Situational Awareness

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_Dire_Wolf
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Situational Awareness

Postby _Dire_Wolf » Sat Oct 22, 2016 7:44 am

Hi everyone. I'm new to CC and want to know if anyone has any good places to find ways to improve my SA skills. Any books, websites, videos would be great. Thanks for the help!

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TexasJohnBoy
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Re: Situational Awareness

Postby TexasJohnBoy » Sat Oct 22, 2016 7:57 am

I still need to read through this, but I've had it bookmarked for some time.
https://www.stratfor.com/weekly/2010060 ... _awareness
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cmgee67
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Re: Situational Awareness

Postby cmgee67 » Sat Oct 22, 2016 8:09 am

Remember being SA is not being paranoid it's being prepared. Be mindful where you park your car. If somebody is riding with you make sure they get into the vehicle safely then you. When you approach your vehicle or you are about to exit make sure you pay attention to anyone around you and if you see something odd and don't feel safe call 911. Always lock your doors. If I go into a restaurant if at all possible I like to sit facing the door and in the outside seat just to keep an eye open. Don't let this consume you and worry you to death because it can. Enjoy your time just be careful. When you get home and your walking to your front door still be cautious. Gas stations, shopping centers, church, just watch the best you can and be careful. There is not a perfect solution nor will you ever be 100% aware it's just impossible. Congrats on your LTC and stay safe!
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TexasJohnBoy
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Re: Situational Awareness

Postby TexasJohnBoy » Sat Oct 22, 2016 8:12 am

One thing I always do, as an example, is sit somewhere facing the entrance to a restaurant when I go with the wife somewhere for dinner. It's that kind of stuff where you just need to pay attention to your surroundings. I completely agree with cmgee67 though, don't let yourself get completely wound up in it and ruin your good times.
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Abraham
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Re: Situational Awareness

Postby Abraham » Sat Oct 22, 2016 8:44 am

I look like a "whirling dervish" after exiting my vehicle to pass through a parking lot on foot to get to the store/restaurant/ whatever...by that I mean I continually turn around quickly and look behind me as I progress through the parking lot. I try not to get to close to parked cars either, especially those with tinted windows.

In general, my eyes are working over time as I hoof it through the parking lot.

Exclamations of "he came out of nowhere" are just not so. Keep on looking out for yourself and no one will 'sneak up' on you.

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ELB
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Re: Situational Awareness

Postby ELB » Sat Oct 22, 2016 8:48 am

As far as reading material:

By Rory Miller (anything by him is good and useful, but start with this)
Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected
A lot of good info on how types of violence, and how to recognize when something (especially social violence) is brewing and how to avoid or defuse it. Read further into his book list and he has lots of help on what to do when SA goes wrong and you can't avoid a fight. Rory Miller was a prison guard, got into lots of scuffles with very unfriendly people who tried to hurt him, and made it a point to study all this and really understand how violence operates. Excellent Read.

Also, not directly related to SA, but still very very good: Conflict Communication (ConCom): A New Paradigm in Conscious Communication
Miller first developed this as a seminar/lecture for teaching prison guards and cops how to communicate with unfriendly people -- but after his lectures where he had described a model for how and why prisoners communicate, the guards and the cops kept saying telling "hey, that describes my boss!" :) So he studied some more and figured out that the communication model is pretty general. Another Excellent Read.

By Gavin Becker:
The Gift of Fear and Other Survival Signals that Protect Us From Violence
Gavin Becker is anti-gun, and insists that his experience shows guns are not useful for defense, but most of the experience he describes is helping people with stalkers and such, and largely seems to go with the strategy that if you pay attention to danger signals (i.e. have good SA) you can avoid getting into a situation where a gun would be needed. That's nice but not everyone can expect to be on the ball all the time, and there are too many counter-examples to think that a gun is not really useful for self-defense. But, having said all that, his explanations for paying attention to the cues you are receiving, often processed subconsciously, will help a lot.

Specific Technique:

A friend of mine, member of this forum (altho not active) developed this because while people tell you to "Be Alert. Have SA" they don't usually tell you how:

Hands Eyes Shirt Shoes Hats Tats.

Huh?

Say it fast several times. It is a mnemonic.

Hands - hands carry weapons (including fists). Does he have a weapon? Can't see hands, is she hiding a weapon?
Eyes - eyes show focus, interest, intent. Is he looking at me? Is she trying not to show she is looking at me? Is he looking around for witnesses/cops? Also gets you to look at the face: beard, eye color, etc.
Shirt - What kind of clothes is the person wearing? Appropriate for the season/situation? Colors, style? (be a good witness!)
Shoes - Again, appropriate? goes with rest of clothing? Along with Shirt and Hat, makes sure you looked the whole person over at least once
Hats - Hat, no hat? Ski mask? (uh-oh) Hair, no hair, hair color, style, (and completes end-to-end survey)
Tats - Actually "skin" but flows better with the mnemonic. Skin color? tattoos? skin covered by coat and gloves (but it's summer?), etc.

Put altogether, what does this tell you about the person?

Every time you look at someone, run this through your head like a quick checklist. Make it a point to do this for the next hundred people you see (go to the grocery store!) to train yourself to do it automatically. It is NOT the end-all of situational awareness or being alert, but it gives a practical method to start with.

The problem with being situationally aware is that most of us, us being LTC'ers, by virtue of the qualifications we have to have an LTC, we do not generally do or go places where bad things happen often enough that having our radar turned on all the time has become habit. It is easy to lapse.

But hands-eyes-shirt-shoes-hats-tats helps.
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Bitter Clinger
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Re: Situational Awareness

Postby Bitter Clinger » Sat Oct 22, 2016 9:28 am

TexasJohnBoy wrote:I still need to read through this, but I've had it bookmarked for some time.
https://www.stratfor.com/weekly/2010060 ... _awareness


Thanks for the link! Good article! :tiphat:
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ScottDLS
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Re: Situational Awareness

Postby ScottDLS » Sat Oct 22, 2016 12:11 pm

Unless you have had elite military or law enforcement training...you will never be able to approach the level of SA of the average small town Texas PD, or Navy SEALS. To make up for lack of SA skills, mere civilians should NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES open carry. Second you should wear at least level 3 body armor when outside your residence.

I always exit my vehicle with a tactical roll and jump to a standing position. Any eating establishment or saloon, I never sit with my back toward the entrance, and I scan each person who enters and give them a steely eyed glare. This will elicit twitching or rapid avoidance of eye contact from outlaws.

When I enter an unfamiliar location, I come in sideways with my weak side facing in, my strong side hand on my (drop-leg) holster palm in touching the pistol grip. I carry a FN 5.7 pistol and at least 5 extra mags in a pouch.

I think civilians should be required to take tactical training before being allowed the privilege of owning and carrying a handgun.


EDIT TO ADD: For those that don't get my wry, understated humor or rapier sharp wit...the above was not entirely serious. No insult intended to the original question which is very legitimate. Just trying to poke a little fun at some of the self appointed "tacticool" advice you sometimes see in the gun magazines and forums. ;-)
Last edited by ScottDLS on Sat Oct 22, 2016 12:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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TexasJohnBoy
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Re: Situational Awareness

Postby TexasJohnBoy » Sat Oct 22, 2016 12:24 pm

ScottDLS wrote:Unless you have had elite military or law enforcement training...you will never be able to approach the level of SA of the average small town Texas PD, or Navy SEALS. To make up for lack of SA skills, mere civilians should NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES open carry. Second you should wear at least level 3 body armor when outside your residence.

I always exit my vehicle with a tactical roll and jump to a standing position. Any eating establishment or saloon, I never sit with my back toward the entrance, and I scan each person who enters and give them a steely eyed glare. This will elicit twitching or rapid avoidance of eye contact from outlaws.

When I enter an unfamiliar location, I come in sideways with my week side facing in, my strong side hand on my (drop-leg) holster palm in touching the pistol grip. I carry a FN 5.7 pistol and at least 5 extra mags in a pouch.

I think civilians should be required to take tactical training before being allowed the privilege of owning and carrying a handgun.

:smilelol5:
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MrMcCullster
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Re: Situational Awareness

Postby MrMcCullster » Sat Oct 22, 2016 12:28 pm

I've actually been getting a lot out of watching a YouTube channel called Active Self Protection. It's a good walkthrough of different self defense attacks and shooting videos from security cam footage.

I think it's mostly of what to do to respond to attacks, but there are lots of videos before the attack where he does talk about situational awareness and what things could be avoided if the defender saw certain tells. He talks about things the defenders did well and some things they did wrong.

Some of the videos are graphic, but nothing that you wpuldnt have to see or do if you were in those situations.

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Jusme
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Re: Situational Awareness

Postby Jusme » Sat Oct 22, 2016 12:34 pm

ScottDLS wrote:Unless you have had elite military or law enforcement training...you will never be able to approach the level of SA of the average small town Texas PD, or Navy SEALS. To make up for lack of SA skills, mere civilians should NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES open carry. Second you should wear at least level 3 body armor when outside your residence.

I always exit my vehicle with a tactical roll and jump to a standing position. Any eating establishment or saloon, I never sit with my back toward the entrance, and I scan each person who enters and give them a steely eyed glare. This will elicit twitching or rapid avoidance of eye contact from outlaws.

When I enter an unfamiliar location, I come in sideways with my weak side facing in, my strong side hand on my (drop-leg) holster palm in touching the pistol grip. I carry a FN 5.7 pistol and at least 5 extra mags in a pouch.

I think civilians should be required to take tactical training before being allowed the privilege of owning and carrying a handgun.


"rlol"

While LEO training an military experience is helpful, SA skills can be mastered by anyone. When inside, make note of exits, scan people, in parking parking lots, trust your instincts, if something looks hinky, extricate yourself. Practice, even in areas, and around people you know. You will be surprised at how many things you notice. Stay off cell phones, they get more people in bad situations than you can imagine.
Take away the Second first, and the First is gone in a second :rules: :patriot:


bigtek
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Re: Situational Awareness

Postby bigtek » Sat Oct 22, 2016 12:59 pm

Give peace a chance.

I'll cover you in case it doesn't work out.

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Lynyrd
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Re: Situational Awareness

Postby Lynyrd » Sat Oct 22, 2016 1:05 pm

Watch your six. It's amazing how many surfaces in our every day environment reflect enough to see what is behind you, or at least enough to let you know if you should look over your shoulder.
Do what you say you're gonna do.

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JustSomeOldGuy
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Re: Situational Awareness

Postby JustSomeOldGuy » Sat Oct 22, 2016 1:56 pm

_Dire_Wolf wrote:Hi everyone. I'm new to CC and want to know if anyone has any good places to find ways to improve my SA skills. Any books, websites, videos would be great. Thanks for the help!


There was a similar discussion last month, viewtopic.php?f=7&t=86167 "Do you check reflections?" you may also want to look at....
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srothstein
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Re: Situational Awareness

Postby srothstein » Sat Oct 22, 2016 3:45 pm

I would suggest taking some flying lessons. One of the things they will teach you is to make a constant scan of the sky and your instruments. That is probably one of the best exercises I can think of to improve your habits in developing situational awareness.
Steve Rothstein


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