Thursday, September 28, 2017

How to practice situational awareness safety for self defense

Learning situational awareness is one of the most fundamental skills you can learn in self-defense. As children, we were very aware of our environment. Unfortunately as we grew older, we lost these skills due to many factors such as social media. Why is situational awareness important? If you don't have full awareness of your environment, you won't be able to respond to a threat quickly enough. Thus, you will be unprepared for an attack and possibly die as a result. How do you hone your skills in situational awareness safety? The tips below will be based on a certain degree of scientific understanding:

* Practice keeping a safe distance - In order to react quickly enough to an attack, you need to maintain a safe distance between you and a potential threat. How? Stay a few feet away from strangers or potentially dangerous people. Practice verbal assertiveness and establishing healthy boundaries. Use "I" messages. If you don't keep your distance, your vision will be limited. You won't respond quickly enough or if you do respond, it's too late.

* Learn to read body language - One of the fundamental ways of reading an attacker's intent is body language. It's very difficult for people to mask body language. By reading non-verbal cues, you'll raise your alertness levels and act accordingly. What are some signs that someone is about to attack? Dilated pupils, sweat, a clenched jaw, fist, stiff neck, legs in a fighting stance, etc. If you want to learn more, read my blog post "7 warning signs of an impending attack." 

* Study your environment - Whenever you plan a trip to a certain area, take the time to research the crime rates. The higher the crime rates, the higher your alertness needs to be. Familiarize yourself well with your environment. Learn where the nearest exits are, where to find cover and concealment, where potential weapons are, where potential allies are, etc. 

* Observe your relationships - Sometimes the people you keep in contact with be it associates, friends, parents, lovers, etc. can be potential threats. This can be due to various underlying factors such as unresolved conflicts, negative emotions, violent behavior, physical or emotional neglect, abuse, etc. When you notice changes in your relationships that could potentially lead to violence, you need to act.

* Eliminate distractions - In order to respond quickly enough, you need to get rid of all distractions. If you're driving, turn off your cell phone. If you try to do too may things at once, you may get caught by surprise if an attack were to occur.

* Know where to direct your focus - You don't have eyes at the back of your head. It's impossible to have a complete 360 degree view of the world around you. Therefore the only solution is to figure out where your attention needs to be. You don't have to constantly keep looking over your shoulder for a potential threat but you shouldn't completely let your guard down either. You should divide your focus in order to keep from getting caught off guard. 

There was a study done where volunteers were asked to count how many times 3 basketball players in white passed a ball. A woman in a gorilla costume came in and walked away. Half of the viewers missed her. Why? This phenomenon is called inattentional blindness. It's when our attention has become so focused on one particular thing that we lose sight of other things. See the link below for more details.

* Establish a secure parameter - We know that you can't always have your guard up. That's why it's important to designate a safe area and take precautions to secure it. To increase your situational awareness, you must take advantage of the resources already available. This could be in the form of security cameras, alarm systems, and other smart security systems.

In conclusion, these are a few key tips to increase situational awareness safety. Above all, you need to accept that there's a small chance that you'll be caught off guard and unprepared for an attack. Situational awarness safety doesn't make you completely invincible but it will help you in most cases. Practice these skills in your daily life.

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