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The Color Code of Self Defense



White: Unaware, asleep, you will probably die if attacked, unless your opponent is a total moron who stabs you with the wrong end of the knife, or attempts to shoot you with an unloaded gun. In white, the only thing that would get you to fight is the sight of your own blood. Only then would you realize you've got a problem. 90% of people are in white most of their lives; it attracts trouble. Don't ever let yourself be caught in white. No matter how safe you think you are, stay aware.


Yellow: General alert. You know you could be attacked, that it really could happen to you, that you are not exempt. You are aware of what is happening around you. You use your senses fully, you are living in the present and are focused on your personal safety. Most of your life should be spent in this awareness level, especially when you travel to areas you are not familiar with. You will repel attackers while in yellow because as they look toward you as a possible victim you are looking at them as a possible attacker, and you are mentally and physically ready to deal with an attack. In yellow, you represent too much of a challenge. Yellow takes effort to stay in, but the effort is worth it because it keeps violence away from you. If you are very tired, or feeling depressed, or you are sick with a cold or flu, you must make even a stronger effort to stay in yellow. If you can't stay in yellow, consider not going out where you might put yourself in danger.


Orange: Specific alert. You have a possible target. There is a particular situation that has drawn your attention, and could present a major problem. In orange, you make your battle plan. You say to yourself, "If he does this, then I do that." You are setting the mental trigger that will put you into action. You think to yourself: "If that goblin takes one more step toward me, I'll drive my fist into his throat." Or, "If he steps one step closer, I'll go into this store, and avoid the whole ordeal."

Chapter Two—Awareness

The importance of orange is that you have made your decision to take action, and you have hung it on a hook. Meaning "it is done." While being attacked you won't have to have a conference with yourself on whether or not to fight back. That decision will have already been made, and you will be able to fully concentrate on the matter at hand. Stopping the fight.

If while in orange, the potential attack situation does not materialize, you can then easily go back to yellow (the general-alert stage). This often happens, because when you shift into orange, and put 100% focus on your potential attacker, he feels this readiness, and wants no part of you. Your willingness to take action defuses the situation. If you were caught in code white you would most likely walk right into the attacker's grasp, resulting in a definite confrontation, and violence. Orange puts you in complete control. Your attacker will most likely feel this control and back down. If he doesn't, you automatically shift to color code Red.


Red: Red is the fight mode. It is where you carry out the decision you made in orange. Here, you are like a machine. You don't have to think. The decision and course of action have already been made, and the execution of your technique will not be hindered by indecision. You won't be saying, "I can't believe this is really happening".

You will not have been surprised. You will have seen the dirt-bag making his move toward you in yellow, established a course of action to follow in orange, and carried out that action in red. The only person who will be surprised is your would-be assailant.




Over the years we have had many favorable reports from our students on how well the color code works, and many have said it has saved their lives.

Just knowing and understanding the color code is not enough to make it an effective self-defense tool. You must also practice it often. This is actually quite simple to do. First, bypass white. You should never find yourself in white. Try shifting from yellow to orange often.

While walking down the street in yellow, practice imaginary shifts to orange. Say to yourself: "If that guy walking behind me picks up his pace, and makes a move toward me, I'm going to throw him through that store window." Most likely the guy walking behind you is not a problem, and when safe, you will shift back to yellow. Had he been a real problem, you would have been ready for action. Practice thinking of ways to stop, or avoid, potential attackers. Use anyone around you for mental practice.

Try to find yourself practicing this once a day. Soon your ability to shift from yellow to orange will become effortless. You can't really practice shifting to red, without it involving fighting. But you can imagine a shift to red by visualizing fighting-back in your mind. Once again, you are conditioning your mind to be ready to fight back. You are rehearsing for a performance that could determine whether you live, or die. Make sure you know your part.





Best Wishes,
Scott Flint, Senior Chief Instructor
West-Wind Self-Defense Schools
Berkeley, California (510) 841-1427


Jeff Cooper's Color Code has saved many lives.  I hope you can learn it, practise it, and make it a part of your character.  It could someday save your life.
 
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