On September 23, 2013, Nihom Thephakasyon, boarded a commuter train in San Francisco, drew a .45 caliber handgun and pointed it across the aisle. He continued to put the weapon away and pull it out several times. Lost in their smart phones, no one ever looked up until he shot Jason Valdez, a local college student, in the back.
It's hard to imagine anyone could be so disconnected from their surroundings, but even subtle distractions can lead to deadly results. Last year, police, military personnel, and members of the public were injured, even killed in ambushes and other surprise attacks. Many of the victims were trained – even highly trained, so situational awareness is a topic that warrants our attention. (This is Part II of our Bulletproofing Yourself series. If you haven't had a chance to read the initial post, just click here.)
Awareness is the foundation of self-protection. It's the number weapon in your arsenal that can keep you alive. If you’re not aware, it’s doubtful that you can respond in time when the attack comes.
There are 2 components to Awareness: Alertness and Presence. Alertness is the quality of nimbleness that allows you to respond to a situation with celerity. It helps you stay ahead of the enemy and keep the momentum in your favor. If you’ve ever experienced the feeling of being caught “flat-footed,” chances are you weren’t in a proper state of alertness.
You are hardwired to be alert. It’s not something you learn, it’s something you maintain. Nature has endowed us with our own survival instincts for preservation as other animals in the wild. The difference is that civilization and technology has left us more distracted, less reliant upon our instincts than we were in the past. The impulse is still there, just dormant.
The key to reviving your latent abilities lies in avoiding those factors that threaten to degrade them. It may come as a surprise, but the 3 greatest distractors that compete with your mind’s ability to stay sharp are:
In our next post, we will explain why these are the biggest mental distractors and how each of these elements hamper your ability to remain alert. The elements are a part of life. You can't avoid them indefinitely, so I'll share some tips on how to and manage them so you can stay in tune with your environment.
This training comes from the world of security and executive protection, but the principles are applicable if you’re a sniper, a cop out on patrol, or just a security-minded citizen on vacation with your family. The information may challenge the way you look at situational awareness, so look in your inbox for that.
Once we wrap up Alertness, we’ll tackle the second component of Awareness: Presence. You definitely don’t want to miss that one.
Until then, tell me what you think about the distractors I listed above. What do you think about the list? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.
As you know, 2016 was a banner year in this country for violence and mayhem.
Domestic Terror attacks increased dramatically. In the last 18 months, we’ve suffered at least 10 jihadist attacks in this country – that’s over 1 attack every 2 months. It’s unprecedented.
Law enforcement came under siege as our police were ambushed and gunned down on the streets by leftist groups and criminal thugs. In the first half of 2016 alone, shooting deaths of police officers were up 78 percent!
As police experienced increased threats, so did we. The latest FBI Crime Statics show that murder and violent crimes against the public were up in 2016. If ever there was a time to Bullet Proof ourselves, the time is now.
I’m not fear mongering here. America is still a safe place, but you have to admit, these facts are concerning.
So, what are we going to do about it? How are we going to “Bullet Proof” ourselves in this still relatively new 2017?
First of all, we’re going to own this problem. We’re going to methodically and systematically implement our own personal security system that is principled-based. Then, we’re going to scale that out to those we protect – our families and members of our community. So where do we start?
Any valid personal security system must be founded on 3 fundamental principles designed to:
Most programs focus on one, maybe two of these principles. Our goal is to ensure our training and practices integrate all three. In subsequent posts, we're going to delve more into what these principles mean and how to apply them – starting with much abused and misunderstood concept of Awareness.
Until then, leave a comment below and let me know what you’re doing to improve your own security. Remember, people are depending on you.
Rubicon Training Group