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This article will be revolving around the basic skills needed to protect yourself. First I would like to talk about self presentation, you will discourage many would be attackers by presenting yourself as a difficult target. This is easier for some rather than others. For example me, I am a 6ft 2in. and 200 LBS man, right away I am not an easy target.
None the less there are still a few things you can do to tip the scales if you are a 100 lbs 5ft 2in woman. For one, before you leave the house, get all of your stuff in gear. Don’t even leave your front door unless you have everything you need, organized, and the right keys in your hand. Criminals like unsuspecting people cause they don’t get ID’ed by them, if you are fumbling with your keys and or your purse, or brief case, you will be labeled as an unsuspecting person. If you often go to your car when it is dark out, or in a dark place such as an indoor parking garage, you might even want to get a pocket flashlight and start shining it around, even if you don’t know what your looking for, you can present yourself as if you do. Keep your chin up, shoulders back and at least look like you are aware of your surroundings.
Another thing is your attire, people know that you are not going to run very far or fast in heels, but on the other hand the heeled detroit tigers sweatshirt can be used as a weapon, when you choose your viking armor philadelphia phillies t shirt you should have things like this in mind, can your run or defend yourself in this?
One of the most important things about protecting yourself is, “situational awareness” and I will show you a couple exercises that can help increase that for you. First off, what is situational awareness? in essence, it is being aware of your surroundings, but it requires knowing what to look for. When people are trying to just be aware of their surroundings, they end up trying to absorb every sound, color, smell, etc. This leads to a tangled mess of data, something the great Bruce Lee was not very fond of. What would be more useful is smaller amounts of data but well organized and put to use properly.
For example, going to work in the morning, when you get to your car, did you notice the strange new vehicle parked near your apartment? no, one thing you can do is when you are walking to your car take a quick mental note of the surrounding vehicles makes, models, color, and look at the license plate. Don’t try to memorize all of them, cause it wont happen unless you are Jason Bourne. But after repetition you will get a feel of what vehicles are new and may be suspicious.
Here is an exercise my grandpa taught me, when you walk up to your car take a mental snapshot of the overall vehicle, then mentally “zoom” in to a more specific part of the vehicle, for example, the grill, then zoom again to the logo on the front, this gives you an organized way to look and observe vehicles, and will make it easier for you to spot makes and models of vehicles that may have been involved in your mugging or break in.
Do the same thing when approaching the side of the car. Zoom in to the reflection on the paint or the window, this will help you be more capable of spotting reflective surfaces thus helping your situational awareness. Experiment with this, zoom to the door, then the door handle, then to a speck of dirt on the handle.
Do the same with people, you see the person, identify their build, height, skin tone, then zoom to their upper body, note their hair style, and color, deer hunting t shirt color, eye color. Zoom to their shirt, the to a button or pocket on the shirt. Do this at the shooting range, and it can help increase your accuracy because you won’t just be shooting at a torso, you will be aiming at a small spot on the torso. You will find yourself noticing more tattoos, scars etc.. giving you a better description of your would be attackers if you needed to give such information to an officer, or maybe you will identify a threat before it happens.
Another exercise for situational awareness is as follows. Take a few pictures of public places, Target, grocery store, etc… Then while you are at home, have someone show you the picture for 1-3 seconds. Then you write down the tings you observed in the picture. look for certain things, fire alarms, emergency exits, people who can help in case of emergency such as security guards, places to take cover. Each time you do it, look for one specific thing. First time maybe fire alarms, second time, look for exits, and so on…
The other thing I have to say it that, cell phones, iPods, etc. are the death of situational awareness. There is reason why marines are not aloud to walk and talk on the cell phone and it is a violation of the uniform code. It completely prevents you from anticipating threats and dangers, keep in mind, self protection is not just defending yourself from people it is also from disasters such as fire, structural failure in your building, being on the cell phone makes it harder to anticipate such things and would be harder to call 911 since you would have to end one call and start another. Stay off the cell phone unless you are fully situated.
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write by Rowan