Saturday, June 26, 2004

Being Vigilant

With my previous post, and then going and visiting Ian's blog I decided to post a bit on being alert and knowing the circumstances you are in.

This isnt going to be a discussion on what type of weapon to carry, a knife wielded with confidence can be as detering to a thug as a gun. Rather I want to talk about state of mind. Fortunately the military has already come up with an acronym, if you can believe that. OODA Observe, Orient, Decide, Act. This was specifically made for their fighter pilots where being the one acting, not reacting, is the difference between coming home alive and, well, not coming home alive. OODA applies perfectly to everyone.

Know your surroundings. This means being familiar with the area, or making a conscious effort to learn the area you are in. Know escape routes, know alternate routes, back doors, safe areas of the building. Safe areas include being around people like Nate or myself :) If you can see a gun on a holster, then that is a good person to be around as criminals dont open carry nor do they utilize holsters.

Where are YOU in relation to THEM, Them being 'potential' threats. Rembember that all that is required is a potential, not a demonstrated, threat. Where is the safest place, where can you move. Is there a barricade you can place between you? (car, gas pump) Create space between you and the threat whenever possible.

This primarily takes place before any encounter. Knowing what it is you will do beforehand takes all the guesswork out of a stressful situation. If you plan on using a weapon (blade, gun, mace) know how to use it, and know how you are going to deploy that weapon. A quick decision is of extreme importance so think about it beforehand.

Having made these first three steps, without acting they are all wasted. Get to the Act before they do. Make them respond to you, not you to them. If they are responding to you then you are in control of the situation. Be in control at all costs, you will come out okay if you are.

In future posts I will go over this some more, but no matter the scenario OODA is the key. If you are interested in learning more, one of the best references available is the writings of Massad Ayoob, such as his Ayoob Files or some of his writings available online at Back Woods Home