What is personal security and why should someone seek to improve their personal security?
Being prepared is not something that is rooted in fear or paranoia. Taking proactive steps to increase your personal security is akin to having smoke detectors, knowing how to use a fire extinguisher, and having fire insurance. Nobody does that out of fear, but as a precaution. It makes sense to do so. The same philosophy applies to prudent personal security.
Good personal security follows some basic guidelines and principles. Why? Because experience has been a hard teacher and we should learn from those lessons. There is solid information that can improve your personal security and thereby increase your relative safety. Personal security is not something that is infallible, however. And while it may be true that at any given time criminal homicide can befall anyone, we are all going to die someday. I may not be able to outrun Father Time, but you can be as sure as hell that I will give another man a run for his money and he will have to earn my death at the cost of blood.
Personal security is a choice, a proactive decision to take responsibility and be accountable. It is not easy, there are no shortcuts. And, no, the internet is generally not your friend in that arena. There are competent teachers and mentors who can teach good personal security. There are also more instructors who will teach crap and give students a false sense of security. If you have questions email and ask. A good teacher will not fear honest questions and should give honest answers. Also, a solid resume does not always make a good teacher. Teaching is a separate skillset and not everyone that is really good at a task is good at teaching someone else to be good or better at it. Food for thought.
Principles of Personal Security:
The approach to good personal security should be rooted in reality, real-time actionable information, movement and decision efficient, able to change with the circumstances, and effective (able to achieve the desired result).
Personal Security Support Pillars:
· Support Gear
The approach to personal security principles is supported by real knowledge, applicable skills, a fitness level able to support those skills, and relevant support gear, which also includes forms of weaponry.
Personal Security is a constant activity composed of proactive choices and actions.
Why personal security?
Well, honestly, I can’t tell you why you should do personal security. You have to put a value on that pursuit. What is your relative safety worth? How much effort are you willing to invest to increase personal security? I know where my lines are drawn and what the worth is to me and how that applies to my life and those I consider precious. You have to consider that for yourself.
Increasing your skills and knowledge, and becoming better, often result is less incidents where you are left to engage in physical combat. This is a good thing.
Personal security is more than gunslinging. Elements of good personal security include:
· Informed situational awareness.
· De-escalation techniques.
· Avoidance tactics.
· Knowledge of environmental considerations.
· Knowledge of pre-attack indicators.
· Weaponry, improvised weapons, less-lethal instrument proficiency.
Knowing WHAT to look for and WHAT to do with that knowledge is an important step in good personal security.
It’s cliché to say you won’t rise to the occasion when faced with a critical incident but fall back on your training. I believe that you fall back to the level of training you have maintained proficiency in. These skills are like milk, they go sour if you don’t use them. (Who drinks milk? Are you a suckling calf?)
Good personal security has to be efficient and effective. It’s a cold comfort if your personal security looks slick and fancy, but gets you killed.
There are some good primer books out there to get an academic blueprint laid in your mind and to get the mental notes simmering. Left of Bang, Gift of Fear, Arresting Communication, Laws of Self-Defense, Verbal Judo are a few to start with.
Find a good teacher that can impart the knowledge and help you develop the skills.
Physical skills require a coach, a mentor, or a teacher you cannot imagine yourself to greatness. Every professional athlete that has achieved glory had a coach and mentor that understood the game and how to get that athlete to unlock potential. Instagram, the internet, even this blog post can’t do that for you.
There are good teachers out there. Learn from several. I try to learn from as many sources as I can. I don’t have all the answers and no human can experience everything. My experiences are different from another’s and the perspectives are equally pertinent to the student seeking to improve themselves.
I don’t like using the term instructor, if you’ve noticed. I prefer teacher or mentor. It is my obligation to help a student improve and it my responsibility to know how to do that. If your instructor can only tell you, “stop doing that” or “keep doing that” and not know what ‘that’ is to help you improve it, then find a different instructor.
A good teacher wants students to get as good as they can be. Ego has no place in quality instruction. There are no magic skills or secret techniques that need to be hidden from students to keep them students.
Excellence is a habit.
There’s trained and untrained.