What are you thinking about right now? Probably about this web page you’re reading.

Without looking, think about what’s behind you, what’s to either side of you and what is directly above you. Now that’s probably no big deal if you are in your home or office in a familiar environment.

However, everywhere you go, you take yourself out of that environment. If you get out of a car in a parking garage and you’re thinking about something else, somewhere else, you are already a likely potential victim. Effective self defense demands developing a thought process that automatically assesses every environment that you are placed in.

Everything you do to defend yourself in any situation or environment starts with thought. Thinking about where you are, what you are doing, what the potential is for danger, where your weapon is, is critical.

Whether you are in an inner city neighborhood or an upscale high priced area, criminals are looking for opportunity.

Now let’s stop to remember what criminals are doing.

They are thinking. And they are thinking all the time. What about? About what they do. Committing crime.

Most criminals that attack people in or near public places are opportunists. They are in the location they are in for one reason, to assault, rob or rape. And they are constantly waiting and thinking.

They are waiting on someone to walk down the street, get out of a car or enter a building. But not just anyone. They are waiting on someone who is not thinking. Someone who by their body language, facial expression and location is showing the criminal they are not ready for a surprise assault.

Remember my friend from the last page who was assaulted?

The guys that did it were not exactly rocket scientists. They were just two bit criminals doing what criminals do. Waiting and thinking about what they were going to do.

Even though in every other area of life, my friend is greatly superior to both of them, on that day at that moment they out-thought him.

There is another factor to consider in your necessity to think out what you do and where you go. That factor is in people or animals that will harm you because they are reactionary.

They do things in a split second that don’t make sense, but can have devastating consequences. Strong self defense thought processes are critical when being confronted by an enraged man or animal intent on doing grievous harm.

A friend of mine, who for quite a few years has been a Christian, was at one time one of the most violent individuals I have ever known. In any public location or anywhere else for that matter, if someone made him angry (which didn’t take much) he would instantly go straight for their throat (literally).

Over the years, he probably set records for the number of people he actually choked unconscious in a rage. Shortly after his conversion, and not completely in control of that rage, I put him to work for me in my contracting business.

He was still extremely rough in every area of life. Since we worked mostly on people’s private, occupied homes there were quite a few times I had to take him outside and have a serious talk with him.

He is considerably bigger than me with a long reach. Here’s where the thinking came in. I was very aware of his background and volatile personality. I was also aware of his size.

Whenever I had to address his work habits, it was never in a closed in space. When I spoke with him, I always did it further than arm’s reach away.

Awareness kept my position as safe as possible in talking to this guy who by the way, is today a great friend of mine. However, at that time I was careful how and where I had to correct his work. Awareness and positioning were thankfully the only things I ever had to do with him to defend himself.

Effective self defense requires thinking your way through avoiding criminal assault, not blundering headlong into it.

Next: Using your vision in self defense