Interesting. For everyone that thinks a persons subconscious doesn't play a role in their perceptiveness... Have you ever had the "feeling" that someone in a car near you was looking at you, and you look over to discover that you are right? Have you ever been the person looking, and the person suddenly shoots a look directly at you? I'm not calling this "luck", but some sort of extrasensory perception? Perhaps not in the traditional sense, but I believe it is extrasensory, non-the-less. No one can argue reflexes, either.
This is essentially the difference between men and women. Women get more of this "soft side" of perception.
Hunches, by definition (to me anyways) mean that the information is actionable.
All we are is a bunch of nerve endings perceiving things. Then into this electrified soup goes our experience and memory and learning. Certainly we act on feelings. What else is there?
This is an interesting thread.
Many years ago I attended an anti-terrorism briefing while I was stationed overseas. I don't know if what I was told is true or not, but the agent said that many women who were assaulted/raped walking to/from their cars or while out and about reported having felt sick just before the assault happened. That is, they started to get sick or jittery just before they consciously knew someone was stalking them or about to assault them. They felt something was wrong. Now, I don't believe in ESP or anything like that, but I strongly suspect that we block out (consciously) most of what we sense day to day even though that information is still being processed subconsciously. You may see the patterns on the wallpaper, the tangles of power lines at intersections or reflections of cars in store windows; you may hear the clamor of human activity or the rhythmic pattering of rainfall on the pavement as you walk to your car, the barely perceptible splashing of footsteps distantly behind you; but you can't consciously process most of it or you'd be overloaded. I suspect your subconscious, however, is processing all of this information and recognizes discrepancies in the patterns. Maybe you didn't consciously notice that the elongated curves of the shadow cast by a hedge between you and a streetlight didn't match the contour of the rest of the hedge, but your subconscious mind did. Maybe it quickly determned that something was wrong, that perhaps an animal or person was hiding alongside that hedge. Maybe the sick feeling you started to get was a symptom of your body's sympathetic fight or flight response.
I believe that people's ability to quickly--and without thought--look straight at someone across a room or highway directly to someone staring at them is related to this.
I tend to follow gut feelings about people and situations for similar reasons (and I don't think magic or luck has anything to do with it).
The Gift of Fear By Gavin DeBecker... lots of examples of intuition, gut feel, hinky sensations saving the day...
I agree with all the comments about training, etc., but strongly disagree with the statement that "hunches, feelings, intuition" are "all crap"!
You may consider yourself to be an urban warrior. Maybe you train daily, honing your skills with bladed and striking weapons and unarmed combat, and maybe you have fortified your home. Maybe you practice with your firearms on a regular basis and seek out the best instruction you can afford. You may be following the path of learning to use everything in your environment as a weapon and you are constantly refining your mindset and skills.
Even so, an assassin can lay in wait with a deer rifle down your block and wait for you to come out in the morning to get your paper, and pick you off just like that.
That's the house spinning 00 on the Roulette table. If your number's up, there really isn't anything you'll be able to do to stop it.
Same goes for the drunk, pill-addled woman who comes flying through an intersection against the light to T-bone you from here to infinity. Your number's up.
Or, you could be perfectly prepared and suffer a gear malfunction, or a heart attack, or any of a million things that are, ultimately, "bad luck." So keep your affairs in order and be up-to-date on your obligations, because ya just never know.
What you can do is prepare to the best of your ability. You can expand the envelope of situations that you are able to survive. No, sorry, you can't get that envelope large enough to embrace all situations, but you can make it bigger than the one available to the average fellow.
As for "hunches" and "feelings," well, ignore those at your peril. Situational Awareness is only partly an exercise in logic. You want to use every tool at your disposal. The sense that something is amiss is one of them.
Although probably primarily intended for the combatives milieu, I like some of the AMOK! precepts also:
Replication dictates training should replicate the profile of conflict as accurately as possible by employing the progressively important elements of Quality, Attire, and Environment. The five elements of Quality: opposing wills, true intention, danger, uncertainty, and variables are strictly observed, while the elements of Attire and Environment are observed as permitted
Prioritization holds profound implications permeating every aspect of training and fighting. Combative training, compelled by limited time intervals, seeks the maximum yield of functional skills for the allotted time and allows no waste of personal resources. When practices are not effectively prioritized, trainees waste their time and energy developing obscure tools for improbable circumstances.
Emphasis is the practice of repeatedly applying each tool under sufficient duress, until said tool is applicable against a fully non-cooperative adversary with consistent positive effect. Don’t just work until you get it right; work until you can’t get it wrong.
Completeness is the never-ending cycle of training that counteracts the limitations of prioritization by revisiting tactical realms to acquire remaining items on the priority list until each is complete. In developing one’s entire sphere of readiness, true completeness is never achieved. The Four Themes Theory provides a framework to explore and complete your tools.
I think that some of our best "hunches, gut-feelings, & intuitions" actually are brought forth from the subconscious mind based on past experiences, past events & situations & scenarios that we have seen or witnessed - and our eyes are seeing and recording everything but, our conscious "normal" mind is filtering out everything extranious to what is not immediately relevant to whatever it is that we are doing or occupied with at any given moment in time.
Our brains DO record everything that we see. I'll elaborate further later. I'm on my way out.
Need Proof? Watch this VID.
Finally I am wading into this thread. I don't think the OP actually realizes that we have a sense beyond sight, touch, hearing etc.
Call it ESP, intuition or whatever, but we have it and I have experienced it often and won't elaborate due to it being a long story.
Hard to explain it, but sometimes I have just "known" or "felt" that something was going to happen, became aware of that feeling and actually avoided a potentially dangerous situation. Had I not listened to that sixth-sense, the out come would have been different.
We humans do not use that sense to it's fullest, we merely pass it off as the OP said as crap.
Well I am here to state it's true, it exists and have experienced it first hand.
You go through enough heavy stuff and you learn to trust you gut, learned that the hard way before my dad clued me in that it was right....
It may not be right 100%, but its better to overprepare then underprepare.
I agree that when we have hunches, we need to find what's out of place and evaluate why. A hunch with no backing evidence means nothing. Example. My wife has had "hunches" when we go to bed that something bad will happen the next day. One time I had a broken windshield. Another her grandmother got sick. I pointed out for the next week something bad every day that could have corresponded with her hunches. Her hunches really meant nothing.
When I have hunches, it's because something doesn't fit the picture. It's not a premonition. It's something I feel about the here and now. 2 guys walking in a dark alley wearing all black at 3am...something here isn't normal. Turned out they were going to try to rob my sister's place. My feeling let me get in the combat mindset, get ready to draw my gun and act if anything happened. I've had other hunches about things that were out of place for the current situation that turned into nothing.
A real hunch isn't a feeling you know is going to come true and does. It's a feeling that lets you prepare yourself for something that may happen.
That still small voice, 6th sense, or call it what you will, but when things don't feel right they usually are not right. I partnered with 2 different Officers in my career, one man and one woman who had an uncanny 6th sense. I learned to trust them. Some people are in tune with it and some deny it. Which ever you do is your truth. I rationalized away the still small voice on occasion when I was younger, but learned to listen.
Live and learn, learn and live.
QK, thanks for that video link.
It is so incredible to see such raw ability.
That's why I only play poker. :)