Staying safe without fighting, be Situationally Aware!

An example of a potentially dangerous area; a dark alley might be a short cut but could also lead to unnecessary danger!

Being aware of your surroundings and the people around you can prevent unnecessary danger. Do not put yourself in danger!

The whole idea behind self-defense is not to see your attacker as an enemy that must be destroyed, but rather the goal is to ensure your own safety and get away from any potentially dangerous situation. That may well mean fighting to achieve this, but there are other ways that can work just as well.

There is nothing cowardly about avoiding a fight if possible, actually it makes sense to avoid unnecessary conflict. After all, you cannot get hurt or injured from a fight that never happened, but many times peoples egos will get in the way of this and they’ll see avoiding a fight as a sign of weakness and because of this they’ll fight when they don’t have to and possibly get injured.

I’m sure you’ll remember your dear old mom telling you as a young kid about not talking to strangers, getting in cars with strangers and walking down dark alleys alone, yet so many people forget this kind of advice years later and put themselves in unnecessary danger.

Many victims of assaults say afterwards that they saw it coming, so the problem is not being able to spot the danger they have put themselves in, but rather, unable to act on it once they see it coming. The thinking of `that kind of thing happens to other people, not me` is a very dangerous attitude to have.

The lack of common sense in avoiding these potentially dangerous situations is very evident by the choices people make. For example, Friday or Saturday after the bars close can be a huge area of concern, fast food joints are where you’ll see many fights, the drunks are out in force and many looking for trouble!

Poorly lit or lonely areas are very hazardous at night, some are well known and some even have a bad reputation, but yet people will blindly ignore these red flags if it means getting home a few minutes early by walking down a dark lane as a short cut, many times fueled by alcohol their brains are telling them “It’ll be ok, no problem just this once” and it might be ok just this once, but you can definitely reduce your risk of danger by avoiding these areas. Just a little thought can save you a lot of trouble.

Quite often, you might encounter a gang of teenagers hanging out on the street corner at night who are doing just that and don’t intend anyone any harm, but if you feel uneasy about walking past them then don’t, seek another route to take.

It is very easy to tell if someone could be trouble by their demeanor and attitude, if your instincts are warning you it’s for a good reason, don’t hang around if you feel threatened, if it’s at all possible to leave before any confrontation can happen, then it’s best to do exactly that. Always be scanning your horizon for possible dangers. Think ahead, be one step ahead of any possible danger.

If someone is approaching you looking for trouble for whatever purpose, you cannot always predict what the potential attacker is looking for, but one thing you can be sure of is this-it’s not a fight they’re looking for, they are not expecting you to fight back because they are simply looking for a victim who they believe would be easy prey. If you happen to be of small build, then you could have a problem.

Even the aggressors who just want to hit someone for no good reason are looking to get their joy at minimal cost to themselves, if you appear confident they will most likely see you as a bigger threat to them than they are to you and move on to the next person hoping they will provide an easier target. Similar actions to that of a bully who we know are nothing more than cowards.

Now, one of the interesting things of knowing self-defense is simply no one can tell what you’re capable of doing just by simply looking at your size, an aggressor is highly unlikely to try and assault a bodybuilder because of the sheer size of the person and the aggressor would naturally assume him to be stronger than he is even though a bodybuilder might not know how to fight, he’s a huge visual deterrent. As we already said he’s nothing more than a bully so wouldn’t think of attacking someone bigger and stronger than himself, but a martial arts expert can come in any shape imaginable which can be to your advantage or not depending on the potential attacker’s perspective of you.

One of my favorite stories regarding this matter was when my old sensei was walking back to his car with groceries one night, the guy was in his late 50`s, little over 5 feet tall with a beer belly!

Sounds like an easy target, right? That’s what three thugs thought as they jumped him, what they didn’t know was… he was a 9th degree black belt in Japanese Ju-Jitsu! Three thugs went to hospital very quickly! My old sensei said he had a bit of fun with them which involved various punches, kicks, choke holds and throws then called an ambulance for them and took off leaving them feeling very sorry for themselves groaning on the ground.

Lesson learned the hard way! Just because someone is smaller and outnumbered doesn’t mean they will play the part of the victim. Now, this was an extreme case in that not too many people would possess the expertise, courage and confidence to take on three people bigger than themselves and defeat them with ease.

The one thing you must never allow to happen under any circumstances is for an aggressor to take you elsewhere. Do not allow yourself to be driven away anywhere! Your chances of survival just took a massive blow if you are now in the aggressor’s choice of location and you can be sure whatever he has in store for you is seriously bad.

Have you ever made a bad choice and put yourself in danger such as taking a short cut down a dark alley just to save a few minutes getting home? If so, did you manage to avoid trouble? In general, can you honestly say you’re situationally aware?

Author: Nigel Taylor

I`m Nigel Taylor – originally from England – owner of The Backyard Gym in Round Rock Texas. We specialize in personal training, kickboxing cardio and self-defense. With over 25 years experience as a personal trainer, I know what works! From weight loss to bulking up to toning up, I can help you get your desired look and achieve your fitness goals. I can also offer you the privacy of a 100% private personal training studio in which to enjoy and get the most out of your workouts.