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Offline TexasRedNeck

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Situational Awareness
« on: November 07, 2014, 09:20:02 PM »
I believe that the most important aspect of self defense is situational awareness.  Not putting one's self in the position to have to defend, or use force.  I'll admit that I regret turning down a scholarship to the AirForce Academy and have wondered what life had been like had a chosen the other path. (the class I would have graduated with flew in the the first Desert Storm)  Later because of the Lord's grace I knew that it was His will that led me down the path I chose. 

After being married and later having children I began to understand the implications of fatherhood and the awesome responsibility to provide and protect for my family.  That led me to obtain my CCW permit and although I had been around weapons all my life, I had never had any formal training. It hit me that I needed real training that I never received because I had not enlisted.  I sought out training from people that had "been there, done that" and begin a rigorous training regimen that had me training via private lessons 5 hours a week for many years in addition to many group classes in different parts of the country.  At first I grew overly confident in my abilities and put myself in situations where I shouldn't have been.  Maybe I was subconsciously wanting to be put in a situation of defending myself. 

Then at one point, I realized the last thing I ever want to have to do is be put in a situation where I have to use the skills I had learned or to take another person's life.  I am not afraid, rather I now understand that survival is more assured when you don't ever have to deploy a weapon or use the training you have acquired. Not to mention the lawyers are expensive.

Thus one of my favorite mottos " prepare for the worst and hope for the best"  Now in addition to training for the use of force, I have begun to diligently practice and seek guidance regarding situational awareness.

My wife is an Ostrich, meaning she is willfully ignorant of all that happens around her and I'm always preaching to her about being more aware. I'd like this thread to be about techniques and experiences in "awareness"  That little voice that helps you know when to change course. 

I'll kick it off with a couple of examples:

Stereotypes exist for a reason.  When you see someone who dresses a certain way, drives a certain car, listen to that voice in your head.  Don't let the PC Liberals tell you not to think a certain way.

When you pull into a parking lot, such as a convenience store or gas station, take time to circle the lot.  Look into the convenience store.  Who's in there?  Is there anything going on in the parking lot?  Pay attention.  If it's not right in your mind, pull to the side or the back and wait and watch.

When you enter a restaurant, what do you look at first? Egress points, size up patrons.  Do you allow the waitress to seat you near the front with your back to the door?  Where is the safest seat?

When you take your kids to school.  Do you memorize or draw out a floor plan on the building so that you know exactly where your child's classroom is and how to access it in an emergency?

When you come home at night(or day) do you pay attention to the cars around you to make sure you weren't followed?

Do you keep the doors locked and your pistol at the ready when you hit the button for the garage door?  Do you watch and wait while the garage door goes back down before you put the car in park, turn the ignition off, unlock the doors and re-holster your pistol?

What are the things that you do to remain vigilant?
Kids today don't know how easy they have it. When I was young, I had to walk 9 feet through shag carpet to change the TV channel.

Joshua 6:20-24

Offline Superwhdm

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Re: Situational Awareness
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2017, 11:11:41 AM »
So I will attempt to revive this thread as its a good one and I dont know why there hasn't been a reply.

Ill start with Coopers Colors.

For those that dont know, These colors coorespond to a level of awareness. 

White-basically oblivious.  May as well be asleep.

Yellow-aware of environmental sights and sounds.  Usually I stay here, look at entry and egress at restaurants, visually inspect peoples body language, things of that nature.

Orange- You see a possible threat and mamillian brain gets a memo to "gather the troops".  This could be the recognition of a person or thing that may cause harm if you stay around or continue in that direction.  You begin to enter fight or flight mode here.

Red- Focus is shifted wholly on a possible threat.  Decision making time:

Training should take over at this point as there is soo much more to just defending ones self.  Things that should cross your mind are the aftermath of your decisions.  Im talking about the use of lethal force.  If you cannot flee and you stand your ground, better to be armed with knowledge as well.  Local and federal statutes apply here.  One should always try and leave or avoid such a conflict but that is not always the case. 

Being situationally aware is important for both personal and family safety as well as avoiding possible deadly use of force contact in the first place.

For the record I do not plan to flee my castle.  It and its inhabitants will be defended.  That being said I am situationally yellow even at my home on a tucked away 6 acres.  The only time I dont look for red flags is when my welding hood is down.  For those times my Labrador never leaves my side and she lets me know if something is not right.  A pistol is always at hand even at home.

Being constantly situationally aware is something a lot of do on a regular basis.  But like TRN said, my wife is also an ostrich.  We are trying to work on that.  She is clueless but a fighter if she had to be.  She is starting to realize that she must acknowledge that evil is ever present. 

Please feel free to place input on this guys, thanks for the read time.
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Offline Wilbur

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Re: Situational Awareness
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2017, 11:38:27 AM »
I too have little to none of the training that many here have so I will defer to your better training and instincts. That said a couple of points I want to mention

We inherently "profile"....it's how the human mind works. We profile fruit when we're at the store deciding which apple to buy just as we profile a person wearing certain clothes or acting a certain way. It doesn't make us bad, racist or anything else, it makes us human. We need to get past the PC BS and be willing to embrace that our subconscious minds often identifies things our concious minds dont. As my wife says "you have to learn to trust your little voice"....that voice in your head that says "don't go there" or "stay away from that person".

That said many also have difficulty imagining the worst. Tom Freedman (sp?) Said 9/11 was a result of our (collectively) failing to imagine that jetliners would be weapons. I somewhat agree with that (although Tom Clancy used it as a plotline in a book years before so it clearly wasn't "un thought of". But I mention this because even if we haven't experienced something (a truck being used to mow down pedestrians, an armed gang taking over a concert venue) we need to recognize that those things can happen and think through what we would do, and also what we should b doing to not be in the situation in the first place. (Easier said than done oft times).

Preparing in my mind, because I haven't had the specialized training so many have, means thinking through scenarios, trying to see what makes sense, what worked, what didn't etc. And then as I enter places or go places making sure I keep distractions down as best I can. Often all easier said than done but I just have to keep trying. I look forward to reading others postings on the subject.

Offline Superwhdm

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Re: Situational Awareness
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2017, 12:33:11 PM »
I too have little to none of the training that many here have so I will defer to your better training and instincts. That said a couple of points I want to mention

We inherently "profile"....it's how the human mind works. We profile fruit when we're at the store deciding which apple to buy just as we profile a person wearing certain clothes or acting a certain way. It doesn't make us bad, racist or anything else, it makes us human. We need to get past the PC BS and be willing to embrace that our subconscious minds often identifies things our concious minds dont. As my wife says "you have to learn to trust your little voice"....that voice in your head that says "don't go there" or "stay away from that person".

That said many also have difficulty imagining the worst. Tom Freedman (sp?) Said 9/11 was a result of our (collectively) failing to imagine that jetliners would be weapons. I somewhat agree with that (although Tom Clancy used it as a plotline in a book years before so it clearly wasn't "un thought of". But I mention this because even if we haven't experienced something (a truck being used to mow down pedestrians, an armed gang taking over a concert venue) we need to recognize that those things can happen and think through what we would do, and also what we should b doing to not be in the situation in the first place. (Easier said than done oft times).

Preparing in my mind, because I haven't had the specialized training so many have, means thinking through scenarios, trying to see what makes sense, what worked, what didn't etc. And then as I enter places or go places making sure I keep distractions down as best I can. Often all easier said than done but I just have to keep trying. I look forward to reading others postings on the subject.

Def need to get of the PC epidemic and yes we do just that, as humans.  It's how we evolved to survive.  There is an inherent knowledge bank that has been ingrained in our DNA from mellinia of life experience.  Call it gut instinct or the little voice or whatever.  It's what is there to ensure continuance of a species.  I do feel however that some have a louder voice than others.  That's a whole 'nother convo about the Darwin theory! 
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Online stlaser

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Re: Situational Awareness
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2017, 01:22:30 PM »
Sorry, TRN I never saw this original post which is why I never replied.

Ostrich, funny you use that term. Exactly what I told the wife she was years ago before due to her profession she started attending seminars on disaster prep etc. Btw, she looked really smart in those seminars and enjoyed doing so after getting on board with my thought process. For the record she is very intelligent but she enjoyed her bubble as most do. Now she CC's daily and we shoot regularly. It gives her a better sense of control of her life and a bit of confidence in this world we find ourselves in.

As you have stated the best bet is to keep yourself out of those situations. I prefer uncrowded places and try to avoid them as often as I can. However, life does not always allow for that and so we must always be vigilant.

Another thing, if you're paying attention listen to your gut. I can't recall mine leading me in the wrong direction ever.

Stay calm and be smart, a lot people in times of stress will lose their heads. Don't be that guy, I once had a 911 call I was involved in and the 911 operator lost his cool. After a couple of swears words I was able to get him to focus but again don't be that guy.......
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Offline Sammconn

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Re: Situational Awareness
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2017, 01:35:58 PM »
All above very good.
I find myself between yellow and orange most of the time.

While touring in Miami prior to coming home, we were out for a walk...yeah I know...unarmed and unhappy about it, but it was late afternoon and still light. I was orange up to the point we hit the top of an overpass and rapidly went red and evac was happening.
Mama was confused until I told her take a look around.
Was like we were passing into the small town slums of Mexico, or pick your venue.

That little voice is very important to listen to.
I just don't want to wind up missing a digit or limb.  I can sometimes get in a hurry to get results.
Sam

Offline EL TATE

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Re: Situational Awareness
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2017, 04:32:54 PM »
Always on a swivel in new areas but need to maintain that where I'm comfortable, maybe even more so nowadays. I'm a parking lot Nazi; always back in for easy egress, always take forever finding "the" spot where there's better light, or less skeezy cars, people, etc. Always look to see who's sitting in their cars around me, what they look like etc. Wife and I were at a jewelry store in a strip mall where her friend worked looking at some really overpriced, ugly stuff, (mostly just trying to make her friend feel good). The lot was empty and this old beat up 80's buick w/ 5 dudes in it chose to park directly in front of the store next to our car. I walked out to "put something in the back" to evaluate the deal and they were just "hangin' out, smokin' and waiting on a buddy". I went back inside, told her friend and manager they need to keep an eye on those guys and should call the cops just in case. we left but I felt it needed to be done so I called them and turned out 2 had warrants, both armed robbery. maybe nothing, maybe casing it, or maybe just waiting for us to leave, but I heard the voice and listened and now my wife listens too when I say it's time to go.
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Offline TexasRedNeck

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Re: Situational Awareness
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2017, 11:59:27 PM »
Thanks for all the perspectives.  we know that even the most trained guys get in bad situations because they let their guards down..

Shawn, I listen to my gut, but it usually leads me to the buffet....

God put these little hairs on the back of our necks for a reason.....

I'd rather be accused of being a racist and be alive than politically correct and be dead.
Kids today don't know how easy they have it. When I was young, I had to walk 9 feet through shag carpet to change the TV channel.

Joshua 6:20-24

Offline cruizng

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Re: Situational Awareness
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2017, 05:46:32 PM »
"I'd rather be accused of being a racist and be alive than politically correct and be dead."

Exactly! :grin:
Mike
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Re: Situational Awareness
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2017, 06:22:53 PM »
TRN, they can call me whatever they want. Guarantee I've been called worse by better......... :tongue:
Learn the rules like a pro so that you can break them like an artist -Pablo Picasso-