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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mental Preparedness

In our last post, we discussed Awareness - how keeping in touch with the world around you can both keep you safe and informed.  Being aware of your surroundings and the world in general is great.  But, if you don't have the commitment to act, that awareness goes for naught.

I don't know if this reluctance to act is a result of their individual upbringing or if it's the result of a general, "Let someone else take care of you," attitude that seems to permeate our society.

I just don't know.  Personal Responsibility in general seems to be waning.

In two of our workshops (Refuse To Be A Victim and Defensive Sprays and Stunning Devices) we pose a couple of questions to our students -
Am I prepared to harm, permanently injure or kill another human being to save my life or the life of a family member?
I am constantly amazed at the number of people that hesitate when presented with this question. In both of these classes, we've usually discussed using a handgun for self-defense. Many will say that if they had a gun, they would try to "wing" the assailant.

I tell them, flat-out, that if that is their plan and attitude, they'll most likely end up dead or badly injured.

In a high-stress environment where you perceive the need to defend yourself with a handgun, you will almost certainly not have the fine motor skills - nor the time - to make a precision shot.  Most likely, you're going to be scared sh**less.

I tell them that the only way to ensure their survival is to fire at center of mass, and to keep firing until the threat has stopped. The answer is that brutal and that simple.

Your attitude must be the same whether your self-defense tool is a gun, a Taser, a baseball bat or a frying pan.  You must fight like your life depends on it, because it probably does.

The same attitude applies to Emergency Preparedness.  If the weather station says you're about to be visited by a hurricane, follow and act on your plan.  Get the hell out of Dodge!  The sooner you act on your information (awareness) the less likely you are to be harmed.

The second question is about personal confidence -
Am I prepared to tolerate the judgment of my family, friends and neighbors if I harm, permanently injure or kill another human being in self-defense?
Again, I am stunned at people who give a damn what other people may think of them for saving their own life.  But they're out there.

It is usually around this time when I remember why I'm teaching these classes.

Many people have gone through the Awareness classes, self-defense training classes, and emergency preparedness classes. They have a plan for dealing with every possible contingency. It looks great!

But they don't have the will to act. There are SO MANY people out there that simply don't have the Mental Preparedness to "pull the trigger," so to speak.

Accept The Challenge

We don't take skills-enhancing classes or emergency preparedness workshops as academic exercises.  We do this to prepare ourselves for bad situations.  The Awareness training teaches us how to identify these situations, and the Skills training teaches us what to do.

But the individual has got to have the intestinal fortitude and commitment to use those skills when the situation dictates.  It might not be pleasant to do so, but the alternative - inaction - is infinitely worse.

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Shy Wolf said...

Excellent and concise presentation, Chief. Thanks.
When I taught women/children self-defense classes, the first minute was what the whole class(es) were about: "If you can't see yourself poking out an eye, biting off a finger, slicing the balls off a rapist, then you should just leave now because I can't teach you anything."
Unsurprising, quite a few walked out. A few would ask to stay, but they couldn't bring themselves to hurt another human being. You could see it in their eyes, the timid way they performed the full contact drills, even the light touching was repulsive to them. In time, they'd realize how serious the class was and not come back later.
And that's perhaps how it should be- my opinion, anyway. Even Scripturally speaking- and many used the "turn the other cheek" pretext- they are to fight off their attacker (I know, but the O.T. is still in effect). People just can't see that.
OTOH, knowing you have the ability and mental preparedness to take another life in defense of yours or anothers', in no way means all who can, do, or even desire to. It's almost like a "spur of the moment action".

Chief Instructor said...

Shy, about 3 months ago, I did a Pepper/Stun class for a group of women and girls. Most of them were related.

When I got into the, "you've got to do whatever it takes to prevail" part of the workshop, most of the mom's were visibly disturbed. It was like they didn't want their little girls to even HEAR of the need to do such things!

The girls - some as young as 12 - were nodding their heads in agreement. For the most part, they "got it", which was very cool. I just hope their moms back off with the "they're too fragile" attitude.