Transitional Spaces In Self Defense are places where we MUST be more aware of potential attacks. A transitional space is any location that allows dirtbags to prey on their victims with the element of surprise and provides them with a viable escape. A corner that you have to walk around is one of those transitional spaces.
What is a transitional space? A simple way to understand transitional spaces is to recognize them as the areas you traverse on your way to a destination. For example, a parking lot is a transitional space on the way to your vehicle or on your way to and from a building. Doorways are transitional spaces between rooms or to and from a building. Corners are transitional spaces between directions (hallways and corners at the end of the block or hallway). When getting in or out of your car you are passing through a transitional space.
Let’s look at it from the attacker’s point of view, transitional spaces are a great opportunity to catch you unaware and not paying attention. Did you know most attacks happen in or around or getting in or out of an automobile? Watch people as they move through transitional spaces: most people walk thru parking lots with their eyes fixed on their cell phones or looking at the ground. Most people blindly turn corners, not giving any thought about whats on the other side. Most people move through doorways oblivious to their surroundings. People getting in and out of their vehicles are often attempting to carry groceries or other possessions and their attention is focused on those tasks. Give some thought to how often you fit into these descriptions of daily activity.
When walking around corners use the approach shown in the picture above. Never go around a corner close to the wall. Always be away from the wall so that you can have time to recognize a threat on the other side. If you have a drawn firearm never lead with that firearm it could be taken away from you very easily. When moving through transitional spaces you should experiment with turning your situational awareness up a notch. Taking the everyday activity of rounding a corner as an example I will briefly explain what turning up your awareness a notch might look like. As you prepare to turn a corner there are a few things to consider.
Look for window reflections that may allow you to actually see what is around the corner. Also, look for shadows that could indicate that there is a person or other object around the corner. Slow your pace a little as you prepare for the corner. Moving just a little slower allows you to pay more attention to what is going on. Take the corner wide.(see the diagram above) This means don’t hug the wall as you turn the corner but instead walk a few feet wide of the corner. This simple step allows you to see what is on the other side of the corner before you are fully committed to turning the corner. These are all examples of heightened awareness and are simple to practice.
Transitional spaces give you an opportunity to practice heightened situational awareness. It is very rare that a person needs to walk around expecting a physical attack around every corner. That would be unhealthy for you both physically and mentally. It is important to be aware that such attacks can happen but there is no sense in the average person cultivating a sense of paranoia over it.