Awareness Training (part 2)


Awareness training (part 2)

Welcome back!

This post is the second in a series of posts on awareness training. In the previous post, I explained the basics of how criminals tend to choose their targets and the steps they go through. This post will cover the difference between Soft and Hard targets and how you can implement small changes to make yourself a harder target.

Let's start with soft targets:

A soft target generally means anyone easy to overpower or manipulate. Now, it's important to note that anyone can be classified under a soft target (even a really strong man), if and when the perpetrator is a more skilled or even more powerful man/woman than him. This is not a one size fits all type of deal, it is very varying from situation to situation. And often a good criminal will plan around that to overpower or manipulate a much stronger or riskier target. As I said in the previous post, criminals can be very professional.

What makes you a soft target?

Habits: Bad habits such as constantly checking your phone while out in public, or when you're pulling from the drive-way and just need to send that last message. Or what about all those times checking out those blondes from afar, things like these draw away your attention from potential threats. Now I'm not saying you should never have a look-see, I'm just saying you should learn how to do it more strategically. Position yourself in a way that you can focus more attention on specific sectors of your vision. Focus on what you should focus on, before committing necessary attention towards something that is not crucial to your survival.

Routines: As I like to say, Consistent consistency leads to exploitation. It's simple. When you do something very specific in a very specific way in a very specific timeframe, then you're creating an opportunity for someone to exploit that to their advantage. Think of it this way, you wake up every day at 4:00 AM, run your morning routine, and at about 5:00 AM your in the car, pulling out the driveway on your way to work. I can exploit this by simply planning to pounce on your home at 5:30, this will give me a window of comfort that no one will be suspecting off, or, I can also use that specific timeline to plan an attack on yourself at the gate, especially when you incorporate the habits such as opening your gate manually, etc.

No/Poor training: So this one speaks for itself. If you're not up to date with training to identify possible threats, then you're playing a risky game. Hopefully, this post at least ups your game for now. Book a class buddy! Whether it's just some light reading, some research into crime trends, or taking part in a full course on awareness or any other type of security-related training.

Low morale: Criminals feed off of negativity and your lack of confidence! That grandma that stares everyone in the face until they explain themselves, yeah, that scares them too! But big Brutis from the gym who never raises his mighty whip to hurt a fly, yip, he is going down quick and easy! Low morale can also be seen as a lack of will to survive, and that automatically qualifies you for a quick pass to the next realm of uncertainty. Brutal, I know, but that's the reality of it.

Hard targets:

So as you can see, there are a few factors that you have to keep in mind to not make yourself look like a soft target. Likewise, there are a couple of things you can do to make yourself appear as a harder target to pick on. Just keep in mind, you can and still will be a target, no matter how hard you might be to take down, an idiot with a plan beats any man with no plan!

Spice up your habits and routines: So now you know how a really specific routine, which you might think is a good one, can probably lead to exploitation. Change up your habits and routines now and then. Use a different street every other day on your way home, leave at different intervals for work, and so on.

Know your surroundings: So this is a really important thing to get used to, know your surroundings! You should ALWAYS be fully aware of what is going on around you and position yourself to be in the vantage point at all times! Place yourself behind hardcover when seating in restaurants, be closest to escape routes. Know where the fire extinguishers are or the nearest lavatories even. Where is the car parked? how many people are around you? And the list can go on and on and on!

Immediate action drills: Last but not least, you need some IAD's! You need to know beforehand what your reaction is going to be when something happens, are you pulling a knife when someone bad-mouths you during a movie? No, but someone else might, so you should be thinking of all the possibilities that can go down wherever it is you are going to be. Then, you need a plan for each situation, what do you need to have access to? How will you be able to get it? Who will you need to be able to contact? Ask yourself this type of questions while you're still at home. Use that information to assemble your Everyday Carry gear or your gear bag for emergencies. I carry certain tools on me every single day, I have first-aid kits in every bag I own, in the car, at home, and work. I have some gear in the car or close to where I will be spending a certain amount of time. You can be over-prepared, but only if you fail to put some thought into it. A post on that a bit later perhaps.

Read more about Immediate action drills over here.

Now you know the difference between soft and hard targets and how you can improve your target hardness. In the next post, I will finally be telling you how to increase your awareness, with proven skill-sets that have been developed by law-enforcement professionals.