The term Awareness has several layers of definition and has been co-opted to describe many different subjects with even more different aspects. For this article the identified areas of awareness that we will highlight concerning Self Defense; Perceptual, Self, Situational and then briefly Social.
Perceptual Awareness is being conscious at some level of impulses one or more of your senses (Sight, Sound, Touch, Smell and Taste) sending a message to your brain. As we work through our training, ideally we are guided on becoming more aware of what we feel through touch. We start to pick up signals (telegraphs) of motions and to understand body language. We recognize changes in intonation, listen for context and to recognize intent. As we improve our skills we endeavor to understand our perceptions.
Self Awareness is having a clear perception of your personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions. Again, as stated in Day 1 (we will further define later in the Challenge) we work to understand, improve and apply our Five Fitness levels.
Situational awareness can be defined simply as “knowing what is going on around us”, or – more technically – as “the perception of the elements in the environment within a volume of time and space, the comprehension of their meaning and the projection of their status in the near future. We often use the Color Code of Awareness to define Situational; White- Not aware, Yellow- Aware and Identified, Orange- Recognizing there is something wrong. Red- Taking appropriate Action.
Social awareness means that you understand how you react to different social situations, and effectively modify your interactions with other people so that you achieve the best results. See Days 11-12-13 Confidence, Commitment and Compassion these combined qualities are the foundation that allow for true Courage. Not that we will be intimidated to go along with the crowd but more importantly we will have the awareness and understanding to act according to our Self Awareness.
Here is a relation or connection between each awareness that we discussed; we identify the signals (perceptions), we process them and seek to understand (self), we recognize the things and activities around us (situational) and we work to interact and coexist (social).
For improved Self Defense we would work to be conscious of each and connect them into a synergistic process. This process then allow us the opportunity to simulate scenarios for applying and testing our basic skills. Then we can analyze our successes to reinforce our responses and learn from our failures to streamline our choices and decisions.