In Mr. Attacker part one the concept of awareness and reaction time was introduced. In this post we will explore more concepts on awareness and how to maintain personal space to maximize reaction time. We will also throw in a of movement technique that you can employ with a little imagination and a playful attitude. Self-defense doesn’t have to be a dark thing with a Mr. Attacker around every corner.
Maintaining personal space to maximize reaction time. Here I will give you an example from my own experience while having to move in a confined space with other people on public transportation.
Twice a week I ride both a commuter train and a bus to get to work. I have noticed a lot over the years and some of my observations have done nothing but reinforce my attitudes towards awareness and its importance in personal safety.
Observation number one: Headphones. Every Tom, Dick and Harry has their headphones in/on, looking at their phones. Not that it is a bad thing. I like to be entertained as much as the next guy, but not at the expense of my safety. I have a family that would like me to come home and so do you. Think about that before reading on…
Here is how I handle this glaring gap in personal awareness. I wear headphones while listening to music as well, but I always find a seat where I have my back to a wall and have a comfortable view of any entrances and exits to the train and bus, then I watch. Completely zoning out in a “safe place” isn’t something that you should do in public. The combination of wearing headphones and not paying attention to your immediate environment could be deadly. Think public shooting.
Observation number two: this one really isn’t an observation but a movement technique. Once the train arrives at the train station, I wait for at least 5 minutes to leave the train. The reason for this strategic pause in my commute is to let the majority of my fellow passengers to get off of the train and clear the platform/stairs leading to street level. This allows me to maintain a bubble of personal space that I can control. Letting anyone get too close allows for things like pick pocketing, and in extreme cases assault.
The police are not here to protect you folks. You must protect yourself and your loved ones. Self-defense is just that, defense of self and doesn’t always mean fighting. Most of the time it just means being awake enough to notice that guy walking up to you with that look in his eye, the one that is making you uncomfortable. Listen to your gut, if you don’t feel right about someone or a situation then act on that feeling. If you stay aware 99% of the issues you might have with people can be avoided…along with bloodshed, police, courts, jail and lawsuits.
Stay aware my friends.