Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mormon Urban Survival

Years ago I met a good friend. In another life he was a brawler. He’s seen the error of his ways. He has taught many people self defense. He’s actually my home teacher. He and I have discussed self defense and “street fighting” often. He refers to “street smarts” and being street wise a lot. We discussed this and I am taking his definition as my own. Street wise is more than just knowing how to fight. It’s situational awareness and being able to recognize, avoid, or stop a threat. It’s also being cognizant of what is going on in the world, and locally where you are now. It’s being able to form your own personal or family security and mold it to the situation and political climate.
What would you do if the world around you is not completely chaos, rule of law exists but barely, and you still are functioning with work, school, church, and a little leisure. But when you are out on “the street” you feel the uneasiness and tension. How do you handle that?

1. Situational awareness (SA). Being aware of what is going on around you is ¾ of the battle. Even when confronted with violence, you at least can see it coming and are prepared. SA is tied to your “instincts” or following the Spirit. If you are aware that you are going into a particularly bad area you can be prepared and highly aware. Assess people and areas. I’ve been in an area where I’ve said to myself, “What a perfect place for an ambush!" If possible, avoid these places.

2. Evaluate. Evaluate the risks and your security plan. Take a look at your home and property. This should be your safe zone. But like a “Green zone” in combat, always be in Yellow. (see blog Yellow to Orange 3/20/2014) Blend in. Don’t call excessive attention to yourself with your dress or vehicle. Can you avoid the area altogether or pick a different time to be there? Does your family know what to do under certain circumstances? Is your physical security where it should be? Lights, locks, alarms. Does your plan have a safe room? Do you have a fire plan? Evaluate your security plan annually.

3. Neighborhood. Have you discussed any of these things with your neighbors? Do you have a neighborhood watch? Are you aware of the people and vehicles that should be in your area? Involving your neighbors in the neighborhood security is a force multiplier. Look after each other. Work together. Let your kids know they can go to your neighbors for help if they are home alone. This applies at church too. Don’t be complacent and slip into White.

4. Everyday Carry (EDC) Items. There are things you can use to improve your safety. A whistle or air horn to attract attention, a flashlight for attention and to see. Non-lethal and lethal weapons are always a consideration. Be trained and licensed if necessary. One of my rules has always been don’t leave home without a knife or a gun.

I also subscribe to the adage “He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day”. Don’t go into a dangerous place to begin with but if you must, avoid a confrontation. I would rather run away from than shoot someone. Am I prepared to shoot someone? Yes, close and engage! But if I can avoid it, I will. Your demeanor and attitude is everything. Don't be too trusting. If you feel threatened don’t make it readily apparent.
Use common sense in all that you do and don’t expose yourself to dangerous things, people, or places on purpose. Be able to deal with all kinds of people and situations.

Being street wise is important for everyone whether you live in a city or small town or even in the country. Sharpen your skills, be aware, and reevaluate regularly.

Semper Paratus