Invisibility: the starting point
To do not call the attention of the people around us, we must maintain the appearance of a normal, healthy, in good shape but not too “showy” person.
If we imagine a scenario in which we want to go unnoticed, the first step (even before thinking about clothing and attitude) is to appear not as a threat.
It is precisely for this reason that in 6 Dragons Kung Fu (despite being martial arts practitioners and while training a lot) we try to limit “marking” our body too conspicuously:
- No calluses (caused by body conditioning)
- No exaggerated muscle mass
- Nothing that would lead back to the prototype of an individual to keep under control (a martial art practitioner, a military, etc.)
The fact is that, if we truly want to be invisible:
- We must start building a low profile (be and act far from extremes)
- We have to keep our body clean and smooth, no signs (eg. tattoos, etc.)
- Nothing in us must remain engraved in people who are watching (unless we want to)
A note by Master Kongling – It does not exist a precise rule valid for each scenario: we have to accustom our appearance in relation to the context in which we act.
How to be invisible among other people
Here are some ideas about a basic preparation and study of invisibility in a crowded environment:
- Be indescribable – We must make sure that, if someone is called to report our description, he will never be able to say anything enough particular to set us apart from anyone in the mass (this applies to us and to everything that surrounds us, clothes, means of transport, co-workers, etc.)
- Be reasonably normal – We have to dress like people of our age, sex and nationality dress in the present scenario (neither ugly nor beautiful); the more our invisibility is important, the more we have to take care of the details (socks, shoelaces, trouser hem, etc.)
- Follow the supermarket dress code – To take inspiration for our wearing, let’s go to the nearest supermarket (or open-air market) to the place where we want to go unnoticed (in the same year period) and let’s wisely copy a person similar to us (we do not have to copy passively, we must pay attention to connections and meanings)
- Being like on a working day – Unless it’s a day of celebration, we have to alter our appearance upsetting our normality (eg. for men, the 2-3 days shave, for women no make-up); we try to be minimally in order but not too cured; the extremes are our enemies, let’s look as much as possible ordinary (neither too ugly nor fascinating)
- Hide the signs on the body surface – Unremovable signs on skin / hair like tattoos, scars, strange hair coloring, bruises (etc.) have to be completely hidden with posture, clothing or makeup but without appearing suspected or too “strange”
- Change the hairstyle – If our hair has a particular hairstyle, we must alter it and make it more appropriate (or at least cover it with headgears in line with the scenario); in any case, if possible, let’s do not use our personal hairstyle
- No particular smells – Good and bad smells should be avoided (perfumes, cigarette’s smell, sweat, food, etc.); let’s wash ourselves, let’s use soap and deodorants neutral
- Spot the eventual errors – We have to scrutinize at the mirror our appearance centimeter by centimeter looking for something that could potentially attract the attention (in the meaning time let’s start to study facial expressions and neutral attitudes)
How to disappear: the dresses
Let’s see more detailed tips about how to dress:
- Glasses – The glasses are always good (sunglasses only if they are worn by many people, let’s try to do not look like the stereotype of a spy)
- Jewels and ornaments – Better not wear necklaces, bracelets, etc. (unless the context requires it, however, nothing noticeable)
- The shape of the body – If our body has unusual characteristics (irregular motility, showy shapes, etc.) we have to try to hide them (or connect them with our dresses, luggage, etc.)
- The hair – The hair must be covered if possible or collected, in 90% of cases are a sign of recognition (the man must have short hair, the woman long)
- Logos and text on clothes – A written phrase on our t-shirt demands to be read, we also do not have to wear clothing with brands, sentences or otherwise (even appealing images must be avoided)
- Erogenous parts – Unless the context of the environment requires it, no erogenous parts must be at sight (necklines, short skirts, marked musculature, etc.); the same thing is valid for the not attracting characteristics (like marked fat areas, etc.)
- Ideal clothing – Let’s choose not flashy clothes of a fashion just ended; it is usually good to avoid colors that are too dark / light and too saturated (middle tones are the best choice)
A note by Master Kongling – It could sound easy but it is not at all and only by testing on the field is possible to improve. I remember that many years ago, when I began to experiment a little with the techniques of deception (stealth, etc.), during a test (in front of a cinema), I was so focused on being natural at the eyes of the others that I didn’t realize I had an attitude totally out of place (nervous, suspicious, attentive, etc.). So, an incredibly funny thing happened: a shopkeeper approached me asking if I was a soldier… through this (and many other) errors, I realized that it is wrong to pretend to become something that is completely different from us, we must instead harmonize ourselves with the context. In the specific case, those who go to a cinema are dressed to go out, they read the posters, they look for the screening room, they buy popcorn, they call late friends (etc.)… they do not stand in a position of advantage to scrutinize all people passing by with a fleeting gaze (etc.). Anyway, later on, we will have a better way to deepen the subject.
In the next article of this series, we will continue the invisibility in the crowd topic with hints of body language (read Be invisible in the crowd: eyes and attitudes).
- Stealth walking: an introductory exercise – How to walk without getting noticed
- Invisibility: hiding in the shadow – Howe to conceal our presence in the darkness
Reply in the comments and share your experience:
- Have you ever attracted the attention of a passerby for your way of dressing / being / doing?
Author: Master Kongling
Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.