Situational Awareness--seeing people's hands

Situational Awareness--seeing people's hands

This is a discussion on Situational Awareness--seeing people's hands within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; We all know that SA is extremely important. One of the things I like to do (and need to ensure I do it more) is ...

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Thread: Situational Awareness--seeing people's hands

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    Member Array Bm7b5's Avatar
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    Situational Awareness--seeing people's hands

    We all know that SA is extremely important. One of the things I like to do (and need to ensure I do it more) is pay attention to people's hands in public places. Very frequently, a person with a weapon (particularly a knife), holds the weapon down and behind their leg. This is not a natural standing position. If you ever see someone standing or moving like this, your awareness/color condition should rise immediately:

    Fatal Stabbing On Subway By Fascist - NothingToxic.com

    Ignore the backstory between the stabber and the stabbee. The stabbee got chest to chest with someone and had no idea the other person had a knife in hand behind his leg until it was too late.
    A traffic ticket is formal recognition of a lapse in situational awareness.


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    Member Array Templar71's Avatar
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    Great point. Simply put, IMO we (myself included) often become lulled way to easily into condition "white" by allowing other things to distract or minds i.e. cell phones, texting etc.

    Sometimes in life you only get one chance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Templar71 View Post
    Great point. Simply put, IMO we (myself included) often become lulled way to easily into condition "white" by allowing other things to distract or minds i.e. cell phones, texting etc.

    Sometimes in life you only get one chance.
    +1. How many people do you see walking around with thier nose burried in their phone or blackberry texting oblivious to the world around them. I've been there and done it too...trying to pay much less attention to the e-mails and more on my surroundings. If its really important, they'll call me.
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    It looks like a lot of the other passengers saw the "odd" behavior and saw the knife and backed off (watch them as they get on the train and observe him).

    Yes, I try to be very aware of hands. As they saying goes, "Hands kill."

    Which reminds me of the time I stopped by my husband's work at 5:30 to pick him up and take him to dinner.

    We were both standing on either side of the car, facing in, fastening our son into his car seat.

    I saw a "thug-looking" character walking up behind my husband with his hand under the front of his shirt.

    I said, "Six O'clock!"

    He looked at his watch and said, "What happens at six?" It was like it came right out of an Indiana Jones movie.

    The guy was approaching from behind and to the right of him and was now passing on my husband's right and I said, "No. Behind you!"

    And my husband turned around to his left COMPLETELY missing the guy.

    "No. The other side."

    He turned and FINALLY saw the guy as he was passing the car a good 20 feet from the bumper. "Ahh.. well, now he's not behind me anymore, is he?"

    We had a good long talk about using plain English after that.

    Good thing it was just an idiot walking around with his hand under his shirt (as far as we know).

    I explained the young man's strange behavior and my husband praised me for my awareness but said I needed to work on my communication skills.

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    When it comes to SA & seeing people's hands I am concerned. Some of you may recall, I was robbed at gunpoint four times over 12 years when I was employed as a hotel desk clerk. After the first armed robbery every time a guest entered the lobby and was checking in I became VERY concerned when I could not see the guest's hands. When I could see his/her hands I was much more relaxed.

    Call it a minor case of paranoia to some degree if you will but if I couldn't see the guests hands as they checked in I was not confortable at all.

    Now as permit holder I am that much more aware of people's hands. As long as I can see their hands I'm fine. If I can't see their hands I'm that much more aware of my vulnerabilty if that person has "less than honest" intentions.

    Regardless, I prefer to see a person's hands.
    Last edited by Pikachu711; January 2nd, 2010 at 03:13 AM.
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    This is a good point.
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    Quote Originally Posted by limatunes View Post
    I said, "Six O'clock!"

    He looked at his watch and said, "What happens at six?"

    I said, "No. Behind you!"

    "No. The other side."
    Now, JD, whassupwiddat? Six o'clock ... a.m. or p.m.? You must be reading the couples' field manual a bit, lately. That, or it's the li'l ground pounder with the full bomb load in the next room.

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    I think to much emphasis is placed on the hands. The amateur will always repeat the common advice "watch the hands" blah blah blah. Any streetwise individual will also tell you that the hands will also fool you quicker than any of the other common clues.

    Yes, it is a clue but it is only one of many factors to be looking at and watching.

    Don't get tunnel vision on hands. You're doing yourself more harm than good if you do.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    Yes, it is a clue but it is only one of many factors to be looking at and watching.

    Don't get tunnel vision on hands. You're doing yourself more harm than good if you do.
    I think that IS what people are really saying when saying to watch the hands.

    Fixation on them to the detriment of monitoring other things can lead to bad results, sure. But it's highly unlikely that any attack will fail to deploy the hands as part of an attack.

    Every instructor I have had has indicated the same basic sentiment in much the same way: watch the hands. Not one of them has every said to do so at the expense of all else, to the point of tunnel vision, to the point of disregarding other movement, preparations, signs of tension, signs of communication with others, etc.

    A quick scan of the internet for other trainers in a variety of disciplines, the references about "hands" is made in much the same way as here: watch them. Some suggest a primary focus on the "core" (from shoulders to hips). But all recognize the hands as key threats. Of course, many remind not to fixate on any one thing, including hands.

    Anyway, I think we're all saying the same thing.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
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    Hands are basic/101 things. We build off of that. I also look at the eyes. Have to see to attack. If they are giving you the stare or checking accomplices, look out. Be aware of all your surroundings when you start to tingle.
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

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    SA is important. Also, dont join a gang. Obviously premeditated. He selected his target before the train stopped, got in position so the victim would see him. It seems like the victim knew the attacker due to the conversation(but possibly notm who knows). But, yes, lets see the hands please.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paramedic70002 View Post
    Hands are basic/101 things. We build off of that. I also look at the eyes. Have to see to attack. If they are giving you the stare or checking accomplices, look out. Be aware of all your surroundings when you start to tingle.
    good point on the eyes... you can read somebodys eyes just like a defensive lineman read where the quarter back is going to pass the ball..
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    JMO, but another unspoken lesson here is what others did after the attack. After the attack there should have been no ambiguity. It should have been equally obvious that most were unarmed (read unprepared) to defend themselves against an attack by the fascist. yet he was approached by numerous people and it appears some even taunted him.

    If I were with my family say in a train like the Metro and an attack of this nature took place with someone else as the victim, what would or should be my response even/especially if I am armed? In light of the OP - the first part of the answer should be obvious; go to Combat Mindset Red immediately - the threat is specific and obvious. The second half is equally important though - I would immediately converge on my family and present a barrier between them and the attacker while retreating (with weapon drawn) with my family in a direction opposite the threat axis the goal being to EVACUATE my family from the threat area, bravado not withstanding.

    The OP presents a great scenario which should get us evaluating our SA, but to what end? What does the rest of the OODA loop compel us to do? The original victim may have been caught in Combat Mindset White, but after the attack no one else should be.

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    Before the attack, it looks to me as though at least one of the people getting onto the subway car spotted what was about to happen and left the area, moving toward the camera at a fairly rapid clip. (Did the person leave out another door? Or simply find a corner seat back behind the camera?)

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    Member Array OldLincoln's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by limatunes View Post
    I said, "Six O'clock!"

    He looked at his watch and said, "What happens at six?" It was like it came right out of an Indiana Jones movie. .......

    We had a good long talk about using plain English after that. .....

    I explained the young man's strange behavior and my husband praised me for my awareness but said I needed to work on my communication skills.
    I suspect that if roles were reversed the conversation after would been more like "What part of Six O'clock don't you understand?".

    Ya done good but perhaps part of couple protection should be signals. For all you know the BG may have heard you and changed plans. Or, could have heard you, realized he'd been made and pulled his gun.

    Maybe a signal like speaking loudly with the appropriate expression say "Did you just FART!!!!!" may both make him aware AND deter the BG!

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