Personal Security and Situational Awareness
With today’s events at Ft. Hood we as a society are once again forced to deal with the consequences of a tragic act of violence. In the following days, lawmakers, media pundits and various interest group spokespersons will debate the political and ethical ramifications of today’s events. Each will call for new laws, regulations or procedures that fall in line with their particular ideology. In these days that follow, emotions will run high and in this turmoil very practical lessons may be lost to you, the individual.
While these extreme violent attacks can seldom be prevented altogether, how we as individuals conduct ourselves throughout our daily routines can have a mitigating impact. First each and every one of us must acknowledge that evil exists in our society and that acts of violence can happen anywhere. This isn’t meant to frighten people, but rather spur people out of a state of complacency. Simply put, if you deny the existence of evil how can you possibly combat it? The next step is to be vigilant, be aware of the happenings around you. Far too often we wrap ourselves in the unnecessary things as we move through our daily lives. Put down the smart phones, pay attention to the people around you, and learn to read body language. More often than not, people who mean to do harm to others show their intentions through body language. They carry their head low, eyes are often fixed, their shoulders are hunched and at some point they hide their hands. If something or somebody looks “off” or not quite “right” to you, react right then when the initiative favors you. The last step is to always have a plan, or rather two plans, of reaction when confronted with evil. No matter where you are, know where the exits or escape routes are, all of them. If you are with family or friends, always have a plan to collect them and move them to safety. Have multiple “safe” locations pre-selected in your mind. All of these steps are essential to developing keen situational awareness.
All of this can be done on the fly as you move through your daily life; it just takes a little practice. I have personally done these things all over the World and I continue to do them here at home on a daily basis. In time the continued awareness of your surroundings with become automatic. You won’t be operating at some overly paranoid level but rather with a calm collectiveness that will serve you and those around you well. Now I want to be very clear about one last point. I am not advocating that you directly engage against any individual committing acts of violence. Your first responsibility is to the safety of yourself and your loved ones. You should always be prepared to engage in order to defend yourself or your loved ones if retreat is not possible. Beyond that mandate, it is for you to decide on your actions and accept the consequences of those actions.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who have been wounded and killed in today’s violence and to their grief stricken families. As each of us reflect on the events of today, be sure to take heed of the lessons that can be learned. The best means to truly honor the fallen will be in the lives that can be saved as a result of what we learn and practice in our daily lives.
Instructor William Green
Elite Training Center
1628 South Pacific Coast Highway,
Redondo Beach, CA 90277