I am a big fan of unconventional training and, since awareness is the greater part of self-defense, here’s an unconventional drill you can do during the day:
I once read that the first thing a professional burglar does after breaking into a building is to look for escape routes. This would be pretty important should someone come in unexpectedly to foil their theft. Getting caught is the last thing a criminal wants.
Self defense is all about awareness and escape. Unlike the movies, self defense isn’t usually a toe to toe stand up fight. Your best bet to avoid getting hurt or into legal trouble is to escape danger.
To tune up your awareness, do the following drill throughout the day. Any time you enter a building or a room, make a quick mental note of the exits (windows, doors etc). Do this as fast as you can. Even if you have been somewhere numerous times, like in your home, still do it. Note if there are obstructions that would have to be cleared to use an escape.
This is a simple exercise which will begin to train your survival awareness.
Here’s a second drill for the car:
When stopped at a red light, always leave enough room between your car and the car in front that you could pull out in an emergency (even if pulling out puts you into oncoming traffic). Do not stop inches away from the bumper in front of you.
Think about what you would do if an armed attacker rushed your car, and tried to gain access. If you have kids or friends in the car, how does that change what you might do?
Both of these drills can be done in seconds, yet they start to build your situational and environmental awareness and make you a safer person.