By strengthening the skill of “Paying Attention” it will translate into your overall Self-Defense Awareness. You have a lot to think about most days. Are you eating healthily enough? Did you finish that work presentation? Have you paid all of your bills on time? Sometimes, you are focusing so much on everyday things that you miss the simple things that could possibly put you in an awkward situation.
However, the good news is that your body is excellent at helping you. A mechanic, for example, can tell you what is wrong with your car just by listening to the rattles and the noises it makes. A good tracker can tell you what kind of animal passed by and where it went by tracking what their footprints look like or how the undergrowth is disturbed. They use their heightened senses and wealth of experience to help them identify what is happening. You can do the same. In fact, you already do. If you smell gas, what is that telling you? Or if you hear a fire alarm? It does not have to be that high of a level though. What if you smell that your milk is off before you put it in your coffee? Now you could ignore all of these warning signs, but then you have to deal with the consequences. Ignore the smell of gas – possible explosion. Ignore the fire alarm- you could get trapped in a burning building. Ignore the gone off milk- throwing up in a bucket for the next few days. So by becoming better at identifying clues around you, it can help you decide if something is safe or unsafe and whether or not it needs your attention. The clues you spot may be in your surroundings or they may be internal clues. For example, what happens when you get scared? You may have a faster heartbeat, your hair may stand on end, you may want to scream or yell out, you may start sweating or trembling, or you may find it hard to breathe. Think of the last time you got scared. What signs did your body give you? By paying attention to those feelings and acting on them, you have a much greater chance of coming out the other side safely. Most times everyday situations are safe, but once in a while they are not.
Let’s use scuba diving as an example. You are going to take a scuba training course and as part of this scuba course to become a certified diver, you are going to spend dozens of hours in the dry land classroom, going over the procedures, risks, hazards, and responses. Then, you will move to some practice time in the pool where you will spend time learning proper kicking technique, learning to acclimate to the temperatures with your wetsuit, learning to clear your mask of fog and moisture, learning to breathe calmly through the regulator, and more. Only after you have done so much study and practice will you venture outside for some open water experience, and even then your first few dives will be carefully supervised by fully licensed instructors. Then they will take you out on a boat and throw you in the ocean with some great white sharks, right? Well, of course not, as that would not be safe. But that is not to say that swimming with sharks is never safe. If you did not want to swim with sharks, is it possible to scuba dive without encountering a man-eating fish? Absolutely. If you did want to get up close with sharks, is it possible to do so safely? Again, absolutely. You will learn exactly which breeds you can interact with and how to behave around them. For more stereo-typically dangerous breeds of sharks, you may decide to use shark cages to let you get close without being in actual danger.
So, once you understand the signs and risks, you can make much better decisions regarding your safety. Train hard; be attentive to what is happening around you and your reaction to it. Listen to your body and trust your intuition so it will be much harder to be surprised or encounter a situation that you are unprepared for.