19 October 2014

Project Pencil- The three "A"s of Survival

Hopefully some of you have identified the people you would like to reach with your own project pencil.  Some might have even spoken to the folks on your list.  The probability is high that the people you have chosen to share this with have previously not made their personal protection and preparedness a priority.  That means you need to keep your "trainings" short and interesting.  Think of them as building blocks.  By providing them a sharpened pencil you have already given them a mental trigger for what is to follow.  Everything we do is based on the foundation of the Three "A"s of Survival.  I discuss these in every class regardless of who attends from soccer moms to police officers.

Awareness-  Awareness is a buzz word in the tactikewl community.  It's use is akin to someone who knows nothing about cars asking you "what's" under the hood.  I always say "aware of what", context is needed.  We teach three types of awareness.

Personal awareness-  Before leaving the house ask yourself "out of 100% how am I feeling today?"  Am I going to be capable of "living in the moment" today or am I distracted by personal issues?  Do I feel half loopy from taking cough medicine?  Is my body working the way it should, or am I fixated on some real or imagined pain?  Based on the answers, should I change my plans in order to make me safer?

Team awareness-  Guess what, whoever is with you when something bad happens is your team.  If your luck is anything like mine when something bad happens you will not be surrounded by your A team.  In an emergency, the people with you are either an asset or a liability.  The vast majority of the time you will be surrounded by well meaning liabilities.  Since my kids hit their early teens and began to venture out with groups of friends, I emphasized two things-

1)  Bad things can happen even when you are having fun.

2)  You know more about personal protection and preparedness than your friends do.  That means whether you like it or not you are the team leader.  You protect yourself first and than worry about others.

When you are alone, their is zero confusion as to who is in charge of your well being.

Situation Awareness-  This is what most people mean when they say awareness.  But what is most misunderstood is that being aware of a dangerous situation without the ability to recognize and act on your options is like standing on the railroad tracks being excited to see the train coming but not thinking of getting out of the way.  This leads us to our next  A ..... Avoidance.

Avoidance.-  this is easier than most people think.  The problem is that people hate to be inconvenienced by their intuition.  Often the difference between life and death is acting as soon as something doesn't seem right or waiting until you have figured out what it is before acting on it.  Except for straight up ambush type situations, most situations are extremely avoidable, especially the earlier you become AWARE of them.  Most of the time this means things like deciding to stop at the next gas station for coffee because the one you had in mind has people hanging around outside or you cannot see at least two clerks inside the store from the parking lot.  Of course the level of exposure you are going to be comfortable with will be based on your Team awareness.  Are you beginning to see how creates a foundation?  Listen to that little voice in your head and cross the street,  make a turn to see if someone is following you, or just say "NO THANK YOU" when someone tries to stop you in the street.

Aggression-  This is the area where tons of people make their living...teaching people how to use aggression to survive lethal encounters.  The truth is that if you get an addicted mindset to Awareness and Avoidance, the chance of you ever having the need, time, or opportunity to use aggression is quite minimal.  What will save your life, what makes you different, is that because you have habitually practiced Awareness and Aggression, you will recognize immediately that there is no other choice but to be violent.  You will not hesitate like those that only know how to fight.  As for the population of youngsters and women that we are trying to reach with Project Pencil, the Aggression option we will concentrate right now is using the pencil to stab the attacker in the face, neck, and hands.

When you become Aware of a threat, Avoid it, if you cannot Avoid it, use overwhelming Aggression without hesitation to escape it.



  1. Anonymous11:17

    I just discovered your blog a few days ago and have learned a few things to put into practice already such as the importance of protective gloves and bandana.

    I'll be sharing this post with closer friends and family because the idea of Project Pencil is a simple but direct way to lead into the 3 As of awareness, which will help those around me slowly come to understand the part they play in their everyday safety.

    Thanks for continuing to share your experience!

  2. It's about the little things you do every day.