Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Look Alive!

I was thinking of his post’s title and how it could maybe be interpreted as a contradiction regarding the low profile post I made previously.

This is something Baigorria mentioned in the close combat class I took a few weeks ago, the importance of looking alive, awake and alert.

You can keep your mouth shut, dress down and use certain clothes colors and patterns that don’t attract attention and still look and be vigilant and alert.
How is this not a contradiction?
It’s because this kind of awareness works at a different level, and normal folks aren’t looking for the alert guy. Criminals are.
Baigorria mentioned, and I completely agree with him by the way, that criminals look for a certain victim profile, and they are usually excellent judges of character.
It’s not only the way you look, (rich, poor, bank runner carrying money), or your physical condition (big, small, strong, capable of putting up a fight), they also notice if you are aware and ready for trouble.
Standing or walking straight, arms crossed over your chest or at lest brought to the chest bone level, pretending to rub them to stay warm, massaging the wrist or simply playing with your knuckles, any excuse to keep your hands ¾ ready from a fighting guard position.
Hands ready, standing straight, and LOOKING.
Look around you, step and look 180º behind you, not paranoid but vigilant, moving your head sideways, scanning the people as you stand or walk, looking to their faces. Every couple seconds, you must cover the 360º so as to be sure who’s approaching you from all sides. Sounds paranoid? After a while it becomes second nature.
You ARE aware, but you look aware too. The person that is going about his business wont notice any of this, but the criminal looking for a victim will, and will certainly take it into consideration when selecting a potential victim.
The more alive you look, and the more aware you truly are, the better.
Even petty everyday pickpocketers or bag snatchers will choose a more “sheeply” victim.
You’ll truthfully be more aware of your surroundings, ready to react in case anything happens, ordinary or extraordinary.
At first it’s a mental exercise, you have to consciously do it. After a few weeks its like driving a car, you don’t think of every little thing you do, you just do it without consciously thinking every step.



Anonymous said...

I can attest to this. Good post... it's important (but understated) to stay frosty

On another note, why did you choose that particular photo to accompany this blog post?

Anonymous said...

This also keeps con artists away. About a month ago I was dog tired walking back to my hotel from a conference and even though there were other people about, he targeted me to start giving his hustle to. I didn't fall for it, but it was close.

manny said...

I agree, especially if you have a sleepy, bored, trusting, kind, even 'pretty' face. Also the sound of your voice, whether your 'shy' or timid, need I say your gender. These things make you vulnerable and reveal alot about your character.

You need to know what you LOOK like and seperate it from WHAT you are, just because your SAS but happen to look like a drunk idiot is a big deal.
Though it would be very difficult for me to change the natural character of my voice or face in everyday public conversations, recognizing this problem of mine and mitigating its effects by acting very aware, making sure you don't enter areas where you are trapped, always have an eye to the exit, keep your eye fixed on any suspicious people, instead of not meeting their eye ecetera.

I think all this is incredibly important, it cannot be understated.

Anonymous said...

This is one reason I never talk on my cell phone when I am walking in public/running errands. Criminals are looking for easy targets, and women who are distracted and not fully aware of their surroundings make excellent targets. http://tinyurl.com/rakkyq