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 Post subject: Observing individuals
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:55 am 
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Lots of people advocate awareness as the first means of self-defence; I agree it is along with good decision making probably the greatest and most important tool you can develop for self-protection.

Many awareness advocates recommend people watching, learning to read people and crowds and interaction.

Observing others is a skillset we can improve. Observing others is something we are usually good at , however as with anything proficient we often ignore it and take it for granted, and in doing so can neglect a skill that can give us so much information.

The following is not a list of what to look for but some ideas in how to look and see more, what we put on show and what we hide.

When we casually observe we usually note two things. That with which we recognise, and that which is peculiar.
We tend to dismiss much of anything else.

Most all people present themselves a certain way, this is there chosen guise, our guise is to send a signal to the world to think about us in a certain way.

Everyone on some level is unhappy with their peculiarities, they create a guise to compensate and on some level create more peculiarities.

There is always a point with what people want you to know about them meets that which you can’t help knowing about them.

This is the gap between intention and effect; this is what to look for in the individual.

This incongruence will present in moments of reality and insight.

By observing what we recognise and what we find peculiar accepting them and then looking for what else is going on you start to see beyond the performance.

There are entire fields regarding the reading of micro expressions, body language , and most people with very little training and just time get very good at picking the unusual.

But more than unusual looking beyond the peculiar, and the recognisable, you will learn to catch moments of authenticity and intent.

This is not necessarily for self-protection, It could simply improve your reading of people in general ,and help you communicate and conduct yourself more appropriately and with more finesse, But if you have honed your visual listening to looking beyond the presented story hopefully you will be more keyed in to any deceptions and manipulations.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:06 pm 
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Thank you Stryke. Excellent ...we do need to hone our skills of observation, but how to do it properly is a problem for many of us.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:20 am 
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thanks Van , I hope to share some more information and drills as the thread continues

I realise the above will sound esoteric to some , but it is quite literal , its a case of once you can do it it appears simple , but first lets define Observation.

Observation

Observation is either an activity of a living being, such as a human, consisting of receiving knowledge of the outside world through the senses



by definition observation is the receiving of information from the senses.

the key words being information and senses


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:48 am 
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Information is gathered by the senses however we must be aware of the information

it is easily dismissed or distracted, the shear amount of information we process would be overwhelming to anyone if it was all considered.

to deal with this the brain conceptualises, it constantly names and dismisses information, calling on past experiences to catorgorise name and let you pay attention to whatever task your concious mind reside.

here in lies the power and the weakness of the mind, this very ability to conceptualise is what distinguishes us from animals, and gives rise to thought.

However it is precisely the same reason we can be so oblivious to our senses and the information provided, our ability to remain present minded and attentive.

Distractions are all around us using headphones limits your sense, distraction of object cell phones , radios everyday objects ,a simple excercise day to day is to look for others that are distracted, you will soon recognise many activitys and distractions and potential victims, people watching is a simple skill, try to guess relationships between people,try to see who presents themselves as vulnerable and why, as you get more aware you will start to see what not to do and what you should be aware off. Also be aware of your attention while you watch are you capable of observing while remaining aware of your own surroundings, or are you conceptualising , writing storys , shifting your whole attention to a smaller observation.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:57 am 
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Mindfullness

Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you're mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.

Mindfullness is the act of paying attention without conceptualising ,without naming,of accepting experience as it happens

being practiced at mindfullness cannot only improve your observation,but improve the authenticity of your experience,mindfullness in martial arts can help you assimilate new skills faster as you expereince what you are doing and not your idea/thoughts of what you are doing which are always limited to your previous experience.

here is a simple example of a mindfullness practice.

Quote:

This is an easy mindfulness exercise, and one that you can do anytime throughout the day. Take a moment right now to try this. Check your watch and note the time. For the next 60 seconds your task is to focus all your attention on your breathing. It’s just for one minute, but it can seem like an eternity. Leave your eyes open and breathe normally. Be ready to catch your mind from wandering off (because it will) and return your attention to your breath whenever it does so.

This mindfulness exercise is far more powerful than most people give it credit for. It takes some people many years of practice before they are able to complete a single minute of alert, clear attention.

Keep in mind that this mindfulness exercise is not a contest or a personal challenge. You can’t fail at this exercise, you can only experience it.

Use this exercise many times throughout the day to restore your mind to the present moment and to restore your mind to clarity and peace.



some people find objects an easier place to start than themselves

Quote:
Pick up an object that you have lying around. Any mundane everyday object will do...a coffee cup or a pen for example. Hold it in your hands and allow your attention to be fully absorbed by the object. Observe it. Don’t assess it, or think about it, or study it intellectually. Just observe it for what it is. resist the tempation to name , look at it as youve never seen it before.


You’ll feel a sense of heightened "nowness" during this exercise. Conscious observation can really give you a feeling of "being awake". Notice how your mind quickly releases thoughts of past or future, and how different it feels to be in the moment. Conscious observation is a form of meditation. It’s subtle, but powerful. Try it...by practicing mindfulness in this way you’ll really start to sense what mindfulness is all about.


More to come , Confidence or Curiousity


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:54 am 
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Good points Stryke...would this also include learning to 'profile' individuals and situations?

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:25 am 
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Id think it makes sense to be aware of the possibilitys .

I think just noticing is the biggest hurdle, hard to profile every situation.

but noticing who else is watching, whos blocking exits, lingering ,are people together and pretending not to be ?,perhaps subtley controlling/isolating the flow of others.

Noticing where are the exits ,taking a quick scan of your surroundings.

what guise is being presented, are they being charming or manipulative?

of course not ignoring the obvious risk profiles.

I'd love to hear what other folks feel is suspicious behaviour , it seems to be something we know when we see it.But we have to see it.

Its an interesting discussion to have in class, especially for some of us guys who have never really been concerned of were we go, others experience can be much more valauble than our own expereince.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:28 pm 
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Great thread!

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Rick Wilson - http://wpd-rc.com/


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:43 am 
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It is a great thread.

The 'cousin' of suspicious behavior is 'suspicious things' that we could also discuss without getting off topic. The appearance of objects where they should not be ordinarily or do not 'fit' the specific environment.

If you were to enter a convenience store or a fast food joint and you noticed everyone standing still… what would you make of it?

We could also discuss 'suspicious feelings' about individuals or certain places.

I believe that suspicious behavior and things…are also connected to a person's intuition that can be 'tweaked' along the way.

De Becker, in his book…'The Gift of Fear' has a whole chapter on the 'Technology of Intuition' _

It talks about, as an example, of a person entering a convenience store, and while looking through magazines, feeling something strange about the place _and immediately walking out.

Later in the day she learned that there had been a shooting in the store.

Can we get 'premonitions' about people and places along with observations?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:26 pm 
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Excellent comments Van

Debeckers stuff is excellent,acknowledging your sense and intuition and feeling, the amygdala never takes a break and is an incredible tool.

All such material is incredibly on topic.

Confidence or Curiosity

the next drill is something you can train in class,In either sparring or pre-arranged work or some form random attack scenario, try to watch the opponent with no thought, and while watching dismiss any prediction or habitual thinking, then as you look just watch and allow yourself to wonder what they are going to give you. Not as a thought but as a feeling, try to inspire curiosity ,look as youve never seen a person before let alone labelled one.

Every new detail will reveal another,being curious allows one to see clearer without assumptions ,looking without knowing is the easiest way to get there.


Another way to experience this

As yor driving your normal route , the one thats so familiar you can almost do it in your sleep, pretend youve never been there before and are taking it all in for the first time, Look as if your on a vacation and never may see it again and you wish to retain all the details for the future.

Most people that do this often see things theyve never noticed before.

Not knowing and curiosity expand our senses to focus on the new,we simply have to allow ourselves to beleive were having a new experience and we can be in that moment.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:57 am 
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Good advice, Stryke, lots to be gained by 'paying attention' _

I mentioned 'profiling' but this needs to be qualified:

By profiling, I don't mean being anti-black, or anti-mexican, or anti-anything. What I mean is taking what you see at face value and acting upon what you see based on your training _to 'IPDE'[Identify_predict_decide_execute] in response to an intuition.

Think of how you would act as a measure for normal behavior. If a profile individual is not following the same type of actions as you might, move to condition orange.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:29 am 
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Profiling as education makes sense, its part of orientation being aware of the likely risks, taking note of the news sorts in you're area, reading the crime trends reports, bring involved in a neighborhood watch group perhaps.

Knowing what's normal helps in picking the dangerous and abnormal


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:50 pm 
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Good points by Stryke...

I think observation is a two way street, in that, as we observe and analyze, we are also personally subjected to the same process, even if subliminally.

What do people project, how do they project...and for the self...what impressions do we create and cause to be perceived by the ones observing us?

People's demeanor as well as ours is a very important component that helps to remain safe.

Take rudeness for example...it is generally perceived that many Americans lack basic manners and courtesy. Overall _Europeans are brought up with courtly manners non existent in the US.

Good manners cost nothing and in many parts of the world bad manners will get you killed. To forestall 'targeting' we need to blend and blending in has just as much to do with your attitude/actions.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:16 pm 
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Quote
"Take rudeness for example...it is generally perceived that many Americans lack basic manners and courtesy. Overall _Europeans are brought up with courtly manners non existent in the US.

Good manners cost nothing and in many parts of the world bad manners will get you killed. To forestall 'targeting' we need to blend and blending in has just as much to do with your attitude/actions."


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Totally agree Van.I really hate bad manners. One guy that I can't stand is Piers Morgan, when he debates with gun people, not only is he smarmy and weak, he is also sneering and obnoxiuos and down right rude.I feel like hitting him :evil:


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:05 pm 
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http://www.wnd.com/2013/01/22-year-old- ... n-on-guns/

Here he is :agrue:

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