Goal – The goal is to be safe in a dangerous world.

Strategy – To paraphrase John C. Maxwell: “Plans prior to battle are strategies, tactics are actions taken in battle.” My plan is to practice relaxed alertness.  Similar to Col. Jeff Cooper’s color code yellow as well as the “x” and “o” training game found in his Principles of Personal Defense, you can practice relaxed alertness by observing people and looking for WPNS.  WPNS is a mnemonic device developed by firearms trainer Eric Edgecomb and is derived from the word “weapons” with the vowels removed. WPNS stand for: Weapons, Physical size, force of Numbers, and Special knowledge or skill.

Everyone you see or meet possesses some, most, or all of these WPNS capability.  Pick a man at random and try to identify as many of the WPNS he possesses.  How many weapons, or objects convertible to weapons does he have access to? How physically fit is he? How many of his friends are close at hand that he can call to for help? Is there anything on his person that offers a clue to his martial skills?  Is he wearing a hat, jacket or shirt with the name or logo of his firearms, martial art or military interests? How many did you find? Now whatever that number is, add one more. This “Plus One Rule” accounts for that extra item that you didn’t spot.  However many WPNS items you can identify, always factor in that one additional item you miss.  Now, check yourself in the mirror.  How many of these target indicators are you sporting?