Situational Awareness

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Big Don, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    I'm here to give insight to people who are actually here to discuss things. You're just here to post articles from your blog to get clicks and views, and then jump down the throat of anyone who points out any flaws. You say "we are all learning" but you got real defensive here against me, and against @hoshin1600 in another thread. You've already started off on this forum on a bad foot. Maybe chill for a bit and see which conversations you can be part of, and then joining the conversation. Instead, it just looks like you're trying to advertise for your blog. Most of your posts are copy+paste from your blog instead of actual contributions to the conversation.
     
  2. Taipan

    Taipan Orange Belt

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    That is why some are sheep and others are sheep dogs. :D
     
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  3. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    @skribs

    Ease up a lil skribs....and let's give him another chance.
     
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  4. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    IMO

    There are 3 levels

    At ease
    Alert
    Hyperalert

    Good situational awareness allows you to be at the level the situation calls for.

    Always being at a level higher than what the situation calls for doesn't necessarily mean you have good situational awareness.
     
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  5. Monkey Turned Wolf

    Monkey Turned Wolf MT Moderator Staff Member

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    So what happens when you've got 4 people that go to a restaurant, and all of them are alert and want to have their back to the walls?

    Also what happens when your SO or a friend wants to go to a bar, where you don't have an option to sit with your back to the wall/facing the door? Do you just avoid those forever?

    Obviously this is a specific example, but the point is a general one-alertness is good, but there's no set rules for it, and you have to figure out when the alertness is interfering with other aspects of your life. If you're not able to be flexible with it, that's the same as being paranoid/hyperalert.
     
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  6. Taipan

    Taipan Orange Belt

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    That's why I advocate habit instead of "trying" all the time. If I go to a restaurant I alway choose a seat where a can see the exits if I have the chance, but I don't freak out if I get a bad spot.
     
  7. KenpoMaster805

    KenpoMaster805 Black Belt

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    Be always aware of your surroundings
     
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  8. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Great point. And ultimately, how you gonna do it if you really don't wanna dance? By standing on the wall? (Get your back up off the wall) Tell me.

    'Cause I heard all the people sayin' get down on it!
     
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  9. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    Some thoughts on situational awareness, and situational awareness videos...

    Videos...for the most part they are examples of misdirection rather than situational awareness. It creates a diversion in one particular place in order to pull something off in another place.

    Watching the clips can be fun, I watch a lot of stuff, I’ll watch anything anybody posts. It’s a way to learn, be amused, or to kill time.

    When I watch one of the how many people in red shirts walk by the such and such, the last thing I’m going to do is watch the people in the red shirts. It’s like tricking your dog, it’s not really fair. I’m too old to play the pup.

    There have been some really good thoughts shared in this thread. Making situational awareness habit, probably being the best of them. It’s easy to let your guard down, especially when you’re in a safe, restricted environment like I am. My situational awareness switches back on automatically when needed. (Hope it still does, anyway)

    When I enter a restaurant, yes, I like my back against a wall. More for everyone else than for me. And, yes, I immediately look for all exits and entrances.

    I also look to see where they keep their money.

    I look for where their walk in freezer is.

    I always use the restroom the first time I’m in a place, I want to see more of the place than I can from where I’m sitting. Don’t have to do it if I eat there again, I’ll remember, it’s habit.

    If you're want to be aware in a certain place, case the joint at least as well as the bad guys do.
     
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  10. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    To the topic of the thread, self defense courses that are shown statistically to work teach situational awareness and it's pretty easy and straightforward.

    For example, in the curriculum that was developed in Canada to reduce the number of sexual assaults on campus, the program participants were taught to avoid going to parties by themselves, to keep track of their drinks, never take drinks from someone they don't know, etc.

    Women (and everyone really) are encouraged to be mindful of their surroundings when walking to their cars at night, or in secluded parking lots. Teaching people not to count their cash in public. If you're going to a rally or protest, being aware of what's going on around you, having a buddy, and using common sense. This is what I see many people learning and applying, and it generally works pretty well.

    Some folks take it further.
     
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  11. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    I always use the restroom, too, but that's because I'm a firm believer that if the restroom isn't clean, the kitchen isn't clean, either. :D

    Regarding the videos, is that red shirt one the video with the monkey suit?
     
  12. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yeah, and it's been around for a while. I really enjoy watching people watch that video. We had a 26 inch TV at the front of our dojo, off to the side. We also had a nifty video camera to film sparring and training and have the students critique themselves. It helped a great deal.

    We put that monkey video in. This was back in the VHS days. All the students were gathered around carefully trying to count the...whatever. I filmed them watching it. Then showed them the tape of them watching it. It was one of the best "Aha moments" they ever had. They smiled all night, shaking their heads at how easily they fell for it. Just like I did the first time I watched it.

    And, Steve, I agree one hundred percent about restroom cleanliness.
     
  13. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    For anyone interested, there are several versions of the video. This one is similar:


     
  14. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Wow, that was a blast from the past. Some of those posters I really miss. I feel quite melancholic now.

    but I have gin.
     
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  15. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    When I was in the UK in 2019 I was genuinely surprised at how bonkers you guys are for gin. I mean, everywhere you look, someone's selling their own boutique, small batch gin. Bought a bottle of Whittaker's Gin in Yorkshire and it was pretty darn tasty.

    Around here, a lot of micro distillery's will get started with gin, because it's relatively quick to produce. They'll do a good job with the gin, building a customer base with small batch gins, while working on producing brown liquors that take a few years to age. Seems to be working, and has resulted in a rise in the popularity of it around here, as well.
     
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  16. isshinryuronin

    isshinryuronin Black Belt

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    Situational awareness (in self-defense context) IMO is perception of possible danger. I think there are a few steps involved:

    1. You must be educated on what constitutes (possible) danger in the particular environment (are there snakes, what kind, where/when do they hang out, what is their normal behavior?)

    2. You must be able to perceive (actively searching or passively alert for) the signs of that danger. Are you concentrating too much as you walk down the street on where to eat dinner, on your phone, your I-tunes, your spouse...or does your brain have enough empty space for other things to register?

    3. You must be able to put those perceived signs in context and evaluate the threat level. Then, consider possible reactions to the threat.

    #1, as I said, is a matter of education. #2, of self-discipline. #3, I see as a combination of education and experience. It's a matter of analysis and interpretation - there is some art involved here. The more experience, the more habitual will be your situational awareness. A response will be arrived at quicker and have more chance of being the correct one.
     
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  17. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Hold on. This is the third time someone's mentioned being bitten by a snake. Is avoiding a snake bite considered by you guys to be self defense? If that's the case, what isn't self defense?
     
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  18. isshinryuronin

    isshinryuronin Black Belt

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    As long as it was mentioned twice, I figured may as well continue the theme. Besides, snakes are a good metaphor for danger. One of my biggest frights ever was getting into my small outboard boat at my lakeside dock, sitting down on the bench seat, and finding a large, fat, black snake with its head not more than a foot away from my crotch. Luckily my fishing net was in reach and I was able to scoop up the snake and fling it over the side. I did not think to first examine it for poisonous fangs. I know there are some good snakes out there, even though I have never met one. I hope they take no offense.
     
  19. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    It's not by me. But that's only because there ain't no snakes out here.

    Anywhere else where they might be plentiful, yup.
     
  20. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    Little known fact; (all facts are debated in science)
    the human brain is conditioned through evolution to detect snakes.
    Snake detection theory - Wikipedia

    i hate snakes. Went to visit my inlaws in Thailand last year and i was wierded out by how causally my wife is like "yeah we have king cobra around all the time, its no big deal."
    she is always telling stories of the snakes coming out of the toilet and biting your butt,, or boys ,,"Ju Ju" im traumatized. not sure if i can go back!!! i dont want a python hanging off my Ju Ju.123
     
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