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Self-Defence Early Warning Signs

Self-Defence: Early Warning Signs, Helping To Keep You Safe

You go to walk into a room and as soon as you open the door you know something doesn't feel right. That is an early warning sign. Should you just ignore it?

You're walking down the street and you suddenly don't feel safe. You think you are being silly. After all the street has always been safe and you know everyone in it. That is an early warning sign. Do you just brush it off?

The dogs in the street are barking, just like they always do. Yet you can't put your finger on it. Something seems wrong. Do you just ignore it?

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Early Warning Signs Are Unconscious, Not Conscious

These experiences do not happen randomly. In his book "The Gift of Fear", Gavin de Becker gives examples of how people obeying these early warning signs have saved their lives. So of course you should never ignore them.

An Early warning sign is something that you experience when you JUST KNOW SOMETHING IS JUST NOT RIGHT but you can't figure out what. We've all had that feeling from time to time. But did you know that it is based on reality? No, it is not ESP. It is however based on something your unconscious has detected and your conscious has not.

The thing about early warning signs is that they are hard to detect. Our modern society has taught us to ignore our unconscious. Hence even though there are clear physical signals they are disregarded by us. So relearning does take a bit of practice.

It could be something as simple as when you go to enter a room, your curtains flittering. Just the tiniest little bit, when you know that you closed the window. but the flutter is so minuscule that your conscious didn't notice. What's more, as I said your body may have physical manifestations. You can teach your conscious to know the signals of your unconscious.

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Learning to recognise The Warning

The simple part is not to ignore your unconscious. The hard part is recognising the physical signs that tell you how serious this threat is.

In my Judo classes and my Ladies' self-defence course called "Looking Out For Yourself", I teach that these signs are:

Not what you Think
Not what you Feel
Not what you Think you Feel
But is what your Body Feels

The problem is that the physical manifestations of an unconscious threat are very numerous. They could be:

  • itchy nose
  • itchy palms
  • sweaty palms
  • hairs on the back of your hand/neck standing on the edge
  • sudden wobbly knees or any part of your body for that matter
  • sudden shaky voice
  • unusual blinky eyes
  • unusual tingles, especially if they are in unusual places

The list goes on. Every time I bring it up with my students they come up with something new. It is unique to you. 

Because of that, no one can say this or that physical manifestation is your warning sign. No one can teach it to you per se. You have to work it out for yourself.

Fortunately, there is a way of learning

How To Work Out Your Own Personal Early Warning Sign

High-threat personal warning signs thankfully have the same effect on your body as high excitement. What I explain to my students is that your body will react in the same way when you get very excited as it will when you are very frightened and perhaps don't know it.

Learning is simple then the next time you get very excited try to remember to stop for a while and figure out what your body is doing. This kind of remembering is not easy of course but If you can work it out it may save your life.

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