Though the missions undertaken by special operation forces are awe inspiring, for every special mission or assignment these warriors undertake, there are countless violent events that a policeman, security officer, and average citizen are faced with on a daily basis. Robberies, workplace violence, mob violence (unruly crowds), sexual predators, active shootings/stabbings, abductions, the list goes on and on. In these moments of danger, as humans we revert to our basic instincts. Sometimes it is luck but often it is training and situational awareness that are the differentiators between surviving an incident or being wounded or worse.

Threats to one’s safety are dynamic in nature, sometimes there are red flags – signs of an impending attack or altercation; and other times violent incidents can be quite spontaneous. Situational awareness can be a life saver but it is also very subjective. If one sees threats everywhere, I would say that that person is very nervous and doesn’t understand the culture of their environment unless they are in an extremely high crime or high risk area. My friend BK Blankchtein writes quite well about situational awareness and goes into nice detail how one should be aware of their environment.

I am going a bit beyond situational awareness and writing about the physical requirements one is faced with once you have determined that a potential violent act is going to happen or is happening. Sprinting 150 feet to safety, carrying a loved in your arms or over your shoulder across 50 feet, climbing down or up a fire escape, fighting back against an assailant, etc. All of the above scenarios require one to possess a basic level of strength, agility, and quickness to survive an encounter.

Knowing what to do in case of an emergency is extremely important so is having the ability to do it. “Train, train, train”, should not be just a mantra for special operators but also for first responders and average citizens wanting the ability to overcome life threatening incidents.