The weakness of movement

What “catches the eye” more than anything, movement, manner, colour, or shape?
I submit it is movement and manner that alerts an observer more than anything.

I smile a lot when I see videos about paramilitary patrolling techniques.
It’s all military doctrine this and that except when you really want to learn about movement, covert movement, the ex-spurts tend to forget about or just ignore the skills of the humble poacher or the gillie both of whom can be scary experts in stalking. That and the skills of street people. The invisible people in life you never notice, the homeless.

Know what the interesting part is?
All three, the poachers, Gillies, and street people, don’t often dress up in pretty camouflage, wear paint, or carry tactical vests. Yet some of them can stand and watch the efforts of the overloaded, wannabe RAMBO’s and never be seen.

Now some will notice that I’ve not included military at all.
Yes there are talented individuals like scout snipers but they aren’t readily available on street corners and despite some ‘instructors’ having vast experience, there is this disconnect between training and the realities of street life. Plus when training ends and people go home, how many actually continue to develop their skill sets? Especially those who live in cities, townships, or smaller.

Now we all know the storm is coming and it’ll probably be predominantly urban based as opposed to the guerrilla warfare in the wilds that every swinging dick seems to be training for.

And there is the problem, how can you rapidly train for and assimilate the skill set in short order what is necessary to survive on the streets? Is there even a course for that? Probably somewhere yet how many would want to go on it? After all it’s not quite got the same kudos and ‘thrill’ as getting all camo’d up and tactical sneaking round the woods is it?

Now prepper and survivalist doctrine is “where possible to bug out of urban locations ASAP after an event”. After all it’s safer out in the wilds. Or is it?

After all the city will eventually come to you as people migrate outwards once “everything runs out” and your plan is what when confronted?
Will it be to feed all, shoot all, or quietly and diplomatically explain that they are not wanted? Like any of that will work long-term!

Now a few will be thinking but it’ll be hell in the cities.
Probably it would be for Rambo, but why would you leave an area with possibly thousands of deserted dwellings, shops, chemists, warehouses, industrial units, unless you have to? Beneath a city is a world apart. Sewers, spillway’s, subways (tube tunnels for us Brits), cavernous water storage, communications centres, a whole “people silent but busy infrastructure” that some know well. Best bit about it? It can let you travel far and wide but never be seen.

Only is that it?
To move freely in a hostile environment needs you to go underground?
Not at all but on top, at street level, it does require you to think about what your aggressor is looking for. A consideration of their MOUT training and patrolling in urban areas.

For example, and in no particular order) they are looking for:-

  • Observers over watching your movements. (especially using comms).
  • Wrong time and place for someone. (Curfew or even within a banned area)
  • Skulking in the shadows, hugging the walls, waiting for quiet before moving.
    (Typical covert movement).
  • New vehicles and faces. (Local knowledge, what is outside the norm).
  • Look at the footwear. (Eh? Most ‘soldiers’ wear the same style of boots)
  • That extends to clothing, wearing gloves, stuff that is different to usual, cleaner, or the other extreme, doesn’t fit , loose, baggy, and inappropriate for conditions
  • Equipment carried. (What’s in that shopping bag, why is he/she wearing a back pack)
  • Incorrect gait. (Too stiff, not moving freely, loaded down with nothing to see)
  • Can’t see their eyes or face. (Trying too hard not to look at you.)
  • Less pedestrian traffic. (That “what do they know that we don’t” moment).
  • Less local traffic. (As above, that “what do they know that we don’t” moment).
  • Unexplained or unplanned street repairs or closure by barricade or road block. (Possible funnel into a kill zone).
  • Stores, markets, or street vendors close suddenly.
    (Why? Again that “what do they know that we don’t” moment).
  • Windows open, curtains open, darkened rooms, doors ajar
    (From which snipers can operate)
  • Loud music (distraction) or smoke (acrid or not it’s a screen).
  • Absence of dogs (they always know when something is going down).
  • No women or kids. (Safety 101, get your family to safety before the main event)

Now add you (and your own) and try not to fit into any of the above.

Difficult isn’t it? Yet not impossible.
You see a lot of people are scared of what’s out there BUT for the most part nothing is aimed specifically at them.

It’s often a generalised situation, more than often isolated within an area, and usually bypassed with some thought.

Something that if you can pick up on the signs, you can go to ground before it becomes your problem. Street people know that. They also move easily as for the most part their skill base, their camouflage, their very movement is one of familiarity of their surroundings. Thus they fit in, don’t stick out, and more importantly they don’t move about like ‘well-trained swinging dicks’ in standard formations!”

It’s the same for strangers who often don’t know the etiquette for the area and that occasionally raises their situation awareness to a level that induces fear. Yet scared makes people move and react differently and they might as well raise a flag at that point because it’s that difference in movement that alerts others.

So what’s the answer? Simply? There isn’t one.
To understand covert movement in a hostile environment you need to become a people watcher BEFORE the main event. Watching those who move at will, their manner, dress, and actions to different scenario’s. That and ditch the rig and tactical clothing. The downtrodden and non lethal aren’t usually well equipped. Most don’t carry day sacks and I haven’t seen many “open carry” anything more than a sandwich or a cup of tea.

But there is another side to this.
Knowledge isn’t the be all. Doing it is better.
Doing it with the guidance of one who knows is an eye opener!
The secret is to find someone who will talk, instruct, and show.
I’ve watched in the past the politicians who claim they know what the problems are for the homeless by having spent a night or two on the streets. Pure B.S. as they then go home, burn their clothing, spend a week under the shower, sit down to decent food, and once again climb into their familiar beds.

It’s the same for those who “train” for the big event.
7 nights, 14 nights, or whatever.
Certificated then as survivalists, militia, patrol leaders, or whatever.
It means jack unless you can do it yourself, on your own, without a safety net.
Only there is the rub, how to carry on your training?
After all the war may not start at 08h on a bright nice Spring morning.
It may occur at 02-04 hours in winter when it is peeing down with rain and blowing a hooley (strong winds). No electricity, loads of displaced persons and you forced onto foot.

Night walking is a good way to enhance your urban movement skills.
Dangerous in some locations (I will admit that) but would you rather find out your weaknesses before the main event or during?

Some regularly join soup lines. A place where I’ve been.
There is an etiquette to the homeless there that everyone should learn.
Waiting till someone speaks to you.
No eyes on as it can invoke a painful reaction.
Learning their jargon. Identifying the hierarchy.
Even the way you handle your kit or eat can give you away as a beginner.

To conclude.
I’ve nothing against the gun hoe, the paramilitary swinging dicks, or even those who go on “proper” survival courses. More power to them as prepared is better than nothing.

Yet life after whatever may turn out to be a simple scramble for resources, shelter, and the like. Nowadays that’s a different world, it has rules, it has a unique etiquette! Only when it happens for real, to the masses, the winners will be the downtrodden of today as they will know the rules.

As for escape and evasion?
There is a place for that, professional skills I mean, only the worlds armies train to recognise professionalism and that could be your downfall.

Yet streetwise 101 techniques may ultimately save you.

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4 Responses to The weakness of movement

  1. Hillbilly says:

    Gives you something to think about. Very well written.

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