Situational Awareness Training?

We talk a lot about gear, guns, range training, and dryfire training. However, an older blog post by Kevin Michalowski points out a very critical way of thinking about self-defense:

Self-defense is not about your gun, your holster, your tactical knife, your LED flashlight or any other piece of gear you can hang on your belt or carry in your pocket. It’s about situational awareness and conflict avoidance.

How do you feel about Kevin’s statement above?

What do you do to improve your situational awareness?


I consider that truth. So much that I taught what I had learned the hard way to my sons. Learn to believe, not ignore, the hair standing up on the back of your neck is for a reason. Following what Kevin is talking about there has helped me to stay out of countless bad situations.

Kinda sorta like the other maxim about stupid stuff…


It’s not just about the gear. To use another @KevinM quote “the best way to win a fight, is to not get into a fight.” Being aware of where you are, and what is going on around you, could be the difference in a being a survivor, or living with shooting someone, or even just hearing about what happened on the news.


I teach situation awareness in all of my classes.
IF your instructor is not going to teach you how to do it you have the wrong instructor.

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Situational awareness is critical to all of life. I’ve never lost a fight that never started. From where you park and knowing your surroundings to traveling to another city or state and knowing how their laws may effect you. You’ve got to be watching and thinking at all times. Be alert! America needs more lerts!


I would say avoiding being where or when you don’t belong is step 1, agreed?


Perfectly accurate. As I frequently say 95% of successful self defense is in your head.

I like to take classes to malls and big stores where we do some real world practice on it looking for potential threats, why they raise our alarms, looking for danger zones, exits etc and talk about how to not only conduct yourself so you dont’ look like an easy target but also how to keep a moving plan in your head for how to deal with emergencies at any point.

Using the gun is what you are forced to do when all your other senses, common sense, and skills have failed to keep you safe.

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Good point, we dull our senses in numerous ways and have been taught to ignore them largely for the sake of political correctness.

Nature prepares and equips us very well to defend ourselves if we will only rely on what is natural, instead of suppressing or ignoring it.