Awareness is Most Important for Self-defense
1. First self-defense you need
Most new students learn self-defense training for exotic looking techniques or lethal moves that can seriously injure people. Often they are disappointed to learn the first lesson in Guided Chaos Combatives has nothing to do with physical fighting. The first skill is awareness. I know you’re thinking “here we go again” as everyone recommends this. They do but many people teach it incorrectly and don’t properly demonstrate it’s importance. Therefore I will explain what awareness is and how to incorporate it into your daily life to ensure your safety.
Awareness is being actively engaged in what is happening around you. Essentially take notice of things that are happening around you at all times. Awareness isn’t paranoia or “being on edge”. This is unhealthy and leads to mental health problems. Anticipating danger at every corner would lead to burnout andis counterproductive to the purpose of self-defense. Self-defense helps you lead a safer, less stressful life so you’re less concerned with unwarranted fear and notice actual danger.
2. Look for interesting things
Take notice of the many interesting things happening around you. There are always a number of things that you can pay attention too that spark your interest. The strange sign across from you, an interesting noise behind you to name a few. By taking notice of non-specific things your brain will pick up things that are out of the norm. It’s important to trust your gut instincts that alert you to danger. Trusting your intuition is important as you often “feel” something is wrong before it happens. Many victims of violent crime report that they “knew” something was wrong before they were assaulted. You can’t do this if your constantly looking at your phone and ignoring your gut feelings because you want to be polite or politically correct. Your safety first their feelings second.
3. Spot specific things
A good exercise to practice these skills is to simply walk around and pick something to focus on. So you might decide to see how many people with red shirts you can find. Or how many men with mustaches you can spot. If you want to add a challenge see how many red cars you can spot in thirty seconds. An additional exercise by Ari Kandel (Guided Chaos instructor 4th degree) suggests doing something that most of us do naturally and is more enjoyable. He calls it “Look for Hotties”. Wherever you are force yourself to find the most attractive people or vehicles in your general vicinity. Don’t lock onto any particular subject because it shuts down your 360 degree awareness and creates tunnel vision. Keep looking for better looking subjects and don’t stop.
So that’s all folks train that awareness and let me know if you notice anything cool!