So much is made about situational awareness for personal defense. The need to recognize who and what is around you to keep yourself and family safe. Developing skills to help you determine who are threats, what are environmental conditions, where are exit/escape routes are part of personal protection skills that go far beyond the physical techniques. These are subjects covered by Randy King, Rory Miller and a handful of others.
These subjects shouldn’t be left as personal protection skills! A martial arts concept is “if you can’t use it off the mat, it isn’t worthy”. Now, this started as developing physical skills to protect yourself, which makes sense when training in martial arts. The evolution of this concept has been happening as many martial artists look at their training deeper than the sport. The principles and concepts found in all martial arts can be applied in life. This is the “help you drive your car better” thought.
Situational awareness will always have some personal protection application regardless of the situation. Driving your car better is included here. Do you see the vehicle on the freeway entry ramp? How fast is it going? Where it it be in relation to you when it gets to the bottom of the ramp? Where are other vehicles around? After all of these questions get answered, then you handle the situation. If you are situationally aware, all of this happens within a handful of seconds. If not, then you’re being pushed into the next lane as they enter or have to brake to allow them in (and get rear-ended because the vehicle behind you wasn’t aware of the situation).
The video below shows a physical application of situational awareness. He knows where he is. He knows the potential situations that can arise. He is present in the moment. His response is not from instincts, it’s from training. I won’t bring up the OODA loop speed here, though, that’s for something else.
Author: Master Robert Frankovich
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