The word “protection” is a term applied to “the activities and planning of any individual who may be seeking to protect themselves and their loved ones from harm.” Such harm comes from real-world threats which can negatively and permanently impact both your professional and personal life.
The world just isn’t as safe a place as it used to be. Given the frequency and intensity of emerging world-wide and domestic threats, protection has become a matter of personal responsibility. Failure to address the issue of personal protection can lead to catastrophic results such as loss of life, permanent physical injury, financial impact and negatively affect your ability to earn an income. Ignorance is not bliss. Sitting around hoping nothing bad will happen and doing nothing about it is no longer an option.
Real-world threats can emerge from any number of known sources such as terrorists, extremists, militant and activist groups, anti-U.S. foreign nationals, street gangs, domestic and international organized crime, human predators, opportunists, foreign intelligence services, disgruntled employees, emotionally unstable persons, corporate and industrial espionage and civil unrest. In some situations, you can even do everything right, but find yourself in the wrong place and at the wrong time.
When asked about their personal exposure to threats, the very first, and most dangerous, reaction most people have is, “Oh, it will never happen to me or my loved ones—that stuff always happens to someone else.”
Tell that to the guy next door whose wife was beaten and robbed, or the dad who was kidnapped while on vacation with his family and never seen again, or to the single mom down the street whose daughter was sexually assaulted on a prominent college campus, or the employees of a local business who were caught in civil unrest and barely got out alive.
BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE
Undesired events occur and impact good people every day. One only needs to click on the news and observe the likes of suicide bombers, “peaceful protests”, home invasions, school shootings, organized crime, destruction of property, disruption of business, exploitation of sensitive business and personal information, street gangs, domestic violence, identity theft, car-jacking, muggings and the list goes on.
Happening everywhere from the farthest corners of the globe to your back yard, bad things happen to good people at home, at the office, while driving in a car, in a movie theater, at a hotel, while travelling on business and for vacation.
Having worked in some capacity for nearly every U.S. government agency with three letters and a-vowel I’ve had the unique opportunity to observe and study threat development and management from an operational perspective. As a lifelong martial artist, non-ballistics weapons expert and having trained total-immersion in Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia with respected self-defense masters from around the world, I have spent a lifetime of committed study in protective services and want to share one of the most useful tools available for your own personal protection.
Drawing upon personal field experience, extensive training from firearms to ground fighting and professionally instructing literally tens of thousands of students over the past three decades affords me the background to share with you the common personal security thread that runs through all the above: a common denominator I call mind-eyes-hands. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
Every protection professional will tell you that your mind is your most effective weapon. Knowing what to look for, how to look for it and what to do if you see something is paramount to anything else. In most situations, you can remain proactive and take preventative measures against a potential threat.
Planning ahead and thinking before acting are examples of using your mind proactively. Your mind is what helps make you look less attractive to a predator. Pulling up to a convenience store in your car and being in the habit of rolling up the windows and locking the doors before you enter the store, makes your vehicle less attractive to an opportunist.
Taking in any ladders, hammers, saws, crowbars or other garage tools laying around your yard or house makes your home less attractive to would-be invaders.
Remembering to pack a small but useful medical kit to include a tourniquet and bandages on an excursion makes you more resilient by your being capable of solving potential medical issue.
Using your eyes and ears to observe your environment (and your mind to interact with it) is all about observation or active measures to maintain good situational awareness.
Applying good situational awareness is what allows you the space, time and opportunity to solve the tactical problem before things deteriorate to extreme physical violence.
Situational awareness is often used as a deterrent against predators and opportunists. The spilt second they know that you’re on to them the quicker their decision to go after easier (less aware) prey.
Failing a plan, failing to apply your situational awareness, odds are you did not see it, hear it or sense it coming. Instead, you found yourself rocked back on your heels far behind the action-reaction power curve reacting to a real-world physical threat as opposed to controlling it proactively.
In this situation, you have no further remaining options but to apply your hand-to-hand defensive tactics or defensive firearm skills.
Think of it like a ladder moving from the top down. If you can’t solve the problem with either proactive (using your mind) or active measures (using your eyes), then you’re relegated to reactive measures which is always a physical response requiring use of your hands or a firearm to solve the tactical problem. Hence mind-eyes-hands, the vanguard of these being the mind—your most powerful weapon.