Friday, November 09, 2012

Self defense = Awareness

Self defense. It's a touchy subject.  And so many times it isn't used when it should be.  People hesitate just a fraction of a second too long.


I think it is because they instinctively know "you just don't hurt people"- unless they are a damaged aggressor who doesn't have that internal regulator.

So, normal people have a fear of striking too soon or striking and hurting the wrong person. They worry about getting in trouble for hurting someone.  They don't want to attract attention.  They wonder if they are misinterpreting the situation- or instinctively assume the person approaching won't really hurt them.  Even in obviously dangerous situations, such as the "9-11" planes, this hesitation and self-imposed reluctance to hurt a bad guy will prevent action from being taken until it is too late.

Sadly, this is because normal people are nice.  The bad guys out there are not and have none of that concern.  To them you are less than human.  You are prey.

I don't know of any healthy way to turn a nice, normal person into a person who can switch that off and strike an aggressor fast and hard without doing some other damage to the psyche, too.  Some self defense training probably helps, but I think even this does some damage in most cases.  It isn't healthy to see the whole world as a threat, because that isn't the reality of the situation.

And, split-second judgments are always iffy.  In most cases, people are just not aware of a threat in the area until it is too late.  They don't notice their surroundings at all.

The best line to walk between being paranoid and being prey seems to me to be awareness.  Pay attention to your surroundings at all times.  Observe.  Not just to see threats, but to see beauty.  Observing the world has a big payoff in every aspect of your life.  It's the difference between being conscious and aware or being asleep and shuffling through life seeing nothing but the ground in front of your feet.

And then, when a real threat appears, noticing it early may just give you time to decide when the right time to strike has come.  The predator has already noticed you- even the playing field.



  1. Awareness, like the people walking around with ear buds or headphones on listening to whatever and don't know there might be a threat until it hits them. Ah well, natural selection still works even in our modern society.

  2. Ways to increase awareness.

    Like all learned (or re-learned as I believe "Aware" used to be a natural state)behaviors, having a survival reason helps.

    A lot easier to learn Spanish when it is the only way to buy or trade for bread, right?

    Other than the damaging routes (like say joining the Marines and doing back to back tours in Gagbadistan), I recommend reading up. Read FBI profiler descriptions of the bad and evil among us, read up on mob psychology. Educate yourself as to the darker side of human nature to the extent that you can get past two things and find your proper, aware balance:

    1: The mistaken belief that "It can't happen to me."
    2: ...OR becoming SO jaded that humans begin to frighten you, destroying all trust and/or any normal social interaction. advice is get educated. Get some training. Get hit in the face. Take a nut shot or two while sparring, learn to bleed AND heal, delve into the dark side of human nature, find YOUR inner warrior and develop your martial skills accordingly. Be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses and above all, find your own unique balance between aware and prepared and batshit paranoia. When you have perfected this, you will know "Quiet Competence". The Christian in me would advise that God has not given you a spirit of fear. If fearlessness be your foundation, it would seem mindset and training would be what you lack, no?

    When I first read this, I jokingly thought...."ask your friend to "play Kato" and attack you at odd intervals" to keep you in a state of awareness. Then I saw my obliging pseudo-Kato, dead (but still well-meaning) as a result of a controlled pair from my 1911--so that, as the Brits say is probably "right out" as answers go but still fun to think about...

    Anyway..Get aware, get trained, find your center and remember that in spite of all the bad we see in it, this world is still chock full of beautiful, life-enriching surprises.

    Above all, my wish for all: May you find your peace.

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    From New Mexico, where I open-carry with a smile!