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Intelligent Self Protection Solutions: Combative Psychology and Street Applied Martial Arts
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 Advanced Awareness And Weapon Identification?.. last night..

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Posts : 78
Join date : 2008-08-06

PostSubject: Advanced Awareness And Weapon Identification?.. last night..   Sun Oct 19, 2008 5:31 am

Hi guys,
Hows things?

Had something different come up at work last night that I didn't really know how to handle.

These 2 biker types come in, which is very rare around here. Anyway I have a friend who always goes out and I talk to, who has alot more experience than me and picks everything up and has helped me out a few times. Now, I am more aware than most people I know from training myself, but this guy kicks my ass in this department.

Of course just these 2 guys being in the venue created a bit of discomfort.. but what my friend said made me realize the problem it could be. He said they were both carrying (knives).. it made me quite curious and I asked him how he knows and he couldn't really explain.. he said "its in his left boot, look at the way he walks, thats how you can tell".. I watched a little and noticed the way he was putting weight on his feet seemed a little odd. And the other guy was similar, apparently he had it in the opposite side. And to confirm it my friend caught one of them out and actually got a glimpse of the blade. And one of them may be armed with a gun behind his back, something about the way he was wearing his shirt.

So basically my thoughts were to watch them and make sure they are cool.. they were having fun, seemed to get along with people, but it only takes one idiot to want to try them on.

I let another guy I work with know and he told the boss who called the cops. And I felt that if the cops come in and tried to hall them out, then that would definately enflame the situation.

Anyway we just decided to observe them and they were mostly ok. But at one point one of them got pushed out by another member of security because he missed his pool shot and smashed the cue.

He was very drunk and could barely walk so was about time for him to leave anyway. The next thing I noticed seemed to confirm the weapon in the left ankle.

Sometimes people come up with certain excuses why they won't cause trouble like "im married, I have kids" etc.. which don't necessarily mean they arent trouble.

Anyway what he used is.. he lifted his pants at the ankle of his right leg and said "I have burns over alot of my body, i'm not here to cause trouble" (doesn't make sense when you think about it)..

And he also lifted the back of his shirt to show burns there.. but he didn't go anywhere near his left ankle.. subtle.. but seemed to confirm earlier observations.

Anyway in the end it was all ok and peaceful, he left and the other one left later no dramas.

But my questions are.. any other way to deal with this than just keep quiet about it so not to alarm other people and just keep the other security alerted to whats happening, warn the police, write it in the incident book (as we did).. because I feel that any kind of confronting them about it would definately enflame things.

And the second question.. how can I learn to identify this, I have trained my awareness alot and its saved me many times.. but this kind of thing seems the next level. If my friend didn't mention it I would have had no idea at all.. and has given me the idea to observe the way people walk and observe more deeply than I already do.. and I will talk to him more, I told him I am quite curious and would love to learn what he can teach me, he offered to take me into the city for a weekend to some clubs he knows so I can observe and he can teach me some stuff. That would be a good thing for me.

Any other ideas?

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Posts : 603
Join date : 2008-02-26

PostSubject: Re: Advanced Awareness And Weapon Identification?.. last night..   Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:39 am

You could try carrying stuff yourself, just to get first hand experience on how carrying changes how you move and dress. It could just be a training blade or toy gun if you don't want to carry the real thing. It should still give you a sense of what to look for when observing other people.
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Join date : 2008-04-17
Age : 52
Location : Washington DC

PostSubject: Re: Advanced Awareness And Weapon Identification?.. last night..   Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:34 pm

tricky. all i can add for reading signs is that the thieves i watched over the years had to do something with their anxiety levels that made them stand out. it had, i think, to do with 'acting normal' and not being normal. i swear... the most common was being too chatty, and talking too loud. howz that for smooth. after a while i'd either see someone too still and quiet, or too loud and animated (mr./mrs. charisma) and i'd lock into them and watch their body--but also see if watching people while holding product. i know stealing is a different game but maybe you could watch for behavior that stands out--without the specifics, because it really varied with regards to how they managed the nervousness (overcompensation vs. shit-nervous). sometimes it's as simple as seeing someone that is 90 pounds soaking wet being way too confident (that i offer from watching my back anywhere).

this part is just how i processed the subject of close enough to do something, or far enough to run. i got into one big argument that may have almost got me fired--as a security guard, when i said..."look...if someone comes in the front door with a gun, i'm going out the back one...i'm more use on a pay phone calling the cops than bring him cookies and asking if he has everything he needs".

i never had a 'plan' for anything else...i probably should have. guns came up with other guards--moments after i'd be off getting food, etc. never directly. i'm stuck in the fight or flight mentality. guns have come up out of work, and that's all i've been able to come up with. what i noticed with the people over hear that have something to hide. they take the offensive alot. so that Richie style psychology may be real important.
'what are you looking at?'

'didn't i go to school with you, aren't you jakes brother?'

maybe that could allow you a closer look at the details without provoking anything.

the one close call with a knife i had involved a guy with his hand behind his back in a slick way. i think he had real intention to use it. he wanted surprise. the big equalizer. it was not job related. so if you can get your attention on their body and off the hypnotic eye area, that helps--maybe you already do that.
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Join date : 2008-03-28
Age : 51
Location : South Florida USA

PostSubject: Re: Advanced Awareness And Weapon Identification?.. last night..   Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:19 pm

Richard and Russell have made some excellent points.

One key mannerism to look for is that people who carry concealed weapons tend to sub-consciously place their hands near the area of, or on, the weapon(s) when they feel threatened or are conscious that someone may know they are carrying.
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PostSubject: Re: Advanced Awareness And Weapon Identification?.. last night..   Mon Oct 20, 2008 5:13 pm

I don't carry stuff but I've done so a bit and otherwise experimented with concealment a whole lot. One of the main things I'd find myself doing is worrying about concealment. I.e., is the weapon bulging thrugh clothing? has the shirt or jacket slid up over it? Those sorts of things, which would make me periodically look and feel, often correcting my clothes. Pulling down the shirt or jacket that is. If people do that over and over it's either that or they must be very self conscious about their boxer shorts or something.

Some times, if the weapon was large or simply badly held in place, such as i.e, sticking a ballpeen hammer in my waistband, it'd make me walk funny, almost as if I had some pain or something, all as an effort to stabilize the weapon so it didn't fall down my pant leg or have the handle start bulging during normal walking motion. Those might be things to look for too. Usually this will mean, slower pace of walking, shorter steps, and maybe an awkward way of doing it.

It's downright scary what can be concealed with a little bit of effort. Biggest thing I ever managed to successfully conceal was one of these I simply stuck the handle my waistband and tucked my jacket over the bladed part, which rested flat against the abdomen. The only revealing thing about it was the handle going down from the waistband, which would bulge unless I walked in a certain way, but it was still disturbingly well concealed. I was wearing completely joe normal clothing, so if it had been baggy pants and so on it could have worked even better. The next biggest thing was a knife similar to this one:

That's a lot of knife... I simply made a cardboard sheath, reinforced the top with some pieces of plastic I broke off from something and taped it up. No fancy stuff, any street punk could do it. And I attached it with safety pins to the inside of a denim jacket I used to have. Probably wouldn't work on a synthetic fibre jacket though, as I expect it would hang too much with the weight on that side. It hung vertically straight down, with the handle on top, very easy to access so long as the jacket was not closed. Also, having the jacket open actually made it easier to conceal as it would bulge less. You probably won't see much of that kind of stuff though. But I expect there to be a few people carrying on this level too. I mean, you see it on the news from time to time. Someone gets stabbed and/or murdered in the middle of town or some such place, with a big knife and even small swords. I remember some gangster type kid being arrested over carrying something like that in this town maybe last summer or so. Because he pulled it out and threatened someone with it... But do people ever take notice before that point? ...they're out there too. The freakish ninja carriers. Suspect

Normal carry... Perhaps more relevant. Folders, I'd usually clip them on the right side inside either the waistband or the pocket, depending on how much the shirt or jacket conceals. Or of extra covert I'd simply slip it in the pocket alongside the cellphone and so on. When sitting I'd be periodically checking that it wasn't falling out of the pocket, maybe pushing it to the bottom of the pocket. Can't remember ever having done that with cellphones and other crap. Seems like a weapon (or "stuff-you-want-to-keep-hidden") thing.

Fixed blades I'd usually carry in the waistband, in as horizontal a position as possible. Easy access, easy concealment. Having them on the sides or back just seemed to not work as well for keeping them covert so I'd carry them right behind the belt buckle area. Most of the mannerisms were centered on pulling the shirt down and checking that the unfastened end of the sheath wasn't sliding up out of cover, pushing it down a bit if need be. (I'd attach the top end to a belt loop or something.)

...I don't know how to summarize that. Err... The waistband and general hip and lower abdomen area all the way around the body is what you can refer to as the "weapon belt." Most weapons will be there. Hands doing stuff in that area in general, I would label suspect. Especially if it isn't just picking something (cell, chewing gum, etc) out of a pocket or simple body language, like hands on hips. I don't think most people do things like weapon-check motions and pulling at their clothes normally, at least not with any noticeable frequency or pattern. I guess hands may be something to watch. What do people do with their hands? Where do they go? And how do presumably non-carrying peoples hands go? You want to watch hands anyway when you talk to people in case they're palming a knife or something so it might be a useful extension of that habit to simply watch where the hands go when they think nobody is looking.

That's something on the basic awareness stuff anyway. I don't think it can be skipped. But the psychological angle that Russel Sage mentions seems like fertile ground for exploration. It's the stuff that can give you that seemingly psychic jedi ability to have a sense if someone is carrying just by looking at how they behave psychologically so to speak. The hardass 90 pounder and so on.
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