An essential warrior skill that we must embody to enable effective action is situation awareness.
“Situation awareness, situational awareness, or SA, is the perception of environmental elements with respect to time and/or space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their status after some variable has changed, such as time.” – Wikipedia
The team over at Ready 5 has posted an excellent article on what situation awareness and the OODA loop is. This is a great read for any student of the martial arts and anyone interested in self defense.
Last weekend, on a bright San Diego morning, we ran BTSDsd and Jing students through an class designed to trigger development of SA skills. It was designed to trigger the students’ nervous system and incorporate the Cooper’s Color Codes (listed below).
- White – Readiness is non-existent. The individual’s readiness would be white if he were asleep, or reading a book, or otherwise without any perception of his surroundings or movements within them.
- Yellow – Readiness is general. The individual is aware of his surroundings and monitoring what is happening in those surroundings.
- Orange – Readiness is specific. The individual is aware of any activity or person within his surroundings which presents a threat.
- Red – Readiness to face danger. The individual is aware of an immediate threat, which will likely result in the use of deadly force.
- Black – Breakdown of cognitive functions.
In my experience with the martial arts, self defense, and the Bujinkan – we have heard many times: “you must develop awareness of your surroundings…” However, the tools to do so were missing. At Bujinkan Taka-Seigi Dojo | San Diego, we’ve taken the best we’ve learned from our military experience, research into leathal force encounters, and what we learned from our martial arts training and have selected the best of breed. From there we have built a training curriculum to effectively deliver it in a repeatable manner.
SA is taught in rudimentary forms in many places such as the Karate dojo for sparring, the Judo mat for competitions, Aikido for kata. However, at BTSDsd, we’ve designed the SA course to focus on a street situation. By taking students out of the training hall we’re better enabling them to handle real life.
To all our students – we’re going to be running this course again soon. See you there!