The characteristics of a good hiding place

On what occasions does it make sense to hide our presence?

With this tutorial, we continue the topic regarding the stealth techniques related to the invisibility (read Invisibility: hiding in the shadow).

In our S.A.F.E. self-defense method (read Personal defense: the S.A.F.E. method), the third letter of the acronym means for “flee” (leave the threatening scenario) and it is exactly in this context that the idea of hiding takes place.

Not always it is possible to escape to directly reach a completely safe area (going away in a car, reaching a crowded place, etc.), there are situations where the only option is to gain time and hiding our presence is a viable way to do it.

For example:

  • We may have to wait for law enforcement to intervene
  • We may have to conceal our presence from thieves
  • We may have to wait for the release of a forced passage
  • We may have to take our opponent by surprise

The characteristics of the best hiding place

So let’s see (without any claim of completeness) some tips to find a good hiding place:

  • Accessibility – The place we choose must be easy for us to be reached and possibly, hard to reach for our persecutors; in addition to this, it should be, as much as possible, safe and easy to maintain / leave / defend
  • Distance – It is not secondary that the position we want to reach is at a reasonable distance in relation to us and to our persecutors; a too long path could make us discovered or unable to arrive
  • Shape, position and size – The best place where we can make ourselves invisible is the one in which by shape, size and location, nobody would ever think that a human being could fit into it
  • Irksomeness – The more the place we choose has an uncomfortable / dangerous access, it is annoying to frequent, it is inserted in a repetitive context (etc.) the less accurate the inspection of our persecutors will be
  • Unusual – There are hiding places that, in all respects, are predictable, too common or too logical, it is necessary to learn to think like our opponents, never underestimating their deductive ability
  • Harmony with the environment – Our presence must not in any way alter the balance and normal dynamics perceivable through the senses (sight, smell, etc., read for example Invisibility: how to hide heavy breathing); we must not leave traces, create imbalances, trigger or stop abnormal flows in the context of the scenario in which we find ourselves; in the best possible case, we are seen directly as part of the environment

A note by Master Kongling – As a child, my grandfather often told me the (terrible) story of one of his brothers who, during the Second World War, managed to escape a command of German soldiers by hiding under a pile of corpses (his companions, unfortunately). The soldiers had checked briefly if there were survivors left but the “annoyance” of having to move people riddled with blows quickly made them desist: this was how my grandfather’s brother could save his life. The lesson is that if we are in a life or death situation, there must be nothing that we cannot do.

Final notes

A few conclusive considerations:

  • The first step is to learn what are the basics of the search for a hiding place but naturally, this is not enough, we have to test ourselves in realistic simulations (read How to simulate realistic self-defense scenarios); only this way we will be able to reach that type of capability typical, for example, of the ancient ninja
  • Even if we will delve into this topic in the following articles, it is important to underline that in order to get away from an already active (and not simply imminent) danger one must have psychophysical skills such as to create a sensory detachment from our pursuers
  • Finally, it is not so obvious to say that it is worth hiding only if the risk we run in doing it, is less than what we would run in facing our potential attackers

In the next article of this series, we will continue the discussion with the various types of hiding context and with a few examples.

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Questions

Reply in the comments and share your experience:

  • Can you make an example of a good hiding place?

Author: Master Kongling

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