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Attack proof zanshin

Photo courtesy of Fatboyke
A while back I reviewed John Perkins' book, Attack Proof. I thought today I'd go back to Attack Proof as I am finishing up a month of posts focussed on the topic of zanshin in martial arts. The Attack Proof guys tell me they have a new, expanded, and much-improved 2nd edition of the book available, but the version I have in front of me is 1st edition. The first chapter is about awareness as a prerequisite to self defense. Some excellent excerpts...
  • By being aware of your surroundings, we are not talking about descending into some gobbledygook, New Age, Zen-like state of mind, but about the importance of training yourself to casually notice your surroundings all the time...
  • ...In nearly 100% of assaults, the victim had a feeling that something was wrong before anything happened...
  • ...Our primitive instincts are still fully functional, screaming at us; we're just not listening to them...
  • ...You don't have to go around in a continually paranoid state, however. Simply keep your attention outward, and if something looks amiss, you'll notice it...
  • ...Learn to trust your feelings...
What he is describing here is zanshin, and he gives numerous examples and exercises and hints for developing this sense in yourself. One of my favorite...
...every time you're out on the street: Decide to look for something during the course of your walk. For example, look for people with red shirts or people with mustaches. This gets you to open your awareness to your surroundings on a regular basis.
What I especially like about this particular exercise most is that you are not looking for a specific threat, but the trick of counting blue trucks (or whatever) gets you paying attention to your surroundings. If you were to try to look for specific threats, like large dirty men hiding in bushes, or suspicious-looking vans, then you would be concentrating your attention and actually limiting your intuition. By looking out for common, but specific items, like children with toys, you are staying aware without developing paranoid hyper-focus.
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If you are interested in the Attackproof book, please check out the 2nd edition at my Amazon store:

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Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282
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