Friday, November 7, 2014

Hard or Soft Target: Don't Be A Victim

I have a friend, he’s also my home teacher, who is a martial artist. Now, the next question might be what level and which martial art is he into? He does not compete and has never been formally trained. But I would not want to go up against him in the ring or in a dark alley! He and I have a different perspective on self defense, but we agree about so much. We also speak the same language until it comes to the actual act of self defense. We talk a lot about technique, even though we practice a different self defense. My family has been trained by my friend who noticed my family knew a lot of things about self defense already from their weapons training.
When I was in Jr High in Arizona I noticed a bully that bothered people all the time. Usually I could “turn the other cheek” because for the most part he used intimidation. One day I saw him intimidate and then actually push down a girl. I didn’t know the girl but I lost my mind and challenged him. He had me meet him after school behind a building. I met him and we fought. To be honest, the fight was not really dominated by either of us. We both left bloody. But the difference was he was wearing some rings just for that purpose. The next day I was the hero not because I was tougher but because I defended someone and he used rings. After this altercation I became friends with this guy, and I never saw him bully anyone again. Even in Jr High we should not be an easy victim. We should stand up for what is right, and not be bullied, even if it means a little blood is spilled. Captain Moroni did not stand idly by as the Kingmen were going to take away his freedoms. Did you ever wonder why the Title of Liberty was put on every tower in the city? It was to be a reminder to never get themselves in that situation again. To never be victim’s again.
We can’t always choose whether we’ll be a victim, but we can choose to be an easy victim or not.
Danger lurks everywhere. I’m talking about human predators. Most people are good human beings, but there are some who are not. They are dangerous and hunt for victims. The good news is that you can keep yourself safe by following seven simple safety rules. The safety rules are simple, because as human beings, we have a built-in warning system that alerts us to predator danger. This warning system can be called fear. But as member of the Church we believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost or the Spirit. The Spirit can warn us of imminent danger.
Here are some safety ideas that can save your life.
1. Situational Awareness
I’ve talked about this at great length on this website. I know I will continue to bring it up. You don’t have to be hyper-vigilant here. Just put away your phone and look up. Then take note to what is going on around you. You can avoid a lot of problems by just keeping your head up. Also keep your head on a swivel.
2. Use your senses.
One of the ways an “A Team” survived in Viet Nam was to become a VC (Viet Cong). The Green Beret would often dress like VC, eat like VC, and by all intents and purposes be a VC. They also practiced what is called noise and smell discipline. You can do something similar. Be aware of different smells and sounds coming near you. Especially “Watch you 6”. Who and what is behind you? Don’t be afraid to look and look often. Use reflection from car or store windows or just turn your head.
3. Look for things out of place
Predators often act strangely especially when confronted. I’m not saying confront someone you think is about to do you harm, but just looking at them and noticing them is enough of a confrontation. Look for a small group who have their attention on you. Most people walking with a group will be talking and looking at each other. Pay attention to someone who is trying to not be noticed or trying to hide. Also look for an unusual expression or walking gait.
4. Avoid Confrontation
Crowds are interesting things. They can turn ugly or dangerous real fast. If you see this happening in the crowd you are in, leave immediately. Don’t rationalize; don’t listen to others, as soon as you recognize something turning violent, leave. It’s that simple. If you want to be safe, leave.
5. Stay together
Have you ever seen lions hunting on Animal Planet? They never attack the leaders of a herd of prey. They attack the stragglers. Human predators act in the same way. Make sure to keep up when moving across town with another person or a group. Don’t fall behind, and don’t get separated.
6. Look more than you are
I know this sounds a little crazy. Animals do it all the time. Ever see a cat puff up it’s tail? That is not fear, it is the cat trying to look bigger than it is. You can do the same. Don’t cower but stand upright. Show an air of confidence and vigilance. Move quickly and with purpose. Always appear like you know where you are and what you are doing. If you need help with directions go into a business.
7. Act kind and friendly
The more aggressive you are, the more you will attract aggression. Be helpful to others while remaining alert and vigilant.
Safety is also heightened through knowledge. Make sure that you know which areas are dangerous and avoid them. Stick to larger streets with foot traffic, even if it takes longer to get to where you want to go.
These 7 ideas will make you more safe whether you are near your home of out of the country.
Be safe and be prepared,
Semper Paratus
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