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
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
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".