This robbery and beating were hard to watch, but this stuff doesn’t just happen in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Use your awareness to protect yourself!
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There are a LOT of news stories on this robbery from the French Quarter and many others. https://get-asp.com/wnwi and https://get-asp.com/g643 lay out the basics. https://get-asp.com/6egs shows that they’ve arrested at least 3 of the suspects. The unfortunate truth is that these robbers had been helped by good people before this robbery, according to this op ed: https://get-asp.com/u2uj and that’s frustrating.
What does this video teach us about defending ourselves against an ambush robbery?
- Situational awareness is your best friend. It doesn’t mean that you always are paranoid or living in “condition orange,” but it does mean that you know Col. Cooper’s color code of awareness and you live by it. Pay attention to your surroundings, and recognize that when you’re in public places you need to be more aware of your surroundings than when you’re in private.
- Perhaps the biggest benefit of situational awareness is that it buys you time and space to respond to a threat, and time and space buy you options when considering how to protect yourself and your loved ones from a threat. Time and space give you the chance to escape and evade, or time and space to get your force multiplier in the fight, and time and space to better your defensive position and give you a better chance to be victorious.
- The “master key” to situational awareness, as taught to me by my teacher Lawrence Robinson and his teacher Skip Hancock, is simple curiosity. You don’t have to be paranoid! Instead, simply be curious of your world like a small child is curious of their world. Look around you and really SEE. Look for what makes sense in your surroundings, but most importantly look for what’s out of place and doesn’t belong. I like to think back to the Sesame Street song “Three of These Things” and remember to look for the thing that doesn’t belong. As self-defenders, you’re looking for someone who doesn’t belong in their environment. A person standing still while everyone else moves. A person in a hoodie with the hood up when everyone else is in shorts and flip flops on a hot day. A person loitering where people come and go quickly. If you are curious and looking for what doesn’t belong, you’re 99% of the way there to being aware of your surroundings!
- It’s dark for half the day, and bad guys of all kinds love to launch ambushes from the dark. That means, as a self-defender, that part of having good situational awareness involves keeping a flashlight on your person. That flashlight doesn’t have to be crazy tacticool and shouldn’t be firearm-mounted, because its purpose is to help you see at night to give you better awareness of any potential threats far before they can hurt you. A VERY compact option that runs on AAs is this Streamlight: http://amzn.to/1U9S39H and I carry this 1000 lumen Fenix: http://amzn.to/1S73jjb which is rechargeable and has multiple modes of brightness. A middle ground that I have used very effectively is this Olight: http://amzn.to/29htS3q. I highly recommend a flashlight for everyone, simply as an awareness tool at night.
- First aid skills are important. If you’re going to train and prepare to take a life to defend yourself, you should also have skills, training, and equipment to save life should you need to. (I carry an individual first aid kit at a minimum: http://amzn.to/1Or4yVz ) Often that will not involve defensive encounters, and in a defensive encounter your primary responsibility is to yourself and your loved ones.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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Music in the outro used with permission from Bensound at www.bensound.com