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!
As a white belt many years ago, our instructor related this story to us. He explained it much like this:
There was once two pearl farmers in Korea. They both lived in the same small village on the coast of Korea. The first farmer was a meager farmer with only but a limited number of strings from which hung his oysters with developing pearls in them. The total number of potential pearls amounted between 100-200. The second farmer had hundreds of strings of oysters amounting to a potential of thousands of pearls. Now after a time the pearls were ready to be harvested. The first farmer harvested all the oysters he owned and collected 100 or so pearls of quality to sell at market. The second farmer though he had such a large potential of pearls only harvested a very small number of his oysters resulting in 50 pearls. After the harvest they both went off to market and sold their bounty. The first farmer with his money paid off any outstanding debts he had and with the rest of his money he was able to live the rest of his life not extravagantly but comfortably until he passed a number of years later. The second farmer, with the little amount of money he made, lived out the rest of his days very poorly never bothering to ever harvest anymore pearls but rather save them for the future (which never came).
Which farmer was richer?
The first farmer, though with technically fewer pearls, used his potential and benefited fully from it. The second farmer though potentially much richer, did not use anywhere close to his potential and suffered greatly from this choice!
If we look at the word pearl and substitute it with the word talent, it is much like many in martial arts. Some have so much potential talent but never really use it. Others have very little potential talent yet use every little bit of talent they have! The choice is yours! Use every bit of your talents no matter how great or how small. It is what you do with what you have which truly counts!.
D.I.R.E.C.T Defense is an acronym first derived to name the fusion of martial art I was teaching. DIRECT Defense stands for Defense Initiated Realistic & Effect Combat Tactics Defense System. I developed this system as an accumulated result of my formal martial arts training, my extensive studies and my personal experience of over fifteen years on “the door” and personal security field. This is just a very small peek into some of our classes.