“Self Defense is primarly about not being there when the other guy wants to fight.” – Lawrence A. Kane adn Kris Wilder, The Little Black Book of Violence
When it comes to personal protection, the best defense is not having to defend yourself at all – avoiding the situation. Every experienced martial artist will tell you that the best fight is the one you never get into in the first place.
And the number one way to do this is by using the skill of awareness. Although this seems obvious, the sad truth is that most of us are not aware.
All you have to do is go out on the street and observe people around you. How many of them are really aware of what’s going on around them?
Most of them are too busy texting, talking on their phones or surfing the net on their laptop to notice their surroundings.They wouldn’t even notice if they were walking into oncoming traffic.
But being aware of your surroundings can save you from a whole heap of trouble.
It can help you observe changes in energy and atmosphere. It can help you spot things that are out of the norm – and therefore possible red flags. It can help you notice people who are targeting you from afar – or people who seem just a little too interested in you.
How do you increase you level of awareness?
First of all, I find it helpful to take some time and observe other people and their level of awareness. Go to a mall or another heavily traffic area on a Saturday and just watch. How many people seem really aware of their surroundings to you?
Probably very few.
This can help motivate you to practice raising your level of awareness. It can also help to raise your level of awareness when it comes to observing people. You’ll start to be able to tell what’s normal – and what’s not. You’ll be able to see when someone is agitated, hyper or boiling angry. You’ll be able to spot when someone is eerily cool in a situation where they shouldn’t be (like at a concert or after just finding out they lost their job).
The second thing you can do is to practice awareness by using your senses – not just your sight, but your hearing and even your smell as well. For example, close your eyes right now and ask yourself what you hear. Is it normal for the situation you’re in?
What do you smell – anything out of the ordinary?
Being aware means using all of your senses to assess the environment around you. It also means keeping these senses free from distraction (avoiding texting or talking on the phone in certain situations).
Try these things and you’ll start to refine your awareness skills. Then you’ll be able to see trouble ahead – so you can avoid it in the first place!
Share Your Experience:
Has being aware of your surroundings ever helped you avoid danger? Tell me about it!