When you’re leaving your place of work or the Happy Family Shopping Mall, you may be taken by surprise by some fool hiding behind a bush or the corner of a dumpster. In any event, let us cover the main point:
Situational awareness is being aware of where you are at all times, what is happening, and your avenues of escape.
That means all the time, being conscious and cognizant of your surroundings and any “stooges” who wish to throw pies at you, or worse. By training yourself to be observant, most of the time you can head off a problem at the pass before it materializes. Now let us take it to the next level: you can’t avoid an encounter with a punk. Here are some steps to keep in mind:
These steps will help you to reach safety. Your ultimate objective as an untrained individual is to disengage and escape. If you wish to continue to fight or to “get one up” on your assailants, that is on you. Without the proper training and preparation, I advise against it. I also state that withdrawing from a situation, not of your own choosing is the best option. It is better to fight only when you have no other choice. Let’s go over those steps:
- Equalize – this means to use whatever you have on hand to make the situation more manageable for you. An assailant comes at you with a knife, and you have an umbrella…you can use the umbrella to interdict between the knife and yourself (if it’s opened) or as a striking tool if it’s closed. A pocketbook can be used as a “Morningstar/mace” against an attacker with a club or knife. A jacket carried in-hand can be slung upon the attacker’s face or weapon. Here are seven improvised objects that can be used for self-defense. These actions take you to the next step:
- Distance – this means to place as much distance as possible between you and the attacker. This can also include getting into a car or vehicle and locking the door behind you. Your objective with this step is to separate yourself from your attacker and his weapon. “Distance is your best friend,” as they used to say in the Army. It is your best friend. By using that “friend,” you can progress to step number 3.
- Escape – Yes, get out of that uncontrolled situation. What you do afterward is your business, but the first rule is to survive and succeed. Suppose there’s a dozen of these guys, right out of the movie “The Warriors?” What then? There’s no use getting into semantics. Just GOOD (Get Out Of Dodge) while the getting is good! Escape, call the police and deal with them if you must ON YOUR TERMS, not on theirs.
You should find yourself a veteran or a good martial arts instructor and take some classes or instruction on the finer points of these maneuvers. We have presented several articles on field-expedient weapons from everyday/common items. I strongly suggest that you review them. Practice makes perfect, and there is no substitute for good training that is realistic in scope and conducted with serious intent. You can use those steps to avoid an attacker.
As Kenny Rogers put it, know when to hold ‘em, fold ‘em, walk away, and run. Fight that good fight, and fight it smart. You don’t have to be the smartest guy or gal in the world: just be smarter than the goof that wants to attack you, and remember that discretion is the better part of valor. Keep calm, stay focused, and if you must fight, then fight to win. JJ out!