Can situational awareness be taken too far? - Page 2

Can situational awareness be taken too far?

This is a discussion on Can situational awareness be taken too far? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Can it be taken too far ?? Yes I think it can... I think most people likely carry it too far. It doesn't take special ...

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Thread: Can situational awareness be taken too far?

  1. #16
    VIP Member Array Fizban's Avatar
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    Can it be taken too far ?? Yes I think it can... I think most people likely carry it too far.

    It doesn't take special training to simply pay attention to what is happening around you. Most human beings have a decent innate ability to subconsciously seek out danger indicators. That said, I believe you do need training to avoid information overload (aka) information induced paralysis . Risk and danger assessments are about knowing what to look for, what to exclude and understanding what impact different conditions will have on your safety. Its about detecting the ripples in the water and understanding what is causing it, how it likely will effect you and how best to respond. Untrained people generally construct far too much drama into their situational awareness efforts. They generally make it a huge production which is filled with inconsequential information developed from mentally exhaustive effort.

    I have participated in a few SA workshops only to be reminded of how little skill I actually have. I have learned a lot that I think is helpful but I will always be have a students interest in continued learning. For those who know what a ping pong paddle in the coffee shop means... that's the scenario I failed 3 times. I never saw that attacker the first 2 times and although I suspected the correct attacker in the 3rd, I waited too long to react ( second guessing myself) and failed again.

    What I do know is if you are working alone.. total situational awareness is rarely ever achieved. You work toward it but it really requires more information than you can likely gather alone. The best I can typically hope for is a bubble of awareness within my overall situation. To those who are interested in SA, ..please get some training. It will help you hone your skill 100 fold in a very short period of time. Until then, just pay attention.

    ps- and for the love of all things holy, please stop memorizing what everyone in the room is wearing or what the people behind you ordered for dinner. STOP IT ;)
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  2. #17
    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    Practicing Good SA is a good thing. Having your head on a swivel and paying attention to your surroundings is a life skill, not just a defensive skill. Can it be taken to far? of course it can. However, just look around at todays youth, they have none. They trip over there own feet. Keep it balanced and all should be fine....

    If you are trying to prepare for one that has your name on it, stop, the one that has your name, has your name.
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  3. #18
    Senior Member Array bill35738's Avatar
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    At my age I figure I have about 3 lives left out of 9! So I guess I'm not doeing to bad!!!
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  5. #19
    Ex Member Array Dave909's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harryball View Post
    Practicing Good SA is a good thing. Having your head on a swivel and paying attention to your surroundings is a life skill, not just a defensive skill. Can it be taken to far? of course it can. However, just look around at todays youth, they have none. They trip over there own feet. Keep it balanced and all should be fine....

    If you are trying to prepare for one that has your name on it, stop, the one that has your name, has your name.
    That's because the youth and the adults of today can't see 10 inches in front of their face due to it being blocked by their phones.

  6. #20
    Ex Member Array Doogie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    Can it be taken too far ?? Yes I think it can... I think most people likely carry it too far.
    and for the love of all things holy, please stop memorizing what everyone in the room is wearing or what the people behind you ordered for dinner. STOP IT ;)
    Why?


  7. #21
    VIP Member Array Hoganbeg's Avatar
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    Paranoia is chronic overwhelming fear, which is an emotion. Situational Awareness is merely being cognizant of your environment. They are two different things. Awareness can lead to fear but needn't necessarily do so.

    Really, I think SA is a misnomer. It is really a multi-step process that involves being aware and then assessing the activity for risk. A third step (not really part of awareness) would be knowing what actions you yourself might take to either mitigate or confirm a threat. A large part of it is knowing what is normal behavior and what is not. What looks out of place? That takes training and practice to develop. Once you can properly assess the environment you are in, you can comfortably live in condition yellow.

    If you find yourself being fearful you probably need more training/experience.
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  8. #22
    VIP Member Array Libertywheel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave909 View Post
    That's because the youth and the adults of today can't see 10 inches in front of their face due to it being blocked by their phones.
    So true.
    Doing my best to stay left of boom.

  9. #23
    VIP Member Array Fizban's Avatar
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    Situational Awareness is merely being cognizant of your environment
    being cognizant of your environment is merely the door mat that sits upon the threshold of situational awareness.
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  10. #24
    Ex Member Array AzQkr's Avatar
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    SA is great to have, but it's of little value, many times, if you aren't familiar with recognizng pre assault indicators.

  11. #25
    VIP Member Array Fizban's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzQkr View Post
    SA is great to have, but it's of little value, many times, if you aren't familiar with recognizng pre assault indicators.
    Its all part of the process.. indicators are ripples in the water. Its why I keep saying that you need to understand what you are seeing and know how it effects your safety as well as other objectives. Body language cues, kinesics, biometrics, para-language, meta-communication.. it all goes hand in hand and its all part of SA.
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  12. #26
    VIP Member Array jmf552's Avatar
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    I like the linked video by Jeff Cooper about his color codes. What I think of as an important concept is that of "Condition Yellow." Condition White, the lowest level of preparedness is "relaxed and unaware," whereas Condition Yellow is "relaxed and aware." Also in Condition Yellow, you are accepting, but not necessarily stressing, on the fact that "today could be the day." Nothing in that says paranoia to me, nothing in that says anxiety or a tendency towards overreaction. However, if something does happen, you prevent the reaction of "What's happening >>> This can't really be happening>>>Oh, it is happening! >>> What do I do?"

    When I was a Navy aviator, we constantly strove to be in something like Condition Yellow all the time: On the flight deck, in the plane, in the air, etc. Even life on the ship required awareness. A hatchway could open in front of you as you were walking down a passageway at any time.

    Awareness is a great thing. I think living life unaware is only half living it and I'm as guilty as anyone. If you want to have a good diet, be aware of what you eat. If you want to drive safely, be aware of your driving, the road ahead and everyone else's driving. If you really want to enjoy nature, be aware of it. To really enjoy art or music, you have to develop an awareness of it, not just passively look at it or listen to it. I don't see self-defense situational awareness as being any different. I actually don't think you can have too much of it, but I do think you can attach too much stress to it. Again, "Relaxed and aware."

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  13. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzQkr View Post
    SA is great to have, but it's of little value, many times, if you aren't familiar with recognizng pre assault indicators.
    Observing, processing and reacting to those indicators are what the OODA loop and SA are all about.
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  14. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoganbeg View Post
    Paranoia is chronic overwhelming fear, which is an emotion. Situational Awareness is merely being cognizant of your environment. They are two different things. Awareness can lead to fear but needn't necessarily do so.

    Really, I think SA is a misnomer. It is really a multi-step process that involves being aware and then assessing the activity for risk. A third step (not really part of awareness) would be knowing what actions you yourself might take to either mitigate or confirm a threat. A large part of it is knowing what is normal behavior and what is not. What looks out of place? That takes training and practice to develop. Once you can properly assess the environment you are in, you can comfortably live in condition yellow.

    If you find yourself being fearful you probably need more training/experience.
    Particularly this last sentence, but I agree with all of it.

    It seems that behavior which is borderline paranoia has taken control of many people.
    If you pay attention you can identify it in what people say, and how they prepare.

    I think it issue in part from an overload of inet info that focuses on the exception and makes people think it's the rule. After a while, if you do not process the info correctly, you will become unbalanced in your thinking, preps, and activities.

    My suggestion is get a life, enjoy it, have a plan, but don't get caught up in the negative.
    " Blessed is that man, who when facing death, thinks only of his front sight.”
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  15. #29
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    Driving is the best example the use of the OODA loop and situational awareness that I can think of. The pre-indicators Brownie speaks of are ever-present when traveling at highway speeds in congested traffic. Where am I in relationship to other vehicles? Keep my eyes moving, check speed, mirrors, sides, blind spots, distance from other vehicles, observe and plan for dangerous acts by fellow travelers, etc. The more effectively I am able to process and plan/react to those indicators, the safer I can be.
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  16. #30
    VIP Member Array jmf552's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    Driving is the best example the use of the OODA loop and situational awareness that I can think of. The pre-indicators Brownie speaks of are ever-present when traveling at highway speeds in congested traffic. Where am I in relationship to other vehicles? Keep my eyes moving, check speed, mirrors, sides, blind spots, distance from other vehicles, observe and plan for dangerous acts by fellow travelers, etc. The more effectively I am able to process and plan/react to those indicators, the safer I can be.
    Mike, as we've discussed, about a year ago I took up motorcycle riding. What you describe about driving is multiplied on a bike. Riders have to look closer at road conditions and other drivers. The gal who taught my rider's course said, "Ride like you are invisible, because most of the time, you are." I know riding a bike has improved my car driving and perhaps my all-around SA.
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