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Awareness itself is kind of a benign word…it doesn't conjure up images of back alley brawls and high kicks so its not that glamorous. When most people hear the word 'awareness', ironically, I believe they tune out and become less aware of whats being said. The awareness I'm talking about is the razor sharp sensory development that comes through training and through understanding what the dangers are. It's the trusting of your intuition and engaging all of your senses to employ one of the most effective and devastating self protection systems known to man. The PINs, or Pre-Incident Indicators are the clues and cues that are always present leading up to violence.
PINs, pre-incident indicators can be thought of like bread crumbs. They're the bread crumbs that police investigators look for to help solve a crime. They're the bread crumbs, however big or small, that anybody could use to determine what lead up to something occurring. Of course, there are Post Incident Indicators as well, but Post means its too late. If somebody is investigating the Post-Incident Indicators of an event they are likely drawing a chalk outline around a body or, at the very least, visiting somebody in the hospital to take a statement. The Pre-Incident Indicators of violence are, therefore, much more important to become aware of so as to avoid the post investigation and aftermath.
PINs are those clues that are out there…out in the future…that give us vital information with which to make decisions and could potentially prevent a victimization. So how do these clues, these PINs, present themselves prior to an attack or a situation that we would hope to avoid?
PIN's are anything that can be tied back to an incident and seen as a lead up to its eventual occurrence. A useful PIN for avoiding a potential attack might be learning to recognize the many ruses criminals use to gain confidence and access to ones home, car, or even just your personal space. I'll do a separate article and podcast on several of the common ruses used and how to identify them but just know that you are familiar with them and will recognize them when you hear them.
There are PINs all around us in our daily lives and, when recognized, can lead us to success in many different areas. For example, the PINs for getting paid at your job might be: get up on time, shower, get dressed, drive safely to work, clock in, get to work, make some kind of progress, don't make enemies, don't piss anybody off, clock out, etc. If you can identify these successful Pre-Incident Indicators for getting paid, then you'll get a paycheck at the end of the pay period. Do this over and over and you'll experience success in that area. Fail to recognize any of the PINs for successfully getting paid and you'll likely experience an attack on your bank account by the bills piling up.
Another way to look at PINs from the non-Martial or self-defense standpoint is to examine something we do in our daily lives, like driving. Driving is filled with Pre-Incident Indicators of an impending event. recognize them and adjust to them and you make it to your destination safely. For example: when you're driving on the highway and you identify all of the subtle indicators from the other drivers that something is about to happen. A clear PIN could simply be a turn signal. This is a clear indicator that the driver either forgot to turn off their signal from a previous turn (this is a sign to be aware of a distracted driver), or that they are intending to merge into your lane. They've sent out a not so subtle signal that they have some specific intention and you'd do well to allow them the latitude to carry out this action or suffer the consequences.
The most useful tool for identifying PINs, aside from your five senses of course, is your intuition. The resource of intuition is a brilliant tool that can protect us unless we override its abilities with denial. Unfortunately, we use logic more often than intuition so we tend to trust logic more. We have developed a very sophisticated system of logic that has taught us what is likely to happen when we choose A, B, or C, usually based on experience, sometimes based on theory or something we've studied previously. But logic is slow to accept reality and spends far too much time contemplating, looking for patterns, and is burdened by judgment. Judgment slows us down as we contemplate different options, even if quickly, as opposed to a response that comes instantly from our being (or better yet, far in advance of a situation).
Here are just a few of the PINs to be aware of. These are cues and clues that should be taken note of to avoid potentially becoming a victim.
-anything that seems out of place
-anything that doesn't feel right
-anything that triggers your natural fear response
-anything about another person that makes you feel funny
-recognizing the same emotions from above in another person
-anything that sounds like it doesn't belong in that environment
-any action or behavior by another person that makes you look around and go "huh!, that was odd…"
-anything that makes you feel like you're being set up (Can be difficult for some people to recognize)
-anything that seems to be taking your attention needlessly or endlessly
-anything that keeps you from moving in the direction you intended
-anything that is out of time—doorbell ringing when nobody expected
-anything that sounds too easy or too good to be true