Self Defense: The Color Codes of Awareness

According to experts, self defense is based upon 90% awareness and the remaining 10% is the physical training.

The Color Code System was developed by Colonel Jeff Cooper. The purpose of these color codes is to help recognize, evaluate, and avoid potential threats. The following are the colors in ascending order of awareness of danger: white, yellow, orange, and red.

Code White:

  • You feel secure, whether or not you are actually safe.
  • Awareness is switched off.
  • You are oblivious of your environment, its inhabitants, and their procedures of attack.
  • All attackers look for victims in this state.

Code Yellow

  • You are cautious and should spend most of the time in this state.
  • Awareness is switched on.
  • This is known as a state of threat awareness and relaxed alertness.
  • You have a 360-degree marginal awareness of such environmental danger spots as secluded doorways, entries, and alleys, as well as such psychological triggers as adrenal dump and attacker tricks. Be aware of people, vehicles, behind large objects, dark areas, etc.

Code Orange

  • You are in danger and aware of a potential threat.
  • It is a state of threat evaluation.
  • There is a specific alert which means a possible target has been identified. A particular situation that has drawn your attention and could present a major problem. Someone may be giving oral indicators such as direct threats or using suspicious language. Focus on the potential attacker.
  • Check to see if there is an avenue of escape, or any potential weapons are available, and if others around you are friend or foe.
  • Decision is made to take action.

Code Red

  • You are in conflict.
  • This is a state of threat avoidance.
  • Fight or flight. Flee, defend, or attack. You have evaluated the situation, and if there is a threat, you prepare to fight or run.
  • Never stand or fight if there is a possibility of fleeing.
  • Carry out decision to act made in Code Orange. You don’t have to think; no indecision on the course of action; you are prepared.
  • If use of physical self defense techniques is necessary, use the level of force appropriate to the threat.


To practice these codes then start right now, be in Code Yellow. Throughout the day, identify probable areas of danger and switch to Code Orange as necessary. If not threat exists then switch back to Code Yellow, awareness should be made a habit by doing this exercise regularly, as it is the most important self defense skill.

Source by Imran ali

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