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 Post subject: walking to your car
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 12:56 am 
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I was walking to my car after practice tonight & was suddenly aware of some unconscious tthings I was doing...good and bad..i was reading a text message until I realized I was walking alone in a darkish parking lot..so then I went into my normal "i'm alone in a parking lot mode"...which is gaze sweeping around..looking to see if folks are sitting in cars..stepping away from large vehicles...immediately locking my car as soon as I get in... I remember Rich Castanet mentioning that a local crime increase traced back, in part, to ipods...hmmmm What are some of your good/bad habits when walking in a parking lot, alone...day or night?

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 12:09 am 
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Shana,
"I'm alone in a parking lot mode" is a start but modes are something to move past as a lot could already be going on long before you switch to your IAIAPL mode. Start scanning when you drive into the parking lot and look for red flags before you park your car and check your six, I usually make a quick loop of the area before picking a spot; check the flow of the majority of the shoppers and park where they do, when walking from your car check your six; when you are at your destination keep awareness on as the bad guy may be interviewing you while you go about your business. To quote Auric Goldfinger, "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action," so if someone keeps showing up flag 'em.
When leaving, pause, check your six, and scan who's also heading out the door. Look for vehicles that are intersecting with your location. There can be a lot of different details but things always change.

Something to do for practice, people watch.
Find a place and watch how people behave and move in places like gyms, stores and parking lots, where ever. Watch their eye lines, the first place they look, how they move around the environment, etc, learn what the norm sort of looks like for a given area. If you know the norm then the other stuff can become more obvious.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:28 pm 
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Great post and points! Just so I'm clear..."check your six" does this refer to surroundings, all around?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:43 pm 
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Sorry for the john wayne jargan. 6 is behind you, 12 o'clock in front. The old combat clock.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:26 pm 
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Shana,
I just want to add that most of this stuff starts out as a conscious check list of do's and don'ts in specific conditions, then conscious habits, and with time and use they just become things you do almost subconsciously almost all of the time.

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 Post subject: Safety tips
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 3:12 pm 
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I found this surfing this topic:

Safety Tips
This is brought to you by J & L as a service to all that visit our site.


Awareness is the key: Increasing your personal awareness is an integral part of crime precention, and perhaps the single most important element of effective self-defense. An awareness of the reality of crime and violence, as well as an awareness of your environment, are the keys to your personal security. Being aware does not have to involve paranoia. You can't live your life expectancy a problem, buy you can train yourself to be more alert, and adjust your level of awareness as needed. For instance, if you have good locks and live in a decent area, you shouldn't have to be constantly on guard. On the other hand, if you're out late at night, perhaps a little paranoia is a good thing. Just use good common sense and remember to pay attention to what's happening around you, and you will go a long way towards keeping yourself safe, in an increasingly hostile world.

Devloping a survival mind set: No one has the right to harm you or the ones you love, buy violence does exist and it can touch your life at any time. If it does happen, and you aren't mentally prepared to deal with it, you will most likely become frozen in fear. The best way to avoid this is to develop a survival mind set. Imagine yourself in a dangerous situation and visualize what actions you might take to survive and escape, The key is to address your fears before you are confronted with them. While it is unpleasant to visualize yourself as the victim of a rape, robbery or assault, it's necessary to prepare the mind to deal with the trauma. Preparation (while you're still in a safe environment) is the key.

Trust your instincts: Learn to trust your instincts and listen to what your intuition tells you. Trust those "little voices" when they tell you that something (or somone) "just doesn't look right." All of your senses should come to full alert, and you should be prepared to take action (if it's necessary) to get out of the situation or away from that person as fast as possible.

Avoid presenting a victim profile: Crime victims are frequently chosen because they are easy targets. Criminals prey on the weak or unsuspecting, and usually avoid people who are aware of what's going on and might put up a fight. When out in public, look people in the eye, keep your head up, and walk with a confident stride. This tells the predator that you are more likely to see him coming and resist. Without the element of surprise, they will likely pass you up for someone who'll put up less of a fight.

Lights, people and noise: "Just use good common sense and remember to pay attention to what's happening around you, and you will go a long way towards keeping yourself safe..." Always remember that your greatest allies are lights, people and noise. These are the three things that criminals fear most, because they increase the likelihood that they will be seen or caught. Whenever possible travel in groups and in open, populated areas - especially at night. Steer clear of dark areas or isolated places where criminals will have the advantage - especially if you are by yourself.

Your first priority is escape: If you do end up in a dangerous situation, remember that your number one priority is not to fight, but to escape. Obviously, the best plan is not to be there in the first place, but if you do find yourself in trouble, don't hesitate to take every available escape route. If you are confronted and you cannot immediately escape, you may want to consider complying, at least until you can escape. When faced with someone who demands your wallet, purse, jewelry etc... - give it to them, and get out of there. No possession, however valuable, is worth risking your life over.

You must react quickly: One of the greatest challenges to defending yourself is that in the real world (unlike in the movies) acts of violence usually happen very quickly. When an attack occurs suddenly (even though there are usually warning signs), you are at an exteme disadvantage, if you are not prepared to react. This is especially true if you rely solely on some form of weapon for your defense. Pepper spray, stun guns and firearms are useless if you can't get to them instantly when you need them. So try to anticipate dangerous situations in advance (such as walking to your car at night) and prepare yourself to take quick action.

Almost anything can be a weapon: In an extreme situation, you can use many everyday objects as a weapon. A pen or pencil can be used as a dagger, or a phone or lamp could be used as a club. Anything that is harder, sharper or more resilient than your hands can be used effectively, so take the time (preferably in advance) to look around for everyday objects that you could use to defend against a violent attacker.

When attacked...attack back: One of the most importance tenets of self-defense is that when attacked - you must attack back! You need to make your attacker worry about their own safety, instead of how they're going to hurt you. In an extreme situation, you may have to be vicious. Attack your assailant's weaker points, like their eyes, groin or throat. Do not hesitate, since it will only give your attacker more time to formulate their own attack. Overwhelm your assailant, trying to momentarily disable them, so you can escape!

The element of surprise: Second to awareness, surprise is perhaps the most important element of effective self-defense. Using it to your advantage can give you a devastating edge in a confrontation. The number of deceptive counterattacks is limited only by your imagination. For example, you might pretend to be passive, by appearing to submit to your assailants wishes, only to attack them when they least expect it. You might also try to talk to your attacker, then suddenly throw something at their face - and run. In any case, it will be your ability to stay as calm as possible, while you keep thinking, that will make the difference.


...some good points!

Regards,
Vicki

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:37 pm 
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Thank you Mike and Vicki, good stuff! Vicki, I particularly like the part about "attack back" and "anything is a potential weapon"....wow....I guess some folks would get deer in the headlights. does training help us to avoid this, or just being aware it could happen?

I posted this mainly as a general reminder to folks and to get ideas/tips from others. As a general rule, I am very aware of my surroundings, and have found myself more so as I grow in my training. That night, though, was a sudden reminder that it only takes a small lapse to put yourself in a potentially bad situation.

Mike, to your point about IAIAPL, that was word choice on my part. I normally...obviously not that one night, but normally....do unconsciously scan my surroundings, etc everytime I'm alone in an area...but particularly parking lots. I do check where I'm parking, etc. I have not, though, gone to the level you mentioned, but it's definatley something I will consider in the future.

This brings another thought to mind...do you regularly review potential situations as you go through your day?

A thread elsewhere got me thinking about this when I was in the elevator one night...how many times have I put my back to a person in the elevator, without thought? Now, I'm not wanting to get paranoid, but as a female, alone in an elevator with another person....it kinda makes sense to just keep that other person in sight, as a open gesture, nto a challenging one....but it made me think..hmmmmm

so.....do many of you run through potential...if not always likely...scenarios as you go through your day?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:47 pm 
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I am probably the worst at paying good attention...like I should and have been taught. I guess I get so darned focused, I am oblivious of my surroundings in non-threatening scenarious...but that is where the training should start.

We are more likely to notice in threatening surroundings but should be aware at all times.

As far as the back thing goes, I am fanatical about always facing people. At a restaurant I will find a table that facing the room with my back to the corner invariably. Another thing I have started doing is being aware of the entrance/exit points of where I am.

It creeps me out to be in an elevator with my back to people. I will always try to go against a wall to see everyone...and I make eye contact when I approach people. I always want to appear confident and sure...no crouched body language with my arms crossed in front. I like a positive posture in the body with my shoulders back & down and head up. When I shake hands, it is with a firm handshake...no wimpy hands while I looks someone in the eye. Body language is very important.

Good stuff...as always, Shana, you bring good topics to the table.

Thank you,
Vicki

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:12 pm 
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Quote:
This brings another thought to mind...do you regularly review potential situations as you go through your day?


Sure do. If you're being aware you really can't help it. For example, you're walking along and see a group of males approaching and you decide to play what if; you start scanning their hands, how they're moving, distance, where's their focus, their eye-line, etc. You'll also at the same time start reacting to this, seeing what's in your environment that you can use as a weapon, barrier, obstacle, diversion; where are the people that you're with, are you between them and the threat. And if nothing happens, as is likely, you just had a good mental exercise and maybe an adrenaline dump. On the other hand if something does happen you're ahead of the game. Now all of this takes 2-3 seconds at most, and as a matter of fact is an exercise most of us do during our daily drive around town.

Quote:
At a restaurant I will find a table that facing the room with my back to the corner invariably.


I do the same Vickie, because if someone comes in and starts shooting at least my wife will take a few for the team first and give me a chance to hide under the table. :lol:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 2:54 am 
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LOL...Mike, you dog!!! I can't believe you said that.

I'm telling your wife on you...and the beatings will begin.

Regards,
Vicki

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 3:07 am 
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I tell that to my wife all the time, which gets me a :roll:. :lol:

It does go to show that there are flaws to be found in a lot of our rule of thumb safe practices and most are trade offs between benefits and downsides. I personally like locations that give me more options to move rather than corners which make me feel trapped, it's just personal preference to me.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:14 am 
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Location: worcester, ma
i am with you mike,
i do the same "what if drill"
hands out of pockets.
when walking , shift my wife to a safer postion for her and a better fighting one for me.

the only thing i would add is not to let this "what if" drill go on in your head and become dream like, thinking and daydreaming about the what if plot and what could happen. you have to do it "real time" alert and aware and for real.


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