Thursday, May 11, 2017

Part 1 Jeff Cooper's Seven Principles: Alertness and Decisiveness

This is my take on these seven principles. I’m not trying to “out do” or embellish these principles, I’m only giving you my opinion. I would highly recommend reading Jeff Cooper’s book "Principles of Personal Defense".

Always know the answers to these two questions: (1) Who’s around me? (2) What are they doing? Situational awareness.
Imminent Threat Solutions has this advice:
“Three Obstacles in Situational Awareness
1. Not Monitoring the Baseline. If you are not monitoring the baseline, you will not recognize the presence of predators that cause a disturbance. Other events can cause concentric rings as well. Any unusual occurrence from a car accident to a street fight can create a concentric ring. One of the keys to personal security is learning to look for and recognize these disturbances. Some disturbances are dangerous, some are just entertaining.
2. Normalcy Bias. Even though we may sense a concentric ring that could be alerting us of danger, many times we will ignore the alert due to the desire for it NOT to be a danger. We want things to be OK, so we don’t accept that the stimulus we’re receiving represents a threat. We have a bias towards the status quo. Nothing has ever happened when I do this, so nothing is likely to happen.
3. The third interrupter of awareness is what we define as a Focus Lock. This is some form of distraction that is so engaging, that it focuses all of our awareness on one thing and by default, blocks all the other stimulus in our environment. This is when someone is texting and walks into a fountain. The smart phone is the single most effective focus lock ever invented. It robs us of our awareness in times and places where it’s needed most.

Three Effective Techniques to Stay Aware
1. Monitor the Baseline. At first, this will require conscious effort. But after a while, I find that I can monitor the baseline subconsciously.
2. Fight Normalcy Bias. This requires you to be paranoid for a while as you develop your ability. Look at every disturbance to the baseline as a potential threat. This will allow you to stop ignoring or discounting concentric rings and begin making assessments of the actual risk. But as you learn, people will think you are jumpy or paranoid. That is OK. It’s a skill that will save your life.
3. Avoid using the obvious focus locks in transition areas. It is ok to text while you are sitting at your desk or laying in bed. But it’s NOT ok to text as you walk from your office to the parking garage.”

These skills require some work on your part to master. You can practice all the time. Sharing what you’re doing with your family or friends will help them to understand why you’re acting a little more weird than usual. It doesn’t take long until these skills are natural as soon as you walk into a building or an event.

Select a course of action and get on with it. Don’t second guess. Good training will help in this.
“He’s decisive, I’m telling you,” said retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Michael Longoria, who commanded all close-air support teams during the invasion. “The question is, can he make that transition? His combat acumen is off the charts because decisiveness in combat, right or wrong, is 99 percent of the challenge.” On Secretary Of Defense Gen. James Mattis
Training is everything in making decisions and pressing forward. If you’ve trained enough you will know the course to take and not veer from that course. Good training givs confidence. Confidence helps in decisiveness.
In order to be able to make good decisions under the stress of a violent, in your face, encounter, it is necessary to have rehearsed responses to the kinds of violent situations you are likely to face one day. Of course, you cannot prepare for every situation, and each situation will be a little bit different, so when the balloon goes up, we will need to take into account the totality of the circumstances. However, when you have rehearsed and practiced responses to a variety of likely scenarios, when a situation does arise, you will have a reflexive set of responses to implement. You won’t freeze. You will act with decisiveness, and decisiveness is the key to survival.

Semper Paratus
Check 6