3 Signs your in Immediate Danger

I recently completed the CP Journals Tactical Analysis Basic Course for Security Officers. This eye-opening class shows you how to recognize people with violent intent in two seconds or less so you can take effective action to avoid conflict.

The CP Journals Course is 8 hours of instruction in Situational Awareness taught by former Marine Patrick Van Horne. He shares knowledge developed for the Marine Corps Combat Hunter Program. Combat Hunter teaches soldiers how to proactively identify threats based on human behavior because the enemy could be anyone.

Here are 3 Threat Indicators taught to Marines that could save your life.

1 . Mission Focus The most visible threat indicator they shared is “mission focus.” This is the man staring at you and ignoring everything else going on around them.

During my experience with the lunatic in Alaska, he was mission-focused on me. I did not know it at the time, but this was a red flag.

  1. Men who check their 6 : Criminals don’t want to get caught. So they frequently look around and check their six.

During the class, they show a video of two men who rob a jewelry store, and right before the thugs pull their guns, they check there six to make sure a cop is not going to catch them in the act.

3. Smuggling Behavior : If a felon is carrying a gun and is caught by the police, he’s going to prison. He’s going to be uncomfortable and may touch the weapon stuck in his waistband multiple times. This is one example of smuggling behavior.

If you observe someone do these three things while approaching you, he is an immediate threat, and you need to take action to avoid conflict.

Have you ever seen someone mission focussed on you or check there six as they approached you and if so what happened?



I took that exact course and the advanced. The advanced one is definitely a step up. Just FYI if you’re going to take it as well.

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The only problem with the high-level signs like that is those three signs could also be people who are carrying concealed for the first time.

Mission Focus - trying to not fidget because they don’t want to draw attention to themselves and think everyone knows they have a gun on them.

Men (and women) who check their 6 - I frequently check my 6 as I do not want to come across as an easy target. Criminals mainly want easy targets - unless it’s a crime of passion. And if I’m alert and checking my 6, I am not an easy target.

  • I’ve seen countless new carriers do this. I’ve commented to a few who I knew to stop touching their firearm and then went right into mission-focused behavior.

You are absolutely correct. There were some points missed in the OP so to answer your concerns in conjunction with their training.

They mention only 2 types of people check their 6 good guys and bad guys. (Sheepdogs and wolves)

Again this is an absolute correct assessment of a behavior.

@Jonathan4 maybe should have mentioned the decision making process.

The basic way this training works is BASELINE + ANOMALY = DECISION. They tell you not every anomaly is a threat, however it is an anomaly and should be accounted for. They have a 3 tier decision tree, just like LEFT OF BANG. If you observe an anomaly you must decide to either Kill, Capture or Contact them. Those terms are used because the training is military based. I changed to wording to Engage, Contact or Observe. You start at the highest tier because it’s easier to talk yourself off the ledge than it it to talk yourself up to it. 99% of people will fall under the 3rd tier (observe)


This is a great thread, and thanks for the info, and look forward for more info to come. One of the many reasons for my EDC, was when I walked in on a drug store robbery in place, and was commanded to position execution style. If I would have any training, I would have not advanced into robbery in place. Yes I was lucky. There were several “signs” I missed.

#1 no one was at front counter by register.
#2 why was a man in plain clothes standing beside the pharmacist in his white jacket, at that point I didn’t witness a firearm
#3 as I approached the pharmacist counter, why was the perp getting nervous and looking around, I was in complete unawareness
#4 the look on the face of the pharmacist was horrible
#4 the perp had a revolver, and kept it close to himself
#5 why did the perp keep looking at the exit door
#6 why did perp start to shake as his voice trembled when he told me what do
#7 why did the perp command me to kneel execution style, facing away from him
No 1 above was the first sign, something was wrong, #2 really wrong. At that point I should have exited, or not proceeded. I did not have any defense tool, nor a cell phone with me.

Training is so important! Even if one does not choose to carry a tool for defense, one may avoid a situation or threat!

Again thank you!


The easiest gun fight to win is the one you were never in.

I’ve been fascinated with INTUITION and how it works along with how the body is subconsciously controlled by the mind. GIFT OF FEAR, LEFT OF BANG, ON COMBAT, ON SPIRITUAL COMBAT, are a few examples of books that break this stuff down very well. It’s a very deep rabbit hole but one I’ve enjoyed exploring.



I wrote this at 7:00 am before fully awake. Sheepdog 556 is totally correct in what he said.

The Formula is Baseline + Anomaly = Decision

I should have explained that in the original post.

Men (and women) who check their 6 - I frequently check my 6 as I do not want to come across as an easy target. Criminals mainly want easy targets - unless it’s a crime of passion. And if I’m alert and checking my 6, I am not an easy target.

Dawn this is totally correct.

My baseline behavior is I check my six on a regular basis as do a lot of protectors. When I first started carrying I also was guilty of smuggling behavior frequently so that was almost baseline behavior for me.


Thanks for the heads up on the advanced course and I am going to take the advanced one. Also thank you for clarifying what I meant to write. I was half asleep this morning when I wrote the original post.

Wolves and Sheepdogs look and act alike in some ways.

For me personally when I see these 3 Threat Indicators I know the individual is one of three things

  1. Help/ Fellow Sheepdog:
  2. Possible Threat
  3. Threat

I have to pay attention and observe their behavior to discover which of the three they are.

I will say this though at the bottom of my original post I said

“If you observe someone do these three things while approaching you, he is an immediate threat, and you need to take action to avoid conflict”

At this point in my life if someone checked there six as they were walking towards me and touched there waistline area where a weapon could be and was mission-focused on me. If they did all 3 behaviors on the approach then yes I would label them as a threat.

The reason why is all three Threat Indicators in a compressed time period on the approach is an anomaly that demands a decision. Plus the rule of 3 kicks in from the course.

For the record If I label someone as a threat then I may just leave the environment to avoid a potential conflict. If I am wrong and the person is not a threat then nothing happens.

I may go into verbal deterrence mode if I don’t have time to leave.

A phrase like " Can you back up I may have the virus and don’t want to give you the plaque"

This phrase is meant to be gentle and not disrespect the guy.

If the possible threat backs off or walks away then all is well, if he ignores the boundary then he is confirmed as a Threat.

SKIdahoUSCCA Training Counselor

So you walked into an armed robbery in progress. I imagine that was scary.

Most people walk around spaced out and unaware of there world. The journey to becoming aware of your surroundings and scanning for Threat Indicators normally starts after something bad happens.

I have written a couple of posts recently about Threat Indicators. You may want to check out.

The book " The Gift of Fear" is well worth reading or listening to on audible.

Thanks for sharing your story and lessons learned.


The very first sign of danger in this thread is not knowing the difference between you’re and your SMH

My first thought also.

@Jonathan4. No worries. You’ll find on this forum people MOSTLY just want to clarify a statement not pick a fight. It is a public forum but you’ll be able to sort thru the muck very quickly.

I’ve found when questioned in this forum it is just to be thought provoking not necessarily condescending. All of us have made “incomplete” posts or comments.

If there is anything you’d like to discuss or want help with please PM me on here, I would be happy to help in anyway I can.


Former Special Agent AFOSI, counter-intel, military and security consultant. I always “check six.” Countersurveillance and self-preservation. But, I’ve learned to generally sweep an area with my eyes and remember what I see, so I don’t usually stare at someone. Now, if a potential attacker is coming at me, he’s getting the full brunt of my “I’m going to end you.” stare. Only exception is if I spot out of the corner of my eye someone running at me (or in a window reflection), I might wait until they get into a closer kill zone as the situation warrants (carrying a bat or 2X4 or knife vs. a firearm).


Why would you wait until someone gets closer to you, @lewis3?

FYI - for those newer to self-defense or just starting out in your self-defense journey, civilians don’t usually use the term kill zone. It’s more of a military term.

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More shock value. I can quickly draw my weapon in under a second and train it on the attacker. I don’t recommend it for those who have their weapon in their purse or not easily accessible. Most times, however, the attacker will be within 15-20 feet, anyway…

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Pickpockets do not generally do this, they do not want you to suspect you are a target.

Be aware of people not acting/appearing like others in the area. That always gets my attention, as I travel frequently enough to know that as someone visibly not from the area, I am more likely to be a target.

I understand that is one of the cues LE looks for. If I ever need to “adjust myself”, I am careful to only grab my belt, in typical man behavior. :slight_smile: They might be cued in to me if they look at my belt, as it is a fairly heavy belt, but one kind of needs it when carrying a full-frame .45. :slight_smile:

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