A couple weeks ago we learned about the incident on the BART bus in San Francisco – where a violent criminal (the wolf) pulled out a gun and pointed it at a bunch of passengers. Because they had their noses stuck texting, checking email or watching videos on their phones, the passengers did not notice. The wolf was emboldened by this display of weakness and launched his attack.
After the initial shock at the horrible circumstances, I was somewhat saddened by the state of affairs. The whole event prompted me to prod all of us to step up to be sheepdogs. In the first post of the series, I discussed the Cooper Color system and in the second I provided a few rules of engagement to help you act as a sheepdog. I enjoyed the many “hooyahs” and other responses I have received from the posts…especially from U.S. Marine Aaron Clanton who was nice enough to let me know that Col Cooper was actually a Marine and not an Army guy. Also from Gareth de Bruyn, who said: “Being raised in South Africa, I can tell you that the sheepdog mentality is part of our DNA.”
So as we mourn the loss of our white-picket fence lifestyle here in the States, it is important to know that we can make a difference, and also that we have friends around the world who are have cut their teeth battling wolves day in and day out. I asked myself what we could learn from Gareth about awareness, and in this post I would like to step back and look at the some practical things we can do to step into the sheepdog role…and have fun at the same time.
The first rule of the sheepdog is to deepen your awareness so you can actually live in the “yellow” state of persistent awareness rather than the “white” state of ignorant bliss. Here are ten rules that our South African friends would tell us are a good place to start (Gareth and you other sheepdogs can send me more ideas as this is just the tip of the iceberg!):
1.Don’t go out and about alone. Always have a swim buddy, especially if you intend to let your hair down.
2.Check in all directions for anything unusual when entering and leaving your home.
3.Learn how to use a gun and don’t keep it locked in the garage.
4.Also, don’t keep the gun loaded where a friend of your son’s (or your son or daughter) can find it.
5.Learn to have an offensive mind set. Wolves don’t play defense and neither should you. Begin by learning to defend yourself with a simple and effective street-wise self defense system such as Krav Maga or San Soo or Target Focus Training (or our own Combat Defense Training for SEALFIT grads).
6.Shut off the TV and limit the use of your phones in public (I addressed this last week in the sheepdog rules of engagement in case you missed it).
7.Train your body and mind daily – destiny favors the prepared.
8.Expect the unexpected and never be surprised or caught off guard when a crisis occurs.
9.Do the unexpected to avoid ruts and routines.
10.This last one may get me in trouble…If you are on a plane and your see a bunch of strange looking men obviously probing the security of the airline and crew, recruit some help and beat the crap out of them!
The key to becoming a sheepdog is to do all of the above without becoming a paranoid recluse. The irony for sheep is that although sheepdogs seem dangerous and people to be feared, the sheepdogs are actually the most fun loving, purpose filled, family oriented and optimistic people in the world. Being “sheepdog prepared” brings with it great freedom from fear. Rather than wondering if you can handle yourself or what you would do if you were a victim, you will know with certainty that you will win and be able to protect your family and tribe. So now is the time to step up to prepare like a sheepdog. And for you sheepdogs out there, let’s help them.
Train hard, stay aware, and have fun!
P.S. Click here to read a recent article on SEALFIT written by 360 Magazine!
P.P.S. If you haven’t had the chance, click here to see what we have in store for this December at SEALFIT HQ.