Paul Blart Probably Has Better Situational Awareness Than You

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Situational awareness is one skill every survivalist must posses. You have to be eager to always know what is going on around you so you can respond fast to whatever threatens your security. Read more to learn what it takes to master the art of situational awareness.

Situational Awareness

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Maybe not, but his mantra is being more widely embraced in the firearm community. When he made that statement, Officer Blart was referring to situational awareness. Properly taught and applied, it is a process that becomes so instinctual that it’s almost like muscle memory.

Paul Blart Probably Has Better Situational Awareness Than You

“The mind is the only weapon that doesn't need a holster.” –Paul Blart, Mall Cop. Dir. Steve Carr. Sony, 2009. Film.

If you’re familiar with building muscle memory, then you're also familiar with the value of dedicated repetition. Unfortunately, the repetition that a lot of us have been taught is simply focused on execution. By the end of this, you will have the tools and a better context in which to pursue the development of your own situational awareness from the ground up instead of simply trying to memorize license plate numbers like Jason Bourne.

First, let’s explore what problem Situational Awareness is trying to solve.  Primarily, applied Situational Awareness aims to decrease distractions while opening up your flow of information. All too often, that flow of information is coming from a little 3×6” screen in your hand.

In a 2015 survey, three-quarters of drivers reported seeing others text in the car, amongst a litany of other self-inflicted distractions. While that study focused on driving safety, those numbers are quite revealing of what we do when we think no one's watching. Great, so we already know that we’re terrible drivers and addicted to our phones. What next?

Paul Blart Probably Has Better Situational Awareness Than You

At Game 5 of the World Series, how many distractions do you see?

Photo by Atlas Defense

The OODA Loop

There are numerous approaches to implementing Situational Awareness, and they all revolve around learning and applying a new mental model. The mental model taught by Atlas Defense and many other personal protection coaches is that of the Observe, Orient, Decide, Act (OODA) loop developed by military strategist John Boyd. Let’s delve into the OODA loop and some ways you can begin to use this even as you read.


The first step in the OODA loop is the observation phase. This is where you are opening up your flow of information. Right now, look up and find 3 new things about your surroundings that you didn’t notice before. Whether you’re in your home, office, or anywhere in between, chances are you just noticed something new about your surroundings. The challenge here is to sort through the information available to you and focus on the details that are most relevant to your personal protection and daily life.

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Once you improve your situational awareness, your chances of surviving in a real SHTF situation will be greater. Start making it a habit to focus on the critical details, look at the bigger picture, and clear your mind from distractions. You never know, even small things can be threats. Always be a prepared and safe, survivalist.

Paul Blart Probably Has Better Situational Awareness Than You

Want to know more about situational awareness? Then check this out!

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Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on March 11, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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