Situational Awareness Games: Tips and Tricks to Improve your Personal Safety

In the previous three posts I discussed some important issues concerning situational awareness and its importance. The first article discussed the importance of developing situational awareness as a key to the prevention of violence. The second article discussed why some people don’t listen to their gut instinct, with some entertaining and amazing stories to show both terrible awareness and excellent, literally life-saving awareness. The third article gave you some tips to help you know what danger might look like so you can identify it in time. 

Now that you know why it's important and what you need to look for, I am going to give you some simple and effective tools that can help you develop and improve your situational awareness. 

A little, but important, explanation first. The reason I refer to these as games is not to downplay their importance, but rather to emphasise the fact that this kind of training doesn't have to be scary, hard or cumbersome. It can be a lot of fun, and can challenge you in fun and interesting ways. 

Here we go!

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Why Are You Here? Thoughts on Challenging Times and the Self Defence Mindset

At the start of 2018, one of my goals was to ensure I put out one blog every 2 weeks, which is output that I’ve been able to fairly steadily maintain in 2017. If you are a regular reader, then you may have noticed this has certainly not been the case over the past 6 months.
I’ve always found this hard to talk about, but a close friend and mentor has suggested I put this stuff out and hopefully it will help me sort some stuff out in my brain. I thought I’d share with you some of the reasons I haven’t been writing, and hopefully this will help me get some stuff off my chest and maybe help shed some light one how this also relates to training. This also leads to important questions about self defence and the survival mindset. 

Let’s start at the beginning.

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Don't Try This at Home: A Common Self Defence Mistake You've Probably Made

You walk into the dojo and tentatively go up to your instructor when you see he has a spare minute. In a hushed tone, almost apologetic, you ask the following question:


“I tried what we learned in class on my [boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife/mum/dad/friend] and it didn’t work. What was I doing wrong?”


This is a question I have seen and heard many times, and have also asked a couple of times when I first started training.
The people asking it can approach it in a variety of different ways. Some are almost apologetic, because they believe they didn’t do it right. Others are angry or upset, claiming that ‘it’ doesn’t work.


If you’ve ever tried something you learned in a martial arts or self defence class on a friend and it didn’t work, or if you’re an instructor who has heard this question, and you want to know what you did wrong, read on.

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Welcome to the After-party: Dealing With the Consequences of Self Defence

Violence ain’t pretty.

We’ve all seen violence at some point or another, though surely to different extents. If you haven’t then you are either very, very sheltered or very, very lucky (or both). 

With YouTube and social media is now easier than ever to get access to millions of examples of what real, ugly violence looks like. I invite you think of the first time you saw someone get knocked out violently or stabbed, whether in real life or the net.

What was your response?

Chances experienced a bit of adrenalin and some anxiety or stress. Perhaps you simply couldn’t watch the whole thing. It probably left you feeling out of sorts for a little while after it finished.

Now imagine this happening to you in real life.

Would you have the tools to deal with the trauma of real-world violence?

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The Flip Side: Traditional Martial Arts and Combat Sports ARE Effective for Self Defence...?

One of the things I discuss often is the separation between combat sports, martial arts and self-defence (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, read this).


Self-defence practitioners often exclaim that combat sports and martial arts are NOT the same as self-defence, and indeed there is plenty of evidence to support this claim.


On the other hand, combat sports and martial arts practitioners will always claim their stuff is effective for self-defence.


Me? I tend to sit right in the middle on this one. Do they overlap? Yes. Are there transferable skills? Absolutely! Are they identical? Absolutely not.


But can they be?

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Not Just a River in Egypt: The Most Dangerous Thing You Say to Yourself is...

$hit Happens. All the time. To everyone.

We watch the news and see a story about someone getting mugged, assaulted, sucker punched, raped, murdered.

But that stuff happens to other people. I lock my doors at night, and I have insurance. Besides, I don’t live in that part of town and I don’t associate with those sorts of people.

And then what do you say?

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