Some thoughts on mindset, intent, and general awareness. I am still putting ideas to paper for my upcoming self defense class. One of our most important weapons is our brain housing group. With that in mind I put down some thoughts on the subject of mindset and awareness:
“If you look like a rabbit, and act like a rabbit, you will be treated like a rabbit – prey for all predators.”
I often talk to my Marines about comportment. What a great word. It has to do with how you carry yourself and what your body language is communicating to everyone around you. It’s been said if you look like food you’ll be eaten. So how does one not look like prey? More importantly, what does prey look like in the first place?
Last time I checked, bullies and predators did not select their targets from among those who seemed confident, alert, and willing to put up a fight. They seem to target fearful, weak, victims who appear asleep at the wheel.
One of my pet peeves is walking around with hands in your pockets while in uniform. To me hands jammed firmly in pockets tells me your brain is switched off and unprepared for action. “Live” hands unencumbered by pockets tell me your brain is switched on ready to fight the forces of evil. Those who identify themselves as warriors should keep this in mind. For everyone else I will point out this is a great example of body language predators read.
Headphones, ear buds, and the like are another peeve of mine. Fortunately they are not a uniform item so in my daily duties it’s not an issue. When I see folks walking around the streets at all hours with their music on it screams they have tuned in, tuned out and are easy prey.
If vigilance is the price of freedom then I’d say the appearance of vigilance is the first step in protecting yourself. It would be even better if you were actually vigilant though.
I was taught about an incident in
Europe where a terrorist cell was targeting American officers for kidnapping and/or assassination. The cell was captured before they could do anything but during questioning they identified which officers had been under surveillance. The terrorists had remarked a particular officer as being a hard target. When asked what made him so they said every morning this particular officer would walk around his car checking for devices or anything unusual. They decided not to target him because he was too alert.
When the officer in question was asked about his personal protection measures he was kind of surprised. What actually happened was there had been a number of tire slashing incidents in his neighborhood recently. Every morning before driving to work he would check his tires to make sure they hadn’t been slashed. So although he wasn’t looking specifically for a physical threat, the appearance of vigilance on his part convinced the terror cell to go find an easier target.
I myself walk around with my head on a swivel. I like to take a look over my shoulder and see who is around me. This has become such a habit sometimes I look around but am not really looking at anything. Anyone watching me though will probably think I’m paying attention to my surroundings. I walk with my head up and my hands live and like most Marines have a swagger associated with the confidence of a fighting man.
The opposite of this is someone with their head down, shoulders slumped, hands in pockets, with ear buds on really trying to be invisible. That person looks like lunch. I’m not advocating people walk around like they are some kind of bad ass. There is a difference between that and being alert and confident.
This is by no means all inclusive, I will likely speak more broadly on the subject in class than I will here. Just wanted to share some thoughts I’m working out.