Survive In Place              Bonus Lesson

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

Welcome to a mid-week Bonus 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 bushwhack someone in the various places in which you find yourself.

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 your dwell­ing or place of business. 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 if you haven’t yet, I look forward to you signing up for the full 12 week online course at

I have received several responses about the course and how much people got out of going through the exercises.  I’ve included some below.

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 comment on this and the course in general…ANYTHING to let me know that you’re alive and that I should keep sending you Urban Survival Information. Love it? Hate it? Let me know!

PDF24    Send article as PDF   

85 Responses to “Survive In Place Bonus Lesson”

  • charlie says:

    Thank’s Dave for the good information.
    I always try to be aware of my surroundings,and practice possible
    scenarios. I have a CCW, and carry where ever it’s legal. I pray
    I never have to use it. Like you said avoiding that situation is
    best,but I would rather be ready than not.


  • David Aycock says:

    The lesson plans are great and I do appreciate the bonus lesson. As a security patrol officer for Ports America I must always be alert to my surroundings and the indiviuals I have to deal with every day.
    Your lessons are not only helping on the home front but have given me some insights on how to assist my officers in getting prepared in case of an emergency at the Port.
    Col. David R. Aycock

  • DAN DIXON says:


  • layne says:

    Good stuff Sir.

    I like your information because it is grounded in reality and not off the deep end.

  • Ed Minor says:

    I really appreciate the lessons and I’m taking them in slowly to absorb them, but I really enjoyed this bonus lesson because it is opening my eyes (litterally)to something I’ve always taken for granted. I’ve always had a sixth sense about who I can trust and who not but this lesson is really going to help me tweak that sense to my advantage. I will be haunting the criminal courts for awhile and following your advice to the hilt because I’ve always believed that the best fight is the one you can avoid. Thank you very much Ed Minor

  • mitch says:

    Dave, great info…ive done alot of the ride alongs with the forest service and the gang units, very informative and educating. also, I did a 12 week citezens academy where you get all the inside scoop on the cops and fire dept and learn about all the areas of responsibility they are involved in. i encourage others to do the same. many cities and towns have a CERT unit, citizen first responders or the citezens emergency response team=CERT

  • greg c. says:

    good info. i look forward to each lesson. thanks.

  • Miguel says:

    The sixth sense is something most people need to work on. It’s been one sense I’ve developed since a teenager. As a youngster, I kicked it with kids all walks of life, especially gang members. In the Marines, I avoided situations that I sensed could turn volatile at a minute movement of the hand or a word. I often see other criminals giving the evil eye to others when I minister to them in jail. I sense their intentions. As you and I know David, the most dangerous animal on earth is the irrational human with a weapon. Your suggestion you give is very good advice. Avoid it all together. Spotting hiding spots and training the eye without turning the head fully is great exercise. Thanks for sharing very practical exercises anyone can do at home, work or school. Thanks again, Miguel

  • Brian says:

    Great Info, I love watching people and I am amazed at how many people out there are so oblivious to their surroundings. There would be less victims in the world if people would follow this type of advice.


  • Michael says:

    Hi David I like this bonus lesson allot, I have also taken Martial Arts and been told a White Belt can beet a Black Belt depending on His inner Strength or inner Fight,

    My Son is thinking of Taking Martial Arts again and I just might also go again, I still remember what I learned but need to practice it,I seem to have the peripheral Vision going for Me and see more than other People do and will start My Thinking on being a Mugger and where I would Hide, I also was Taught that it is better to avoid a Fight at all cost than to Fight My way out of one, I have recently learned that it is good to Carry a dummy Wallet so if I do get Robbed I would give them my Dummy Wallet,

    I recently got Direct TV and they have Shows on Thursday Night on how to Defend yourself with a gun and with out a gun and recommend that Everyone Watch these Shows,

    I am also wondering if I should consider all People a threat, not all Bad Guys look Bad,

    Thanks for the Bonus Lesson Dave and keep them coming.


  • RuthAnnMartin says:

    Question for the last poster. He commented that Direct TV has shows on Thursday night on how to defend yourself with a gun. There are many channels – which channel and what time are these shows? Thank you.

  • David says:

    You can find out the latest information on Best Defense by going to

  • Donny Polley says:

    Great David keep them comeing,Great INFO.

  • kim cox says:

    Absolutely awesome! Please keep them coming.

  • Skip O'Brien says:

    David, thanks for the bonus report. I just did a Situational Awareness training here in Nigeria for our expats and nationals that has really helped in our convoy operations. One of the things I always emphasize is the use of “Combat Indicators” Absence of the Normal…Presence of the Abnormal. Of course Combat Indicators work best in areas that we are familiar with, and is only one tool that we can employ to make our situation safer. I really liked the point you made about checking for hiding places in your envioroment, and looking people in the eye. Great information!

    I have thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from your Survival in Place course. The knowledge that you share and the practicality of it’s use makes your information invaluable. I especially like that you include
    the family in your survival advice. Most courses I have taken and books I have read focus on the individual, with very little about the family and/or friends.

    Again, Thanks for all you do!


  • BC says:

    Peripheral vision can be increased slightly by lowering your chin. Try looking straight ahead (noticing peripheral vision) and then drop your chin close to your chest. You should be able to see a little more than before. Also, dropping our head/chin like that makes you look more submissive in feigned compliances situations before you “unload the truck” on a “perp”.

  • Jason Williams says:

    Excellent exercise. Your take on ‘people watching’ goes from simple amusement to constructive use of down time.

  • Mike Dodson says:

    When I was 6 years old my grand dad took me out to the woods and we walked around — he told me we would be “scouting like indians.” We would stop and be quiet and the birds would start moving and chirping and doing their thing. Then, on his signal, we would move and the birds and everything else would become silent. His lesson was to make yourself as common as possible to the world around you so that it just forgets you are there.

    Years later I saw a wolverine stalking a pheasant. He would move ever so slowly, just a little at a time. The pheasant noticed him and would worry and stare for awhile but as he remained still the notice passed out of the bird’s mind and the wolverine would move a little closer. Finally, he was close enough that he jumped and got his bird.

    BG’s do the same thing as wolverines. Often, when we see them and they don’t do anything we ignore them — we go “birdbrain.” Sixth sense, ESP, whatever you want to call it, when your body tells you something is wrong, it is!

    The exercises you recommend (putting yourself in the bad guy’s shoes) are the same things hunters do — they watch both predators and prey animals to learn their habits and their sensitivities so they can be better predators themselves. Except, in this sense, it is so we can move away from the wolves in sheeps clothing in our midst. These exercises will have the effect of making our unconscious more sensitive and enable us to avoid danger.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  • Jeff says:

    Great advice about peripheral vision awareness. Our conscious mind can only process 7 things at a time, plus or minus 2, but our subconscious in the same moment can be absorbing thousands of bits of information. By paying attention to what is happening at the edge of our visual field, we can become more aware of our mental filters.

  • Steve says:

    Hi Dave: Great information. I’ve taken several self defense courses that emphasize awareness and how to spot and avoid problems. Your article above is excellent. I’m also taking your course and am on lesson 3. Great information.

    Much appreciated.

  • Crockett says:

    Thanks for the great info as always. Gotta stay alert and trust those spider senses.

  • Patrick J says:

    Your gut feeling is one of the primary ones. If you feel danger in your gut then become super aware and conscious of all persons and your surroundings. Be purposeful in all you do, showing weakness will NOT benefit you. Hit the panic button on your key ring! I am on lesson 3 and enjoying the exercises and trying to convince the wife that things could get ugly in a hurry. She depends on the Lord for help when out and about. She has her conceal n carry permit but prefers not to carry due to her work not allowing weapons of any sort…

  • Lalagene H. Calkin says:

    Hi Dave,

    I’ve been out of town for the Holidays, and am extremely busy. This latest article, is good. I have been extremely trusting in the past, and this gives me a new perspective. I live in a rural area, and have felt quite protected, however things can change rapidly. I am looking forward to the time that I can really study your course. I will download lesson 4 immediately. Thank you for the heads up.
    Lalagene H. Calkin

  • Cyndy says:

    Your lessons are FANTASTIC… You have shown me that being prepared really is duable. Each lesson I complete gives me more peace of mind. I am not afraid anymore. Your instructions are easy to follow because it takes a step at a time. I felt overwhelmed on where to start, what to do, where to go, etc…. I AM NO LONGER OVERWHELMED. Your lessons cover all these things in a way that is easy to follow and understand. Oh, did I mention I am almost 60 years old and a grandmother of 9? I am the only one in my family that is taking this seriously. (One of your lessons covered this situation.) Just saying THANK YOU is not enough. You are my hero for sharing your knowledge. May God bless you and your family.

  • Glenn says:

    Musashi Miyamoto, the greatest swordsman ever in Japan’s history, said one of his cardinal rules was to always keep his right hand free until he had to draw his sword. I’m left handed, shoot and use a knife mostly right handed, and find that when I practice keeping my right hand free (especially to access my Glock) I feel more able to respond to any threat. Your advice to think/act like a thief/mugger/jerk is great advice. I’ve used that method for my entire adult life and will continue since it’s saved my bacon a few times.

    An earlier poster wrote about a wolverine hunting pheasants. When the pheasant got nervous and looked, but saw nothing moving, it got comfortable again. We tend to do the same, especially at night. So use the trick of camouflage in reverse. If it looks out of place or doesn’t blend in, it probably doesn’t belong there. Like seeing a perfectly straight line in nature: it doesn’t exist often, so something’s likely wrong or out of place. Always look for what doesn’t seem like it should be where you are.

  • Michelle says:

    I so appreciate all that you put into these quick lessons. They are fast, but very informative and to the point. I’ve read many things about avoiding criminals but definitely learned more today. The most wonderful thing about your experience is that you are actually able to communicate what you’ve learned very well! Thanks so much, David. We appreciate you and are praying for you as you lead so many. Hopefully you can reach even more people with this valuable info. =)

  • Shirley says:

    Thank you, David. This is a really valuable lesson. We should pass this on to our children 16 and over. We are in a time of strange things and it is good to be aware and alert at all times. Bless you and all who help get the message out.

  • Thank you for this bonus. I appreciate it and will make good use of it.

    I am enjoying the lessons but am behind. Hopefully can catch up soon but I want to let everything sink in and try to do what I need to do.

    God bless!

  • Janet says:

    Hi David,
    Love your course,I am on lesson 3. thank you for the mid week bonus,
    this is something I need to work on, I have a bad habit of not paying
    attnention to people.
    Thank You

  • Janet says:

    I am loving the course keep the lessons coming
    Thank You

  • James Armstrong says:

    Thanks for the bonus. Very good advice. I started late on lesson 1 but I’m catching up.

  • Lee says:

    Good advice. Don’t always know what to look for but am cautious when alone, esp. at nite. Thanks for the heads up.

  • Doug Bergstrom says:

    I am in the middle of lesson 3 and received this bonus … thanks, I have always tried to keep and be aware of my surroundings and the people involved … but, after reading and giving some study to this bonus lesson – I know now where I need to improve … thanks and thanks for all you do.

  • mr. dang says:

    thanks for the bonus lesson. It’s the little “frame of mind” tips and tricks that keep your course from becoming “too broad to be useful”- a common flaw in other courses.Keep up the good work

  • Dmitriy says:

    The “platinum” course subscription is a bit pricey, but worth every penny!

    I can’t thank you enough!

    I have read quite a few books on SHTF preparedness, and your books are by far the best of the best.

    Thank you very much!

Leave a Reply