The rigorous training Navy SEALs endure make them highly capable of handling a range of dangerous situations.
Some of them dedicate their post-military careers to passing their knowledge on to civilians.
Larry Yacht, co-founder of fitness and self-defence training facility Sealed Mindset in Minnesota, is a former Navy SEAL who now helps train clients in personal safety, defensive firearms, corporate leadership, and contingency planning.
Part of the training provided at Sealed Mindset includes learning how to escape potentially dangerous situations, like being followed or directly threatened.
“The most important thing is situational awareness to be able to identify bad people and avoid them,” Yacht told Business Insider.
How can you tell if someone might cause trouble? “They’re doing something that gives you a bad feeling,” Yacht said.
The next step is determining whether they might cause you harm. You have to look at:
- Strength: “The hands are a really good indication of strength,” Yacht said. Check for scarred or calloused hands and raised knuckles.
- Intent: You can usually tell someone’s intent through their eyes. If someone is looking at you and tracks your movement through a space, that could be a red flag. The same applies if they attempt to decrease the distance between you and mimic your movements. And if they shrink in the presence of an authority, like a police officer, that’s another sign. “If a uniformed police officer walks in the room, everyone in the room will look at the police officer except other police officers and criminals,” Yacht said. “It’s a subconscious way of avoiding being detected.”
If someone is presenting both of these warning signs, that’s a threat, Yacht said.
Once you’ve determined that someone could pose a threat, there are four actions you should take:
- Increase distance: Putting the distance between you and the threat gives you more time to react.
- Introduce a barricade: The bigger the barricade between you and the threat, the better. It could be a chair, a car, a table, or a building.
- Look for avenues of escape and help: Be aware of your environment. Scan for exits and people who might be able to help you if the threat makes a move.
- Defend yourself: This is your last resort if you can’t escape the threat. “If you get to having to use physical defence, you have no doubt in your mind that you have done everything you can to stop that person from causing you harm, so you can respond without mercy, without hesitation, and you fight for your life. The mentality alone that you will never be victimized, that you will never quit, that you are never unarmed and have the ability to fight — that mentality alone will show up with confidence and in and of itself often times restrict attacks.”
Yacht was medically retired from the military in 2008 after being injured and he started the process of opening Sealed Mindset in 2009.
“My purpose in life is to protect this country … and I’m very passionate about it,” Yacht said. “It’s something that I still espouse and I try to encourage the rest of our staff to do the same thing. We want to be a resource for people in overcoming problems.”
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