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Self-Protection Without Effort by Mark Hatmaker



We’ve already established that predators of all species seek the path of least resistance when selecting prey. That rule hold true whether we are discussing victim selection or property selection. To further illustrate this point, place yourself in the predator role momentarily and answer the following questions honestly.


You decide to steal a car and are presented with two vehicles sitting side-by-side. One is locked and appears to have an alarm system activated, the other is unlocked and the keys are in the ignition.

Which do you choose?


You are walking through the mall and decide a little extra cash would be nice. You start scanning people in your immediate area and notice two women waiting at a counter, their backs are turned. One is holding her purse to her side, the clasp is closed, the other has her purse slung towards her back, the mouth of the purse is wide open with contents easily in view and easily accessible.

Which purse do you choose?

You decide that you would like to enter into a physical altercation with someone but want enough wiggle room so that it doesn’t look too deliberate, where and when do you look for such opportunities? Do you choose a bar with a bad reputation on a Friday night? Or, do you choose a Bible study class on Sunday morning?


You are a serial rapist, you stake out a parking lot looking for your next victim. You notice two young women enter the parking lot, one is walking head-up seemingly alert with her keys already in hand.

The other is multi-tasking, she stands at her car door fumbling in her purse for her keys, and seems to be texting at the same time.

Who do you choose?

Presuming one does not wish to be caught, the answers to the above are obvious; predators choose the easiest victim--the victim that provides optimum opportunity for success. Every habit you possess that increases the ease of acquisition for a predator means that you are edging into the opportunity column. Every precaution you take to reduce criminal opportunity increases your personal safety.


The fact that crime is, by and large, a product of opportunity is great news. By understanding that certain habits create greater opportunity for loss of life or property, that certain environments are more conducive to these crimes, and that even certain times of day or night can work for or against us we can make choices that vastly improve our odds of ever having to use any of the actual tactical material in this book.


Even a cursory reading of the literature that studies criminal behavior in depth reveals that approximately 90% of criminal activity is of the opportunistic variety. That leaves a 10% area that’s out of our hands, the sort of crimes we encounter when we see shootings erupt in malls, or vehicles driven through restaurant windows before opening fire as we saw in Killen, Texas in 1991 that left 24 dead. To be frank, this 10% is the tough part to prepare for but, it can be done to some degree (as we will soon get to) but, that 90% that makes up the large majority of crime, we need to grasp the significance of that number.


If we take every step that we can comfortably make to reduce the opportunity earmarks then we have, in a sense, made 90% of the journey towards being a “master of self-defense” without ever having to learn one single physical defense tool. We need to grasp just how empowering this 90% figure is and revel in the fact that a few simple acts of habit can render much of what follows in the physical defense section null and void. Nothing would make me happier than to see every single reader of this book alive and well and of the firm belief that the physical work was a complete waste of time because they exercise good opportunity reduction habits.


Opportunity reduction is key. Again, to flog that horse, crime is 90% a product of opportunity; reduce opportunities for crime and the self-defense has taken care of itself.

For Situational Awareness Drills and Concepts see our NSC Program.]

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