Paranoia: an unreasonable feeling that people are trying to harm you, do not like you, etc.
A little paranoia is a good thing to have. A healthy amount will keep you aware of your surroundings, mindful of those who might mean to do you harm, and prepare you to act in the event something unwanted happens. An unhealthy amount of paranoia will likely require medical attention as you can’t think or focus on anything else. A little paranoia will keep you prepared for the unexpected.
As always, the lessons you learn in class are applicable to real life. When classmates are swinging weapons around, you need to keep an eye on those weapons and not get too close if you can avoid it. If a student comes in to train and seems off, be particularly focused and careful when you begin practicing San Shou, Chin Na, or Sparring with them. If the class is full and everyone is tightly packed for Kicks or Forms, keep an eye on where everyone is so you don’t hit them and they don’t hit you. Little lessons like those and the many more you learn in class can really benefit the student outside of the school.
Outside the school, if you’re in a place where the energy just doesn’t feel right or you hear something that seems off, take preemptive action and keep your distance or simply leave, especially if you’re with friends or family who are not trained. If someone you don’t know interacts with you and you sense they don’t seem very balanced emotionally or mentally, be careful. You don’t need to talk with them – feel free to walk away – while always keeping an eye on where they are. Even if you’re out having lunch at a restaurant, try to find a place to sit where you’re back is covered and you have a clear view of the entire establishment. These are just a few examples of a little paranoia.
Be aware of your surroundings and the people in it. Although it may take a little time and energy, it has the potential to keep you and your loved ones safe.