Here are some important summary points taken from the last several self defense / personal safety articles posted in this column.
In order to completely and effectively develop mental, emotional, environmental and physical awareness, you must be able to utilize your natural senses to the greatest possible degree.
Common sense plays a key role in personal safety.
Be observant, even when in an environment perceived to be safe.
Don’t ignore your “gut” feelings.
Assess the safety of your environment by asking yourself these questions:
- What is happening around you?
- What potential situations exist around you?
- Where are you (reference Environmental Awareness)?
- Where is your destination?
- What activities are taking place at this destination?
- What options are available to deal with existing and/or potential situations?
- Who is around you?
- What are the physical characteristics of the people around you?
Bear in mind that emotional awareness actually has two parts: recognition of your own emotional state and the recognition of the emotional state of others, especially those with whom you directly interact. Assess the safety of your physical environment by asking these questions:
- Where are you?
- What are your surroundings?
- How are senses affected by the time of day or the level of available light?
- Is the environment quiet or noisy?
- What is the time of the year?
- What surface are you on – ice, sand, grass, water, concrete, etc.?
- Are there items or objects available that could be used as weapons?
- Are there barriers to an escape route or any movement I want to make?
Physical awareness has two parts to consider and develop:
- Awareness of your own physical strengths, weaknesses, capabilities and characteristics, and
- The physical strengths, weaknesses, capabilities and characteristics of those with whom you are interacting.
Physical skills can only be developed and maintained through actual physical performance and practice of the specific movement patterns. The concept “USE IT OR LOSE IT” applies to physical skills and conditioning, as well as to mental and emotional skills and conditioning.
No matter how much muscle a person has or how good of a fighter he/she might be, if the person gets hit in any of these three areas – the eyes, throat and groin – he/she will be in pain.
There can be no wasted movement in physical self defense – every movement must have a purpose.
If the decision is made to perform physical self-defense, it must be done with no hesitation and 100% confidence and determination that the ultimate goal (safety) will be achieved.
All of the above will be very difficult to achieve if you never have any realistic practice. There is a logical sequence in which physical self defense and personal safety skills should be learned and practiced.
The next series articles covers various aspects of physical self defense skills – what to do, how to do it, when to do it, etc!
Until then, remember,…One Body, One Life, One Choice! Be Smart & Stay Safe!