"Soft" Target or "Hard" Target
10/6/2017 - 0 Comments
Posted by Frederick W. James, Jr.

First, in light of the recent tragic active killer situation in Las Vegas, Prayers and Blessings to the Victims and Their Families.

Second, I believe there exists within our society, those that do not understand how this incident could have happened.

Third, let us look at two acronyms for understanding. There was “FEAR” (False Expectations Appearing Real). Many spectators saw Police / Security personnel and thought all was secure. Was this a gigantic “FAIL” (First Attempt In Learning)? To better understand what we are up against, let us start with educating ourselves on some basic Security Principles

What is the Soft-Target and Hard-Target Principle?

How can the Hard-Target Principle help, reducing the risks of becoming a “victim”? Most people are an attractive target for criminals and terrorists. Anyone in a foreign environment often promises to be easy prey. It is therefore not surprising that in many categories of crime; the victims are mainly strangers to the environment and are not situationally aware. Pick pocketing, for example, represents a typical offense that is specifically aimed at people unfamiliar with the area. Locals are well aware of the dangers in their area and adapted to them. Unlike non-locals, without necessary prior knowledge, the support of experts and appropriate protective measures, are in many cases at the mercy of criminals.


A soft-target is a person who, due to their actions and/or a lack of appropriate protective measures, is at the mercy of existing risks and thus represents an easy target.

A hard-target is a person who, due to their actions and/or appropriate protective measures, is able to minimize existing risks and thus most likely represents an unattractive target.

Originally, these two terms come from the military and relate to protected and unprotected targets. This consideration was adapted correspondingly and transferred to the field of personal security.

A glance at the world of people shows that most of them clearly fall into the category of soft-targets. In many cases, a lack of security awareness and movement discipline (moving around like walking targets – a gift for thieves and robbers, scammers and extortionists, kidnappers and terrorists).

It should therefore be in the interest of every person to transform themselves from a soft target into a hard target by trying to remove themselves from the focus of those that would do us harm and instead directing their focus to other targets. Soft targets are mainly characterized by their lack of security awareness and associated thoughtless behavior. But how do you turn a soft target into a hard target? The starting point is the question of what exactly it is that might make you an attractive object for offenders.

Consider this question from the following four perspectives:

Awareness Raising

The basic premise for transforming a person into a hard-target is qualified awareness raising.

Protective Measures

Security awareness itself is usually not enough. In many cases, people also require the necessary tools and operational measures to be able to move around safely.


Not anyone who is inaccessible to criminals is a potential target for them. The more difficult or more complicated access to a person is, the less attractive they become as a victim.


Anyone who is predictable easily becomes a crime victim. Once you have been targeted by a criminal, predictable action quickly becomes fatal.

Actually, soft-targets represent a great threat for society – however, the problem is mostly homegrown. If a person does not prepare himself or herself in a qualified way and does not take appropriate preventive measures, it contributes to the uncertainty of themselves, affects others, and increases the risk of an incident.

We, as individuals and collectively as groups, have an obligation. Get information and give assistance in areas where personal preparations have fallen short. Be cautious and take recommendations and security guidelines seriously. Avoid critical situations.

In short: Always be conscious of the risks of the total environment and act with caution and foresight. Only then can you make yourself a "Hard Target".

Alpha Force Omega, LLC offers courses in Self Defense to aid you in becoming a “Hard Target”. See our section “Training-Self Defense”.



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