Updated: Mar 3
If you haven't read the piece that I posted on "The Art of Street Smarts" be sure to read it before you read this and the other "Street Smarts" blogs that will follow because now I am going to give you some tips on how to start conditioning yourself to become street smart!
"ART OF STREET SMARTS" Lesson 1
When you are out in the streets you will encounter many different types of people. And "people" are the most dangerous element of the streets because they all have an agenda that may or may not include you for the day. You have to be aware of and pay attention to every person that comes within your contact distance. Eventually I will teach you how to profile and predict their possible acts but first I am going to teach you about the most important person that will have the biggest impact on what happens to you when on the streets. This person is YOU!
You have to get to know yourself first and I am not talking about your name, job, home address and favorite color. I am talking about the things that can matter in a situation. Here is a list of things that you need to identify about yourself:
What are your athletic capabilities. What are your running, climbing and jumping limits or restrictions? Assure that whatever they are, you never position yourself on the streets where your safety or life may depend on your ability to execute a physical feat that you can not execute. Plan ahead.
What are your combative abilities. How well can you strike, clench, and grapple? Whatever your limits are, try to avoid positioning yourself on the streets around people who you can not defeat with your combat skills.
Are you willing to carry a weapon and if so, what kind? Admit to if you won't or will carry a weapon. If you choose to carry one be sure that it is one that you WILL NOT hesitate to use and CARRY IT! Buy a HIGH QUALITY weapon. Learn the laws about owning, carrying and using it in a defense situation. Get trained to use it properly. Practice with and master it. Then carry it with you like you carry your underwear.
What do you assume you will you do if confronted by a potential attacker? You must admit to yourself if you think you would you freeze, run, do as they say out of fear, or attack them ferociously? Be sincere in your answer. Don't have delusions of being a super hero. Admitting to how you may respond will allow you the power to identify and avoid places of potential danger because you KNOW that you will fail if something occurs. You give yourself a chance at succeeding before you are shocked by a situation.
Are you bad at handling confrontations? If you are, learn to read the signs that announce that a confrontation is coming your way and elude it before you have to face it. Don't get into situations that you can not properly handle. Shut it down before it surfaces. Signs of a brewing confrontation can be: -extended eye contact. -staring. -quick approach to you. -raised voice. -pointing fingers. -demanding questions. -belittling remarks or gestures.
Are you too confrontational? Do you have a hot head that may take things too far too fast? Are you the bold strong type who won't back down from anyone or anything for any reason even if it's a stupid reason? If this character trait is one of yours then you must admit to it so you can protect yourself and others, from yourself. The streets are FULL of people who are ready to test and aggravate confrontational people. The streets are like a mine field for you. You are guaranteed to eventually run into one. If you are highly confrontational you must seize total control of what places and type of people you allow yourself to be around when on the streets. Everywhere that you go and and everything that you do should be structured around avoiding button pushers, tense environments, and most importantly, people just like yourself.
Can you accept being injured while defending yourself? If you can, identify to what extent. Will you take a black eye, a busted nose, a broken arm, a knife cut or stab wound, a bullet?! Identify how far you are willing to go then you can regulate how far you are willing to fight before retreating. Knowing your limits will allow you to fight hard without hesitation and with clarity of what you are willing to do.
Are you willing to surrender your belongings to avoid a violent conflict? If you will surrender your belongings to a criminal then assure that you are positioned to make the transaction as smoothly and quickly as possible. Also assure that it is an amount or item that you can afford to lose because it is valueless or insured. Even though some may view this as a cowardly way to respond to a robber, I personally am telling you that it IS NOT! It is STREET SMART to place LIFE before MATERIAL ITEMS. I myself carry only an amount of money that I am willing to lose at all times. It would be mindless for me to chance taking a bullet in the groin or lung over replaceable items.
The answers to these questions about yourself will allow you to build a profile of your potential when placed in the streets. There is no weaker, stronger or tougher profile in this system because there is no "tough" or "strong" in being "smart". There is only identifying and addressing. No profile is better or worse than another. Your self-profile empowers you to select where you will and won't place yourself on the streets, just as our military decides where they will and won't place our elite military personnel. They would never place an Airborne Ranger where a Navy Seal should be. You are using the exact same strategy.
My elaboration behind each of the bold questions is an answer for you to the question asked. Be thoughtful to adjust the answer to fit into your unique lifestyle. For instance, my answer to #6 Are you too confrontational? is YES! I am extremely confrontational therefor I stay away from places where senseless confrontations can occur such as drinking establishments. And if I do choose to attend a place such as this I assure that it is one that my friend owns and that the security are associates of mine. I also regulate what days and times that I go so I can avoid potential trouble makers. I also am very selective of the people that I allow myself to be around. I control myself and everyone else by controlling what I subject myself to. This is "The Art of Street Smarts"! I outsmart potential problems before they can develop around me. And you have just received your first lesson so you can start doing the same. Go be Street Smart!
And THIS, ...is a "way", of the "Warrior's Edge"! -Jermaine Andre'
Let me know in the comments what you think about this lesson. Does it speak to you? What are some personal questions that you have regarding your discomforts when out in the streets? Ask me here in the comments.