Survive In Place              Sample Lesson

The Ultimate Step-By-Step guide to creating your Urban Survival Plan

Welcome to another Sample SurviveInPlace™ lesson!

How To Increase Your Awareness By Becoming The Hunter!

I believe it’s important to develop your armed and unarmed skills, but when it comes to violence, luck can play a significant role. As a former no-holds-barred fighter (before MMA was regulated,) I saw and experienced how quickly a fighter with superior skills could be defeated by a newbie who got lucky.

If they’d fight 100 times, the superior fighter would probably win 90 times or more, but the newbie still has a chance.

With violent encounters, there is no referee or rules and a lucky cut, stab, or shot can kill you, even if you eventually stop the threat.

Although it sounds overly simplistic, one of the best ways to survive a violent encounter is to avoid violent encounters all-together.

One of the best ways to avoid violent encounters is to train your mind to recognize criminals, and the quickest way to do this is to start thinking like one.

For the next several days pretend that you are a mugger. As you go about your daily business, picture how you would ambush someone in the various places in which you find yourself.

Pay particular attention to which people you would feel comfortable ambushing and which ones wouldn’t be worth the risk.  What common actions do you have with potential victims that you can change?  What actions make others not worth attacking that you can begin to mimic?  Try to ignore physical attributes–they only camouflage the bunny or beast inside.  There are people in wheelchairs that I wouldn’t mess with and 300 pound muscle-heads that I’d be willing to fight with only one arm.

If you live in an apartment, where in the building or parking facilities would you hide if you were going to attack someone? With a little practice, you’ll be amazed at how many spots in which you might be able to hide.

Start at home and then move your at­tention to your place of employment. Pay attention to those areas where you would normally be by yourself. The parking lot. Even the restroom. Pay attention to which stalls are the most vulnerable.

Start watching how you open doors. In particular, note where you’re looking, which arm you use, and how that helps/hinders your ability to react to someone on the other side.

Most crimes occur outside of where you live and work. Elevators, garages, building entrances and exits offer criminals opportunities to take you by surprise.

After you’ve learned to spot the ideal physical settings for a crime, you need to spot potential criminals.

You need to pay attention to the physical mannerism of potential bad guys.

When you see a person approaching you, ask yourself “is he dressed ap­propriately for the circumstances?” Is he wearing baggy clothing to hide a weapon? Do his shoes match his cloth­ing? If he’s wearing running shoes with nice slacks and shirt, be careful. Is he wearing a hat and sunglasses that go out of their way to hide his face?

Don’t be afraid to look people straight in the eye. You want to know if they’re checking you out as a possible victim. Does the potential bad guy have his hands in his pockets, perhaps holding a weapon? Does he appear nervous, sweating or breathing heavily?

Most attacks come from behind, so learn to expand your field of vision.

Most of us tend to stare when we look at something. Here’s a simple exercise you can use to break this habit and expand your field a vision.

Look at an object in the room you’re in. Now, without moving your eyes or head, what do you see out of the sides of your eyes? How about top and bottom?

It’s amazing how much more you see when you pay attention to your periph­eral vision. Imagine a hose nozzle that can be adjusted back and forth from a wide spray to a concentrated stream. When you need to focus on something, tighten the nozzle and then quickly ad­just your vision back to a wide spray.

As you develop your vision, with a little twist of your head you will be able to scan almost 360 degrees around you.

No one will ever be able to sneak up on you again. Try it and see for yourself.

Most people have never seen a real criminal in person. So as part of your training you’ve got to get out and see the bad guys, learn how they think and act.

When Rick Jones joined the L.A. County Sheriffs Department he was being groomed for undercover work with L.A.’s most notorious gangs. To prepare him for that assignment, he was assigned to work in one of California’s toughest prisons. Why?

Because you get to see the worst that society has to offer in terms of vicious criminals — and they’re all in one place.

Dep. Jones was able to observe and study the behavior of killers, rapists, muggers, robbers, and a special group of violence prone people referred to as EDP’s (emotionally disturbed people).

In time Jones became an expert in spotting criminals and categorizing them according to their specialty and propensity for violence.

Today, whether Rick Jones walks into a restaurant, bar or other place of busi­ness or simply walks down the street, he quickly sizes up people he meets. If he senses trouble he knows what to expect and he’s ready for it.

Here’s the next best thing you can do to learn the same kind of lessons Rick Jones did.

Call your local police office (or a friend who’s in law enforcement) and ask if you can do a “ride-along” with them.  Try to find someone who is a “beat cop” and who regularly runs into bad situations.  It won’t do much good to ride with a detective or an officer doing traffic stops.

You can also spend some time in the local criminal court. Spending a few hours a day, or night, over several days will give you a great education when it comes to knowing who the bad guys are and understanding their behavior.

By watching these people you get a feel for what they’re like, the way they move, act and THE WAY THEY WATCH OTHER PEOPLE.

Most criminals are petty thieves and not very dangerous. What you’re looking for is a way of spotting those who are mean, sadistic or emotionally disturbed. They are the violent offenders who will rob you first and then shoot you just for the fun of it. They are the ones you want to spot early on. You want plenty of time to either avoid, evade or otherwise deal with these people.

After a little practice in criminal court, it’s time to go to your favorite mall or even a busy street corner. Find a spot from which you can watch people. Then repeat the exercise, only this time your picking out the bad guys from the gen­eral population. See how easy it gets to “BE ALERT” once you know what to look for.

I hope you enjoyed this sample lesson, and look forward to you signing up for the course at

I have received several responses about the course and how much people got out of going through the exercises.

Remember, it’s a self-paced course, so you can complete it in 12 weeks or stretch it out longer once you’ve received the lessons.

You can go to to sign up for the complete course right now.

God Bless,

David Morris

P.S.  Please coment on this…anything to let me know you’re alive and I should keep sending you urban survival information.  Love it?  Hate it?  Let me know!    Send article as PDF   

425 Responses to “Survive In Place Sample Lesson Situational Awareness”

  • Bill says:

    love the info I have trained my self with some of these techniques in the past but it good to get refreshed on them and to remind me we all always need to be aware of our surroundings I try to teach my kids that all the time. Thanks.

  • Sammy Ceh says:

    Max Ball- Good advise. If you can’t afford a gun in each room, at least have one in rooms you spend most of your time. Computer room, living room/ tv room/family room and bedroom.
    I’m also wondering if it wouldn’t be a good idea to wear a bullet proof vest when you go out. I don’t know if they’re to expensive?

  • Preston Wilkes says:

    Good insight

  • Lance Griffith says:

    Thank You! Yes very helpful. Have 2 children and the urgency to protect them in an unsafe environment seems like a real reality these days. Can you please resend the first 1? I opened it yesterday, but did not follow the link, had to get kids down for naps, and came back later and the e-mail had disappeared. Also watched the freesurvivalminicourse video and can’t wait to sign up for it!!!!!

  • anna says:

    David, you have awesome info., but you need spell check or someone like me to help you proof-read your stuff. What do you say you swap me a 12-week course for some proof-reading?

  • Steve says:

    Having trained in Wado Ryu karate for a good while, the most important lesson (especially for the younger folks) is this – Simply don’t be where you will need to fight. Stay in nice, positive, safe places, with good, decent people, 24/7. Even with your travels / routes; take the long way if it keeps you in good places, and out of bad places, even if just for walking between destinations.
    Second, observe the 4 “D’s” – discuss, decline (the invite or urge to fight), de-escalate, disengage. In a fighting situation, the only winner is he who figures out how to avoid the fight. Generally there are only two outcomes of the fight – get hurt and/or get into legal trouble. Avoiding the fight is the one good alternative.

    The survival scenario may not afford you these better options. Do your best, then do your best.

  • Excellant!

  • Cahry says:

    Thanks David. Excellent advise. I am anxious to share it with my husband and begin putting the “awareness techniques” into practice. I look forward to checking each day for your e-mails.

  • Pam leech says:

    thanks for the insight I will start putting these techniques into use.

  • Linda says:

    When I was a correctional officer in a maximum security prison, an inmate taught me an invaluable lesson:
    Criminals act like animals. They look for the weak ones and stay away from the strong ones. That means take up your space, make eye-contact. Mentally register them and be prepared to make a police report. Height, weight, eye & hair color, race, gender, clothing. Car plate #.

    Get in the habit of doing this. Nobody will know, but your brain will get trained just like a muscle and over time you will be able to recall w/o even being aware that your recording.

  • Janice LeTellier says:

    at 86 yrs. I would not do some of the things mentioned, but am very interested in learning what to store food and anyhting else you think necessary. Are tin cans bad for us Do they leak something into food stored therein
    It wold be nice if you did not erase comment until sign out. Had to retype as I thought mail might be my mailing address & poss. website was for e-mail

  • Claudia says:

    Great lessons so far! I realize that I already do have what I was feeling are weird thoughts but you actually are encouraging – like how to avoid situations or how I might react to an intruder in my house or an attacker out in public, how I’d get away, where I could hide, a safe place for my kids (one is in a wheelchair – a tough predicament) …. In my old house we had lots of bushes where intruders could conceal themselves but here in our new house the exerior is quite barren of hiding places (that could be bad for me!) Just like driving, always run situations in your mind and have ideas about actions and reactions. I want to KNOW what to do and when, not just react, and I feel that you are teaching me that. Thank you!

  • Kathy says:

    The lessons are awesome! I feel like I’ve had my head in the sand for awhile. I can see many mistakes I’ve made, not being aware of things around me is only one. Having never been a “hunter” (except for a bargin)it’s easy to see how much I have ignored around me. Well that is going to change today. Thank you so much for the information

  • Mary says:

    I feel like I’ve missed out and am just trying to catch up. I’ve been sick the last few days and could not sit at the computer to follow through on the daily emails. Hopefully it won’t matter as long as the information is still current.
    At 76 y/o and female I feel in many cases I would be a sitting duck for any criminal attack. My husband would be okay to handle certain situations but alas he doesn’t seem to be as concerned as I am about possible catastrophes happening. I’ve already gotten a stash of food supplies stored and we have a couple of guns and lots of batteries, but I don’t think enough of all of these items to last 40 days. So how can I make my hubby interested enough in getting more involved?

  • Robert says:

    I have a lot of experience spotting the “criminal element”. You see, I used to be one. When looking for the traits inherent in criminal behavior, one normally needs look no further than the police themselves. Someone is far more likely to be raped or killed by a police officer than by a member of the public, and anyway, being seen with a police officer will mark you to the troublemakers in society as a snitch, and will cause you more trouble in the end.

  • Jamie says:

    Thanks for the tips on how to be better aware! Very insightful and thought-provoking so please keep them coming!

  • karen smith says:

    It is good to be reminded of being aware of situations that might arise and how to avoid them. Thank you for the informative e-mail!


  • Dottie says:

    Wow,Great advice. Thanks for the info.

  • Judy says:

    I’m loving these mini lessons, and look forward to purchasing the whole lesson plan when we get our next payday

  • Ben says:

    Good useful information, lots of things that I hadn’t thought about.

  • Jerry says:

    great info,I enjoy your knowledge,,help,me stay aware,thanks so much…

  • Joe says:

    Avoid patterns, don’t get in the habit of going somewhere at the same time or via the same route every day.

  • Marcia says:

    Great info! Keep it coming!!

  • Awesome! Simple yet very useful strategies for the near future. Thankyou David for this most appreciated information. God bless.

  • Jacqueline Sorgen says:


    There is one situation, you did not address — Domestic Violence.

    ?What do you do, when your Sociopathic Spouse, is the ‘PERP’?

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