravation and worry? Particularly, when it’s so preventable?
What careless habits do you engage in that make you more vulnerable?
Being alert, aware & smart about your habits are valuable tools that you can implement to help protect yourself from harm, regardless of where you are.
It costs you nothing but conscious choice.
just because you are alert & aware of your surroundings…doesn’t mean you are SAFE or protected from every attack. You are simply increasing your odds of survival by being better equipped to respond to anything that causes you alarm.
Awareness is vital but, if you are alone in a dark parking lot, running/biking through a secluded portion of your route by yourself, working late in an empty office, etc…you can be as alert as you like and STILL be a viable target in a predator‘s eyes.
“Bad guys” are often opportunistic & motivated by impulses we don’t necessarily understand…but we shouldn’t assume that they are stupid, or incapable of making their own plans to achieve their objective.
We see it all the time in movies & on t.v. The “bad guys” pick their spot to surprise /ambush their target! Sometimes, because they’ve had a chance to watch routine behavior, sometimes because they are very familiar with the area and know where the blind spots are, sometimes, just because they feel they can get in and out fast with little risk to themselves.
The “bad guy” picks where, when & how the attack is going to happen.
THAT, is reality.
VIOLENT attacks can happen with
And, that’s when the OTHER tools of self-preservation/self-defense, in your tool box, will come into play.
That’s where your physical training comes in.
Knowing what you can do and how to do it effectively could mean the difference between life and death.
Note that I said “knowing”…
not “thinking you know”.
There’s a huge difference between cognitively understanding something you read, see on a you tube/t.v., or have tried out in a one day seminar…and actual training.
Ultimately, it’s not going to matter what someone else said you should do, what matters is what you know you can do because you’ve practiced repeatedly and understand your own strengths & weaknesses…and, to some extent, the “bad guy‘s“ strengths & weaknesses.
At this point, hopefully, you are seriously considering the state of your own “self-preservation toolbox” and, what changes you can make to your daily habits that will decrease your viability as a target. You should also be considering getting some realistic training. NOT just “weapons” (you may not have the time/means to deploy them before damage is done), but hand-to-hand, physical training that can make you a serious problem for the “bad guy” who wants you to be his VICTIM.