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My System of DIRECT Defense teaches awareness as a cornerstone for all it’s programs. In any self-defense scenario one must recognize and be aware of the situation at hand. To simplify and teach awareness we use a color code system know throughout many law enforcement and security agencies. Known as Cooper’s Color Code model, it was originally devised by Col. J. Cooper, a pistol shooting guru. Most recently we all may be familiar with this system of color codes as it is used for terrorism alerts by the US government and seen on places like CNN. Commonly the code system is as follows:
Condition White: You are unaware of what is going on around you. The only time you should be in this condition is when you are sleeping. Reasons why one may be in this condition maybe due to fatigue, stress, or impairment due to drugs or alcohol. At this condition you are really not ready for anything.
Condition Yellow: You are alert but also calm and relaxed. You know what is going on in front of you, to your sides and to the rear. You are alert to you surroundings/environment and the people who occupy it and their body language. Being in this state makes it difficult for someone to surprise you.You are alert, not paranoid!
Condition Orange: A heightened level of awareness. You sense or recognize that something is not right. This is the time to formulate a plan and start to act. At this point you make the decision to act, Fight or flight (avoidance/diffusion).
Condition Red: The highest level of awareness. You are taking immediate and decisive action. You are in contact (or range) of the subject and physical action is taking place. LEO and security don’t always have the same luxury as civilians to disengage (run away).
This color code model gives a basic visual of what level of awareness one should be at a given point in time. Note that sometimes one may go from one condition to another in a split second. To further simplify Cooper’s model we may say either one is aware or they are not aware. Be Safe and Be Aware!
T. F. White
Through my experience and studies I have decided to start writing on the subject of practical self defense. I find this writing necessary due to the main streaming of the martial arts, the popularity of mixed martial arts and loss of the proper understanding of self defense and it’s purpose.
In terms of self defense and martial arts there are three main types of attacks or fights. This is just a simplified view but most can be fit into one of the three categories. Also one category may move into another if given the opportunity.
The Ambush: is the first type of attack. It where the subject is ‘jumped’ or as stated ambushed by the attacker(s). The level of awareness of the subject to their situation is obviously low or next to none. The ambush can be averted mostly by the use of awareness! Awareness of ones’ surroundings and to those in them and the knowledge of an attackers rituals and how they set up an attack are pivotal in avoiding an ambush attack.
The Confrontation/Three-Second Fight; is as written where one is confronted or an attacker is setting the subject up. This type of fight is usually controlled by an interview stance/fence and ended usually either through verbal diffusion, posturing, pre-emptive strike(s), or escape/flight. If a physical confrontation is not ended within the first few seconds then it usually ends up in the third type of fight, the match fight.
The Match fight; is when two or more either decide to fight or things have continued from an ambush or a three second fight. A match fight relies more on size, shape, conditioning, skill, speed, power, and physical abilities more than the other two types of fights. This is the area where most martial artists train as self defense but yet is the least “self defense” related area.
Awareness is the key in all three types of fights /attacks to avoiding them and/or to a large degree controlling these situations. In up coming blogs I shall be covering various subjects for good self defense practices such as awareness, mind-set and other such topics.