Personal preservation, for the purposes of this article, refers to one’s ability to keep themselves safe at all costs. I have been teaching my Personal Preservation Course to many companies both large and small since 2011. I am pleasantly surprised that more and more people are beginning to take personal security very seriously.

So one question that always comes up at these training venues is “what is the main thing or primary thing I need to know?” well as you can imagine, there are many things surrounding personal security that work hand in hand to keep you safe. It is very difficult to pinpoint one single tactic or principle that will be more important than the others. Ironically they have already committed to the one thing that stand out above the rest, they are taking a course on personal security. Thankfully by the end of the course they will understand that many factors and facets of personal security compliment one another to form a circle of security. Please note this article is by no means a “go to guide” for personal preservation but rather a small window of what it encompasses.

Right now you may be saying ok, so what?! What are the top 5 things I need to know about personal preservation?

Well here they are!

  • Maintain situational awareness

So how do I do that? Well, situational awareness basically refers to how well you are noticing your surroundings. Many people go through much of life in the “white” zone. That zone is where you are completely unaware of your surroundings and not ready at all for any time of violence or action to happen. An example of this is driving from one relatively familiar place to another. Have you ever done exactly that only to arrive at your destination wondering how you got there? Because your mind was able to go through the motion of driving (something your very used to doing) all the while daydreaming or making a shopping list in your head. That is condition “white” Always try to stay in a condition I describe as yellow. This condition means you are simply aware of your surroundings to a level where you would quickly notice a threat.

  • Look for suspicious behavioral indicators

Now that you have situational awareness, what if you notice those suspicious actions or behaviors? First let’s dive into what is suspicious. Are you asking yourself what the typical behavior for that time and place should be, or what it shouldn’t be? If you are on a subway at 6:00am in the morning what is normal behavior for that time and that place? But things change when you ride the subway back from work and a sporting event is happening downtown. What would be the “normal” behavior at that point? Do you see now how things can change based on time and place?

  • Make a tactical decision on known factors

So you’ve made yourself aware, your noticing some odd behavior or a maybe even an imminent attack on your person, now what? You may have several options or you may have few, this really is situationally dependent. You might have an option of calling for help, “sounding the alarm” (911, panic button, honking a horn etc..), you may be able to escape the danger to a safe place or find help of others, or you may be cornered and have to defend yourself. In any of these cases the key is to ACT.

  • Have the ability to negotiate an attack by either escaping or ending the attack.

If you have to defend yourself do you know how? I can’t stress enough how important it is for everyone to have some form of physical training in personal preservation. Much of this is mental mindset as well.   That said, mental mindset and physical tactics should complement one another. Look in your area and do your research for qualified and respected instructors. In my opinion, any physical tactics course should be at least 8 hours long and be principle based.

  • Report

Report your observed behaviors, attacks, suspicious activity or other concerning information to authorities! It is imperative to report this type of information as soon as it is safe to do so in an effort to recall large and small details. You don’t want these people to do harm to others and have not said anything!

I hope this article has shed even a little light on what personal preservation is, what to look for in a course as well as provide you with a few nuggets of information you can use. Be safe out there and stay out of the “white” zone!!!