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Old March 4, 2010, 01:13 PM   #10
Join Date: April 30, 2008
Location: TN
Posts: 72
Great thread

I have to say that this is by far the best thread I have seen in recent years on a tactical forum.....Kudos to you pax.

Since "combat" (combat, in my definition, relates to not only military style warfare but to any life or death or potential life or death situation) truly is 3 parts mental/psychological to 1 part physical (Napoleon said it first, not me ), being in a heightened state of awareness is absolutely vital in a combat type environment (or avoiding such an occurrence altogether or simply in living your day to day life as an alert and prepared human, not as a sheep.)

The concept of being in a perpetual state of heightened awareness can be described as being "situational" or subjective to your environment. By that I mean according to what situation you find yourself in typically dictates your level of awareness. None of us, even the most tactically proficient, trained and experienced, are using the same level of awareness while sitting at our dining room table as we are while walking in a dark parking garage.

Our brains will usually fail to fully compute the full spectrum of our surrounding environments (every movement, color, smell, sound etc...) as that would cause information overload and we would not be able to function. Secret Service agents, for instance, do not scan every single face, motion, movement and person in a crowd. They will scan the environment in sectors and allow their instincts (based on intense training and natural abilities) to immediately alert them to potential danger signs. With repetitive training they learn to recognize in a flash what is danger and what is not and then they act on that information. (Acting on the information is equally important as being alert enough to see it in the first place.)

If we try to tell ourselves that there is something wrong with us when we fail to notice every element and change in our surrounding environment, we are mistaken.

To have an effective "Combat Mindset" you do not need to see and hear and feel everything. You simply need to use your training (awareness and mindset training that is), your natural "awareness abilities" and skill sets (if you posses them or even know you posses them) and then you need to make sure you do not ignore the warning signs, no matter how small or seemingly foolish they may seem.

We can always improve our awareness and focus. Even walking down the street you can read license plates of vehicles passing by or describe the clothing (to yourself of course) of people walking near you. These basic exercises help to create a form of mental muscle memory that will help you see the details when you need it most.

Again, GREAT thread. A true breath of fresh air to read.
Ben Goldstein
Sgt (Res.) Israel Defense Force
Head Instructor & Founder - Israeli Combat Training
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