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Spiritual and emotional fitness derives from heightened levels of consciousness. It also stems from awareness of what Winter Watch teaches, which is that evil and malice exist. In a society that is breaking down, expect more of this, not less.

Awareness is a form of alertness and stems from increased activity at the prefrontal cortex, the region that governs abstract thinking, language, rationality and higher-level functioning.

If your human brain is being hijacked by a chimp, then you’ll most definitely succumb to your irrational thinking patterns and will thus create potentially dangerous emotions. If it’s the crocodile or reptilian brain firing too much, then you’ll become more aggressive or fearful and may become paralyzed by your anxiety.

To develop spiritual and emotional fitness, you need to have discipline, willpower and mindfulness. Those three characteristics or faculties are skills in and of themselves and are derived from the prefrontal cortex.

First, notice yourself. To become more self-aware, you have to be able to take a step back from whatever it is to which you’re currently exposed. This can be difficult to do, because the monkey mind can actually override rational thought. If, however, you manage to take a step back in the situation, see yourself from an outside perspective and take a few deep breaths, then you’ll regain conscious control. All great athletes have the ability to mentally go into temporary slow motion and then kick back into full action.

Distance yourself from the situation for a moment. You shouldn’t follow your immediate urges.

Empower a plan or reaction, and once determined engage in it all-out not half-assed.

The following videos provide some situational examples that permit you to mentally game-out or think-out real life situations.

In the first one, the guy in green is not spoiling for a fight. But as we will see, he likely has some fighting skills, probably from wrestling. The guy in black, although about the same size, decides to dominate and be the aggressor.

The error here is that the situational awareness of the defender kicks in too slowly, and he allows the attacker to get in his face. NEVER allow anybody in that close. The arms and hands need to come in play and be extended to maintain personal space. The defender pays by taking a head butt. Next, the defender does a poor job with only one hand in controlling distance. The attacker has him held and, showing his right hand in plain sight pre-attack mode slaps the defender.

The defender, despite two blows, does maintain good clear-headed emotional fitness and finally now has a plan. The fact that he was playing passive possum up to this point allowed him to surprise the attacker with a head-control and throw-outside capture move at minute 00:02:20. He does a nice job of throwing his full body weight right on top of his adversary.

In example No. 2 from Brazil, we see a gunman approach and mug a group of men. The guy in orange is packing a cancelled weapon. He maintains incredible emotional fitness throughout and “waits his turn” as this plays out. He uses his companion as concealment to rather slowly pull out his weapon. He then careful takes aim and fires one effective round at the robber. The instructor in the video gives sound advice on why fast draws and fires are not the best approach.

In the comments section, others viewers expound as to why he didn’t counter-ambush with multiple rounds. In fact, Mr. Orange showed terrific situational awareness, combined with emotional fitness. He knew instinctively that hurrying and missing the shot would jeopardize everybody, as would just firing off more rounds in pursuit.

In example No. 3 below, we see a very bad situation, an in-the-open kidnapping. The victim, lacking emotional fitness, is paralyzed and ultimately allows herself to quickly be put into a car and driven off.

Bystander Effect

This kidnapping happened despite the fact that there were onlookers. Keep in mind though that bystanders often do not help. Odds are about one in three that they will. To increase the odds of bystander assistance, if you think someone is going to grab you/kidnap you, scream “I don’t know this person!”

Timothy Hart and Ternace Miethe used data from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) and found that a bystander was present in 65% of the violent victimizations. Their presence was most common in cases of physical assaults (68%), which accounted for the majority of these violent crimes, and less likely in robberies (49%) and sexual assaults (28%). The actions of bystanders were most frequently judged by victims as neither helping nor hurting (48%), followed by helping (37%), hurting (10%) and both helping and hurting (3%).

The split second she saw she was going into the car, she should have put up the fight of her life, screaming at the top of her lungs for help. In fact, she should have never left the more in-the-open back of the car without attempting to run or fight.

A number of lessons in No. 4, first and foremost to never go out at 2:30 a.m. There’s nothing but spiritual evil out at that hour. This is when the druggies, mentally disturbed and satanic howlers are out. This is doubly so if you are vulnerable prey, such as women, the drunk, the elderly, the handicapped or full-fledged pajama people. Pajama people give creepy behavior far too much slack, as you will see here. Yes, there is such a thing as social Darwinism.

Read: A Word About Authoritarian Followers and Dealing with Pajama People

In this case, a handicapped man is taunted as he goes back to his car after a trip inside a convenience store. But rather than quickly getting into his car and leaving, he turns and faces a goon with his hands in his pockets. At minute 00:02:45, the goon gets into a pre-attack posture and just winds up for a full punch to the face. The handicapped pajama victim shows a complete lack of situational awareness throughout.

The final example shows a 71-year-old laundry employee who ended up dying from a beating at the hands of a thug. When you watch the clip, one wonders why he didn’t just stay in place in the back and call police. Instead, perhaps displaying too much ego, he comes out to confront two of the thugs. Lacking in situational awareness, he sets himself up for an ambush as another thug comes up behind him with a rifle. Street thugs often use a three-man team, with the third as a spotter or ambush reinforcement.

We are not here to judge or blame the unfortunate victim. The intent is only to take away survival lessons in potentially lethal situations. What’s interesting is that the larger unarmed thug at minute 00:01:45, is not overly aggressive and in a signalling manner, tries to break up and restrain the older man from getting a hold of the weapon. The thug does not try to even take him down. Instead, of complying the older guy continues to struggle for the weapon (bad move!) and then, lacking the necessary physical ability or plan for making such a choice, falls to the floor. In the process, this thoroughly pisses off the gunman, who hammers him with the butt of the weapon.

In this situation, compliance and backing down and watching your back would have been a far better option than directly taking on three armed thugs, one of whom appeared to be the hot head. He could have then worked with spacing and protected his head and neck while trying to remain standing upright. There was also a very good chance that the thugs would have just grabbed their money and left.

More Situational Awareness Tactics

If someone is coming at you, look for anything you can to put between you — a counter, a chair, a telephone pole, a car, another person, shopping cart, whatever.

Look for an object to grab that can be used as a weapon and don’t let go of it.

If you walking alone at night, listen to every sound and watch shadows. Careful around corners, alleyways and parked cars. Better to walk in the middle of the street then next to parked cars or past blind corners. Keep your head up and hands out of your pockets. No staring at your phone. If you have keys on you, hold them in your fist and fan them out between you fingers. Walk with shoulders back. Try to look confident, purposeful. Meet people’s gaze in a manner that’s unafraid but non-confrontational. Your quick glance should simply express “I see you there. I’m situationally aware.” If someone says something to you, just keep walking. If they follow or continue trying to engage you, look for establishment to go into and don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask them to call the police.