Self Defense Training: Vigilance vs. Paranoia

This is a discussion on Self Defense Training: Vigilance vs. Paranoia within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I went from the rural Ozarks hometown, to a small in-state public college, to Navy OCS, to different military schools, then straight to Vietnam. I ...

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Thread: Self Defense Training: Vigilance vs. Paranoia

  1. #16
    Distinguished Member Array tiwee's Avatar
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    I went from the rural Ozarks hometown, to a small in-state public college, to Navy OCS, to different military schools, then straight to Vietnam. I don't think I had ever talked to an Asian person. I immediately was in close contact with civilians in remote agricultural Vietnam. I was astonished on my first trip, the kids came up to feel the hair on my arms. They had not seen body hair due to their age and the area where they lived. I still today remember having down time after the first hair incident and spent it thinking about the kids and their parents. I realized I was as strange to them as they were to me. I tried to remember the 'hair on my arm' while in country. I intently studied the 'hair on their arm'(the small things) about them. A mental approach that helped me very much in Vietnam.

    The mental trick I used while mayor of my hometown: As the citizen visitors walked the hall toward my office I could see them coming. Before they got to my door, I tried to picture the view from their kitchen window. Of course, I had never been in most of these houses, but generally knew where they lived before they visited. By doing that, I put myself in their shoes mentally before we even met. When they complained about the neighbor, the potholes, the dead tree in the alley, the drag racers or whatever, my responses seemed appropriate. It wasn't because I always had solutions, but because I had somehow connected with their concerns. I was mentally in their kitchen.

    So finally, I come to the posters questions.

    How do we stay open and positive about the world and not become victims? How do we train ourselves in self defense and not be “defensive?”
    Train to observe the 'hair on their arm' and put yourself in their kitchen. That will help you be defensive, but not offensive.

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  3. #17
    Member Array CJ810's Avatar
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    Wow

    Thank you to everyone who has posted here for such enlightening statements. I am trying to balance my desire to increase my SA and my personal security against becoming obsessed with the topic and freaking out my wife .

    This has been very educational and helpful.

  4. #18
    Senior Member Array mojust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiwee View Post
    I went from the rural Ozarks hometown, to a small in-state public college, to Navy OCS, to different military schools, then straight to Vietnam. I don't think I had ever talked to an Asian person. I immediately was in close contact with civilians in remote agricultural Vietnam. I was astonished on my first trip, the kids came up to feel the hair on my arms. They had not seen body hair due to their age and the area where they lived. I still today remember having down time after the first hair incident and spent it thinking about the kids and their parents. I realized I was as strange to them as they were to me. I tried to remember the 'hair on my arm' while in country. I intently studied the 'hair on their arm'(the small things) about them. A mental approach that helped me very much in Vietnam.


    The mental trick I used while mayor of my hometown: As the citizen visitors walked the hall toward my office I could see them coming. Before they got to my door, I tried to picture the view from their kitchen window. Of course, I had never been in most of these houses, but generally knew where they lived before they visited. By doing that, I put myself in their shoes mentally before we even met. When they complained about the neighbor, the potholes, the dead tree in the alley, the drag racers or whatever, my responses seemed appropriate. It wasn't because I always had solutions, but because I had somehow connected with their concerns. I was mentally in their kitchen.

    So finally, I come to the posters questions.

    How do we stay open and positive about the world and not become victims? How do we train ourselves in self defense and not be “defensive?”
    Train to observe the 'hair on their arm' and put yourself in their kitchen. That will help you be defensive, but not offensive.
    67-68 Corpsman, Lima Company, 3/1, third platoon. South of Marble Mountain between Highway One and the ocean. Where were you?
    Sig 226, 228. Glock 19, 23. Smith Model 60,and 1911. XD45 Tactical. Mossberg 930 SPX.

    How we behave as gun owners is important. Posturing and threatening does not serve us well in the public eye.

  5. #19
    Member Array Walter Sobchak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mojust View Post
    Defensive States of Mind: Paranoia vs. Vigilance

    ........Or, as with myself, if I see two young black men coming toward me on the street some part of me remembers that it was two young black men who assaulted and robbed me in 1981. As much as I try not to profile, that perception is there and it is my spiritual project to manage it. The point is that I am more likely to see two young black men as a threat and not just two young black men walking down the street. It’s embarrassing. Not only do our conditioned responses and preconceived ideas interfere with correctly perceiving the world, they also predispose us to be victims by rigidly assessing a situation one way instead of staying open to all the possibilities. I read a book by the Samurai, Musashi Miyamoto (The Book of The Five Rings) and it occurred to me that he had something like Zen mind, that is, a mind that responded to every situation individually and not based on prior experience or received ideas.
    In any case, my dilemma is this: how do we stay open and positive about the world and not become victims? How do we train ourselves in self defense and not be “defensive?”
    Interested in hearing the opinions of others.



    Why should you try so hard to ignore your own instincts? I see no reason for the guilt trip unless you are mistreating someone. If the prospect of defensive training causes you this much angst, how are you going to feel if you are ever involved in a defensive shooting?

    People are defined by the decisions that they make, not by every little thought that pops into their head.

    And I am not trying to ruin the Zen vibe in this thread,
    but training is by definition the collection of experience and conditioned responses. Anyone that thinks they can react to a situation without relying on prior experience is kidding themselves. Without prior experience, you would have no means to recognize anything or know what a threat is.

    Just another opinion.

  6. #20
    Senior Member Array mulle46's Avatar
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    Im with Biker on this one. My philosophy is one of the USMC rules on gunfights: Be polite, be professional but have a plan to kill everyone you meet. To me, that means simply be prepared because you do not know what someone else is thinking. As long as you arent walking around 24/7 in condition red, I think its vigilance and not paranoia.OMO
    You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along." . . . You must do the thing you think you cannot do. Eleanor Roosevelt

  7. #21
    New Member Array czneddie's Avatar
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    I have a philosophy as well. Trust No One!

  8. #22
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    Thank you for your post and thanks to all who have contributed thus far. This is a perfect example of why this forum is so great.
    OP has elegantly described the demons many of us who carry every day face. For me, I don’t hold the view that today may be my last. I am constantly looking forward to those long future days where I am entertaining my 7 year olds future children. I treat my focus on situational awareness, self defense, and disaster preparedness as a full time hobby I want to excel at just as I want to excel in my business and in the way I try to raise my children. I believe this approach allows me to stay open and positive yet still allows vigilance without paranoia.
    To all you current and former military ... thank you for your service! Let no one forget that the sacrifices you have made allow us the freedoms we enjoy.

  9. #23
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Have read the Five Rings, as well. Great book, with a lot of philosophy to ponder. Good tips, from a master (Musashi).

    Living life "in the moment" is a worthy concept. But for the average Joe, to whom thoughtful preparation and learning from history and "best practices" can be highly useful, a person can be at a severe disadvantage if one's experience isn't based on others'. Otherwise, reacting to a breach of one's security in such an unprepared, ignorant manner can be very painful.

    Point well taken, though, about taking it too far. Some do, to the point lifestyle is affected. There are stories of some who go so far as to withdraw from life, until it ceases to be of quality.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  10. #24
    Member Array Ticman's Avatar
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    Great thread. To the OP'er you might read Gavin DeBecker's book "The Gift of Fear". It's basically about this. Trust your gut and keep a close eye out of things that don't fit or make sense. It's actually quite natural but a lot of people ignore their own instincts.

    One other note though the author is very anti-gun so just ignore that part. LOL!!!

  11. #25
    Senior Member Array mojust's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the fine posts in response to my initial post and questions. I feel like I'm in good company.
    Sig 226, 228. Glock 19, 23. Smith Model 60,and 1911. XD45 Tactical. Mossberg 930 SPX.

    How we behave as gun owners is important. Posturing and threatening does not serve us well in the public eye.

  12. #26
    Member Array ConcealedXDm's Avatar
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    Intersting subject. I think about reality and perceptions a lot. I also think about how they are associated to the physical anatomy of the brain. I believe perceptions can be changed, but only over time. An individuals perceptions are based on all previous censorial input. For instance, if the next two black guys you walk by end up becoming your friends, your perception would change, maybe a lot or maybe a little, but you would think differently about the next two black guys that were walking your way. Anyones perception at any given moment is really a function of their past experiences. By the same token I believe that all actions of all individuals, save for the truely crazy, are purposeful and predictable. I don't know anything about the samurai or book that you and others speak of but I'm a firm believer that one could never react to any situation with no reguard to any past situation. Furthermore, they certainly couldn't pick which situations they wanted to forget the past and which not. Say, he couldn't spar with an individual two consecutive days and not take anything he did the previous day into account while at the same time remember other things like where he placed his socks. My guess is the guy was brilliant and a phenominal critical thinker and that enabled him to perceive situations in a much different light than others. I think it more intersting why we think rather than what we think.

    I feel I could write a book on this but my past experiences leave me with the perception that I had better get back to work.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch, Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote"
    --Benjamin Franklin

    "Chop your own wood, and it will warm you twice."
    --Henry Ford

  13. #27
    Member Array theotherlis's Avatar
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    I certainly live with the philosophy that any day could be your last. Given my personal particular set of experiences, I'm not sure I could have any other view.

    I also try to live with the view "Don't be afraid, but be aware."

    I take a very Zen approach - for most everything, in fact, as I'm a practising Buddhist - and find this is the way for me. I try to treat others as I wish to be treated, until they give me a reason to do otherwise.

    But I still profile, I know it, and I try to balance it with rational thinking. As most of us have at some point, I had a couple of bad experiences with people who can be easily profiled into a couple of words. My knee-jerk reaction is still occasionally "Eek, those people look like the people who did bad things to me" but as soon as I find myself thinking that, I then remind myself I have no idea who these particular people are. I think as long as your behaviour doesn't change because of it - and you are able to rationalise to yourself that the initial thought was not related to the present - it's okay.

    If that made sense.. :) I was trying to be concise about it without having to delve into particular details.

  14. #28
    Senior Member Array Avenger's Avatar
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    When I returned home from overseas the first time, I was diagnosed with PTSD. I was on edge the whole time, every piece of trash on the side of the road was an IED, and that guy standing over there is out to kill me. Wal-Mart of all places scared the crap out of me. Over the years since then, I still struggle with deciding who is a threat and who is not. I carry to protect myself and loved ones, am I paranoid? No.

    What really helped me was a counselors advice when he explained to me that what I saw, what I did, what I heard, what I felt, I will probably never feel again. Only in my dreams will I ever relive those situations and that is something I still struggle with. However, I actually like those now, I feel like they help me remember that my neighborhood is not a safe place, that my bedroom may not be a safe place, the world is not a safe place and I need to protect myself. I use it, I use it to protect myself.

    I dont go looking for the threat, I dont put myself in situations where my life might be in jeopardy, but I know that I can defend myself if those situations find me.

  15. #29
    Distinguished Member Array tiwee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mojust View Post
    67-68 Corpsman, Lima Company, 3/1, third platoon. South of Marble Mountain between Highway One and the ocean. Where were you?
    NMCB SIXTY-TWO, Detail Albany, 25 klicks down stream from Cambodia on the Song Giang (Bassac River). We were SEABEES building river patrol boat bases in 1970. That is in IV Corps just northeast of the seven sisters mountains. Our corpsman, the LT, and I slept in the same hootch. Had all the brains in one place, right. Also, spent time at the intersection of the French Canal and the Mekong right near the Cambodian border.

  16. #30
    Senior Member Array mojust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avenger View Post
    When I returned home from overseas the first time, I was diagnosed with PTSD. I was on edge the whole time, every piece of trash on the side of the road was an IED, and that guy standing over there is out to kill me. Wal-Mart of all places scared the crap out of me. Over the years since then, I still struggle with deciding who is a threat and who is not. I carry to protect myself and loved ones, am I paranoid? No.

    What really helped me was a counselors advice when he explained to me that what I saw, what I did, what I heard, what I felt, I will probably never feel again. Only in my dreams will I ever relive those situations and that is something I still struggle with. However, I actually like those now, I feel like they help me remember that my neighborhood is not a safe place, that my bedroom may not be a safe place, the world is not a safe place and I need to protect myself. I use it, I use it to protect myself.

    I dont go looking for the threat, I dont put myself in situations where my life might be in jeopardy, but I know that I can defend myself if those situations find me.
    Welcome home, brother.
    Sig 226, 228. Glock 19, 23. Smith Model 60,and 1911. XD45 Tactical. Mossberg 930 SPX.

    How we behave as gun owners is important. Posturing and threatening does not serve us well in the public eye.

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