Outer Eastern Martial Arts
Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate, Progressive Krav Maga & Reality Based Self Defence
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Jeff Cooper is credited with devising the colour code system.

Colour Me Red - Colour Coding Self Defence Responses

There are three basic levels or "codes" we use to clarify our self defence preparedness. Yellow alert is our normal state of good self defence awareness. Orange is when we sense that there could possibly be some danger or even an unusual situation that our "gut feeling" tells us something is wrong. Red is high alert. At this point you know that there is a real threat and you prepare yourself for attack.

Let me take each level of self defence colour coding and explain the details of each.

First the yellow alert is just being aware of your surroundings. Walking with your head up, shoulders back and noticing what is going on around you. Criminals interviewed tell us that one of the first things they look for in a victim is someone who is not really alert or aware of what is happening around them. A good yellow alert status would be to make the habit of noticing people, situations, unusual conditions, etc., that are nearby.

We go to orange alert when something looks, feels or obviously is wrong. It may be something small or something we can't really identify cognitively. When going to an orange alert we should instinctively bring our hands up from our normal standing or walking position. It can be done quite subtly as if to cross your arms or rest your elbow on one arm while with the other hand on your chin as if you are thinking. This position brings the hands closer to a defensive position without becoming threatening to the other person. This is important as the threat, at this point, may not be real.

Red alert comes into the picture when there is no question that there is a real threat. The arms go up with the hands open and palms facing out. One foot should be place a little in front of the other. Hands should be held about face height. From this position, you are prepared to either block or strike.

Along with the body posture in both the orange and red alert modes, the voice should be used to both access the level of danger and to help develop the assertive demeanor. Asking a question like, "What do you want?", can quickly find out the motives of a possible aggressor. Becoming progressively more assertive here can have several benefits.
As you become progressively more assertive in a self defence situation there is a good possibility that the aggressor will back off. It's easier to find and easy victim than to mess with one who may put up a fight. This is especially true if you give him an honourable exit.
Another benefit to progressive assertiveness is that it naturally brings up your adrenaline levels so if an attack ensues you are prepared both physically and mentally.

A hidden benefit is that it protects you in court, especially if there are witnesses. Your assertive posture (not aggressive) and your words, congruent, strong, assertive and telling the aggressor to "back off", "I don't want any trouble", "I don't want to fight". "Just leave me alone".