Situational awareness is a cornerstone of our To-Shin Do training. Students learn to observe and make decisions based on what they perceive. This awareness starts internally. What are your triggers? Do you have any knee-jerk reaction tendencies based on societal expectations? What are your boundaries – are there lines you won’t cross? Once we have a baseline for our inner landscape we can begin exploring external awareness. For real self-protection, it is important that we understand the effect that culture, laws, morality, and social roles play in our decision-making process. Along with all of this, we also need to develop an awareness of our environment.
Here is a game you can play to help you develop the awareness skills to help keep you safe in an ever-changing world.
Escape the Castle In this game, you spend a few hours as if you are being tracked. Pretend you are on someone’s list or that you have important information and the bad guys are looking for you.
Your goals are:
1. Stay alert
2. Walk on the edges of sidewalks. Don’t be caught out in the open.
3. What’s going on behind you?
4. Pay attention to people's faces. What are their mannerisms and what are they looking at/for?
5. Do other’s have something in their hands?
6. Avert your face when passing security cameras. The bad guys could be using it to track you.
7. Is that a bird or a drone?
8. At the end of the exercise ask yourself; What did I learn from this game?
Keep in mind that this is a training exercise. It is one thing to be aware and something very different to be paranoid. We want to be acutely aware of our surroundings and inner workings while not being anxious or fearful. Notice your environment and then move on with life.
If you practice these and other skills you can begin to move through the world with a newfound sense of confidence and ease. Who knows, you may even begin to find and appreciate things you didn’t notice before.