When the hair stands up on the back of your neck something is not quite right. It could be visible danger, a subliminal signal that something is amiss or faded memory from previous experience. It’s a powerful, genetically wired self-defense tool. Adults and teachers claiming there’s nothing to fear in the city short that circuit quickly in children, though. Add the alleged infallibility of 911 and urban two-legged predators are more dangerous than anything on four legs. Situational awareness training is lifesaving—with or without a firearm.
It doesn’t take a lot of effort to be aware of your surroundings. It does take practice, however, and quality self-defense instructors provide detailed information on things to look for.
For entertainment you can turn it into a game, of sorts. A friend of mine who was a Marine Sniper during the Vietnam War makes a point of identifying the dominant hand of diners in every restaurant he visits. That might be a little extreme, but you get the point. The Department of Justice published something more applicable a few years ago, and they make great tips on spotting someone who is carrying concealed.
Self-Defense expert Jeff Gonzales appears in the short video below to explain the importance of situational awareness. It’s the fourth video in the series from the fine folks at Brownells.
It’s great info from one of the industry’s foremost. The best criminal encounters are the ones you avoid.
I won’t pretend to have Gonzalez’s knowledge, but I have been given some great tips through the years—many of them simple and habit forming. I covered a law enforcement sniper competition a few years back and the team from Baltimore’s Police Department gave me great advice for my long drive that night. They said that whenever entering a gas station in darkness, drive around the pumps at least once before stopping. Make sure the headlights sweep the entire area and look for anyone hiding in the shadows. The extra step also lets criminals watching know you’re awake, situationally aware and not the easy kind of target they prefer. You can see one of the competitors in the sniper competition slogging his rifle through the mud and under the wire above.
Situational awareness training is lifesaving, whether or not a gun is part of your self-defense plan. If you have any simple tips, please share them with readers by posting it as a comment.
And thank you for visiting my modest blog. I hope you have a glorious, healthy and safe day.