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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Should I stop or should I go

You have a set of firm boundaries established (see previous post on the subject). Someone just crossed them. Now what do you do?  It depends on the severity of the infraction. The punishment has to fit the crime. If someone made an inappropriate comment, you most likely should not hit him on the head repeatedly with a baseball bat. But if someone is trying to kill you, the later might be a proper alternative.  
But once again, I seem to repeat myself a lot on this subject, you need to decide NOW what the range of reactions vs. infractions should be.  If you don’t decide now and wait till you are put on the spot to make a choice you might just freeze or make a totally inappropriate decisions. Depending on the severity of the circumstance, it just may cost you your life. 

When you come to a stop sign, you don’t need to take time to decide what to do. You know you are supposed to stop.  When it starts to rain, you turn on your windshield wipers. Why? Because you already have pre-decided that this is the proper course of action. You don’t have to think “hmmm, let’s see its raining, maybe I should turn on the radio first, to see if it’s going to stop soon.” Or “Let’s see, the light just turned red, I know there is a semi coming across right now but I am not sure if I should stop, I stopped last time. What will people think if I stop again.”. No, you don’t have to decide again because you have already decided what you are going to do.  Same should go for your personal safety.  You should know what course of actions you will take. Of course every situation is different and will require some modifications. But you should have a general plan of action to get you started without having to stop and think, otherwise you are wasting time and sending the wrong message.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Honesty s the best policy

Honesty is the best policy

We have all heard that saying, and I am pretty certain that most of us agree. I am going to come out and say that honesty is also the best self defense.  How does this makes sense??  Bear with me!

To be able to protect yourself, you first have to know yourself.  The following 3 steps could be the most important things you achieve to build your self defense skills. Time for honesty.

Stand in front of a mirror and look at yourself. Truly look at yourself. Honestly look at yourself. This is not about being judgemental. It is about being completely honest. What are your strengths.
  • Are you big and physically strong  
  • Do you have long arms or legs
  • Are you fast
  • Are you small enough to fit through crevasses, and escape easily?  
  • Are you cunning?
  • Are you physically fit
  • Are you able to talk your way out of most situations
  • Do you have martial arts or boxing skills
  • Does it take a lot to rile you up
  • Do you train in self defense
  • Are you athletic
  • Are you intelligent
  • Do you have good listening skills
  • Are you able to recognize when a bad situation has presented itself
  • Do you have a strong self esteem
  • Can you run fast
  • Do you have good  observational skills
  • Do you make it a point to go out in groups or to not frequent dangerous places
  • Are your friends pretty stable, and smart people
  • Do you know what “normal” looks like

Do the same exercise but now look at your downfalls, your flaws. Again this has nothing to do about beating yourself down. It’s about taking an honest, cold look at yourself.
  • Are you of  small stature
  • Are you weak
  • Are you slow
  • Are you injured
  • Are you handicap
  • Do you freeze or panic easily, being incapable of coming out of that state
  • Do you talk too much
  • Are you a smart ass, who loves to say inappropriate things that might get you in trouble
  • Do you have short limbs
  • Are you incapable of recognizing, and describing what  normal behavior is
  • Are you afraid to hurt someone else
  • Is age a factor for you
  • Do you have poor eyesight/ blindness
  • Do you have poor hearing
  • Do you have a brain injury that would make you think a bit slower than the average person
  • Do you have an illness
  • Are you overly shy, unable to make eye contact with people
  • Do you have small children in tow, little people to protect
  • Do you always have your head buried in your phone
  • Do you love to have ear buds and loud music playing all the time
  • Are you always by yourself
  • Are your hands always full
  • Are you a compassionate person (yes it can be a downfall)
  • Do you hang at places where people get their mind altered
  • Do your friends thrive at picking fights or putting themselves in dangerous situations
  • Do you belong to a violent group or organization
  • Do you or did you cheat on your significant other

With all this freshly acquired knowledge, now I want you to look at yourself  using a different pair of eyes. I want you to wear a predator’s eyes. Play the role of the bad guy.
If you wanted  to perpetrate a crime on yourself, what, how, where, why, and with whom would you do it.

  • Would you steal your wallet, your belongings
  • Would you want to hurt yourself
  • Would you want to kidnap yourself
  • Would you wanted to play a “knockout game”
  • Would you want to rape yourself
  • Would you want to hurt yourself (revenge or other motives)
  • Would you want to carjack yourself
  • Would you want to steal or hurt your children

  • Why were you a good victim: small. weak, distracted, alone?
  • Why would you think you could get away perpetrating a crime on yourself

  • Would you wait around an isolated corner
  • Would you wait by the ATM
  • Would you wait into a parking lot
  • Would you break into your home
  • Would you wait outside of a work place
  • Would you wait outside of a bar
  • Would you wait for particular time of the day

  • Would you wait until you are alone or distracted
  • Would you use social skills to get close
  • Would you charm yourself into getting in a stranger’s car
  • Would you stab or shoot
  • Would you drag yourself into a car or a van
  • Would you drag yourself in a dark deserted alley
  • Would you threatened your children to get you to listen, and obey
  • Would you knock yourself out
  • Would you bully yourself
  • Would you play the role of a lost or hurt person needing help
  • Would you blitz yourself

With whom:
  • Would you do it by yourself
  • Would you have a partner in crime
  • Would you have an entire gang to back you up
  • Would you use a dog

I want you to have an answer to all those questions.

I am not going to lie, this part is somewhat creepy. But it is a powerful tool.
Now shake it off and let’s travel down the last leg of this game. Knowing what you know about your weaknesses, your strengths, and the predator’s point of view, what steps do you have to take next?

First you need to improve the weaknesses that can be improved upon. You cannot make yourself taller or younger obviously, but a lot of those other points can be helped along.
  • You can eliminate most of the “stupid” out all the things you do: talk on the phone in public, head buried in  book or phone, wearing ear buds, always distracted, not paying attention, not following your gut feeling, etc
  • You can seek good training, good conditioning
  • You can become the strongest you can be,
  • You can learn to make your attacker weaker
  • You can make sure to go out with a group,
  • You can avoid “bad places”
  • You can learn new skills that will help.
  • You can acquire new knowledge
  • You can learn to observe
  • You can stop denying that bad things can, and do happen
  • You can get new friends (yes it MIGHT the very thing you need)

A predator will always have the upper hand….. if you let him. It is his job to stay safe. So he will stack everything he “knows” about you in his favor. He will most likely be stronger, faster, use surprise and violence of action, use the terrain and the surroundings in his favor. You need to be ahead of the curve to prevent his success, or even his attempts. Knowledge is your best weapon. Start with knowledge of yourself.

You can also keep honing your already acquired skills, and current strengths. One can never be too strong, too skilled, too smart.

And most importantly,now that you know what predators see in you (they know your weaknesses, trust me it’s their job to know), you can head them off at the pass:
  • Avoid the locations where you would have kidnapped or attacked yourself
  • When you see someone using the tactics you would have used on yourself, it immediately should raise a red flag, and you should act accordingly. No hesitation!!! Run, escape, scream for help, and as a last resort fight your way out. But always go home alive.
  • Learn to trust your gut feeling, and to express in words what that gut feeling was. “That guy gives me the creep because he won’t take no for an answer”. I cannot stress how important it is to be capable of verbalizing your choices and decisions.
  • Learn to play your strengths, and hide your weaknesses

Mostly seek the help of a knowledgeable person who can help you becoming the best “YOU” you can be.

PS: if you have a difficult time being honest with yourself, ask the help of a trusted friend.

Be honest, be smart, stay safe.