Awareness is the key to any successful self-defense program. If you can maximize your awareness to its full potential, you should be able to defend yourself from most possible encounters. Awareness is about avoiding potentially harmful situations or recognizing threats at the earliest possible moment. Situational awareness or consciousness of your surrounding is crucial. However, your awareness is not just limited to it. Awareness also refers to awareness of consequences, your opponent, and yourself. Obviously, awareness should encompass your overall alertness and the ability to process your surroundings.
Any doctor will tell you that prevention is the key to beating any ailment. Well, violence is the same. Successfully avoiding a violent encounter means you successfully prevented harm to yourself and hence successfully used appropriate self-defense. You have probably in a situation or place you just felt was trouble. It is your awareness trying to help you. However, a lot of people ignore it. We always need to be actively aware of gut feelings or intuition. If you are aware of this feeling, you can avoid any trouble coming your way.
Awareness In Your Physical Surroundings
You should also be aware of your surroundings in a physical sense, including making mental notes of things like the nearest possible improvised weapons, nearest exits, other possible attackers and anything else that is physically in your surrounding area that could help or impede your ability to defend yourself. Making yourself aware of the nearest exits will not only help you get a quick escape in the event of an emergency but also help you to get out from the danger zone if you feel a violent encounter is about to happen or is happening. Being aware of any possible attackers can help you plan how to deal with possible multiple assailants. Another point to remember is to be aware of possible improvised weapons. You can use the improvised weapons if a safe escape is not possible, but more than anything else, you should be actively thinking whether a potential opponent can use them against you.
Another aspect of awareness is to be aware of the consequences of your actions if you engage in a physical fight with your attacker. Every fight is a potential homicide even in a true self-defense scenario. If you hit someone in the head, your attacker could die. If things come to worst, you could be end up in prison. Do whatever it takes to survive, but always look for a safe escape as soon as possible.
Important Clues Awareness
Another facet of awareness that you should always remember is to be aware of your attacker. Most people focus too much on the attacker and lose sight of subtle, yet, critical clues that could help you avoid or minimize the threat of violence. Things like awareness of where the hands of your attacker could put yourself in a favorable position because you are informed, which makes you better prepared to defend yourself. If those hands are in the pockets, this could mean that the attacker does not really want to fight. It could also indicate that the attacker has a weapon and is waiting to use it. Also, you need to be aware of the possible attacker’s body language, like heavy breathing, rapid eye blinking, quick opening and closing fists or twitching fingers. These things can be tell-tale signs of an impending attack. If you are aware of the body language, you can be better prepared to defend yourself. Moreover, it is also essential to be aware if the assailant has friends that are lurking somewhere. If your focus is on the main antagonist, then you are not really aware of anything at all.
Probably the most critical awareness aspect you need to focus is awareness of yourself. You need to be aware of your emotions and subtleties and how they can affect external events. If the YOU factor is taken out into account, then being aware of other aspects may not help you. If you are tired, in a lousy mood, distracted or upset, you cannot judge correctly in avoiding a potentially harmful situation, and you make yourself attractive to a possible predator. YOU are the most significant weapon when it comes to defending yourself, but it can also be the greatest weakness.
As you may realize by now, awareness is the foundation of everything in self-defense. Most people go through life completely unaware of what is going on around them until it is too late and then they panic. You don’t want this to happen to yourself.