The SAFE Formula pt. 2

Personal Protection can be broken down into a simple formula.  To make it easy to understand we use the acronym S.A.F.E.  It helps to simplify the understanding of what personal protection really is and what it isn't.



Fight or Flight


When discussing self defense, one of the themes that always comes up is awareness. You will hear every self-defense guru tell you, “Be aware of your surroundings.”  They rarely tell you “what” you should be aware of or how to identify “it”.  That brings us to the second ingredient of our S.A.F.E. Formula-  Awareness

First, Let’s define what is awareness.  Often referred to as situational awareness, it is knowing the who, what, when, where, why, and how of your environment.

Who is in your immediate vicinity?

What are they doing?

Where are you in relation to them?

How are they interacting with you and others?

Why are they interacting in that manner?

We are constantly asking these questions and analyzing the answers.  Situational awareness is paying attention to ALL of the details, not just glancing on the surface.  Learning to recognize the anomalies is key in being able predict a possibly dangerous situation.

As a kid we learned to recognize anomalies watching Sesame Street.  The song and game, “One of these things is not like the others.”  It usually had three objects, but one of them was different.  You had to guess which one it was.  Sometimes, two people would be dressed the same and one was different.  You were challenged to figure out, “Which one didn’t belong.”  Recognizing people or behaviors that are out of place is no different.

Sometimes recognizing anomalies isn’t based on the things we can see, but on how a person or situation makes you feel.  When you get a “bad vibe” from someone, or your gut tells you, “something isn’t right about this situation.”  That’s your body’s way of telling you to pay attention. Our subconscious can pick up on anomalies that the conscious mind may not.

Many times we choose to brush off our gut feeling. We convince ourselves that we are being paranoid or that we are probably over reacting. The truth is, our survival instincts have been hardwired into us since the beginning of time. It’s important to understand that instinct is physiological not psychological.  The impulse to silence our gut instinct can be dangerous.

Being aware and recognizing anomalies is the piece of the puzzle that buys you time to determine your best course of action. The real challenge with awareness is that we live in an age of distraction.  Most people are so engrossed in their phones with social media, and texting, they are oblivious to what’s going on around them.  They make the perfect volunteer for a predator.