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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I work and live by these:

Combat Mindset - The Cooper Color Code

The most important means of surviving a lethal confrontation is, according to Cooper, neither the weapon nor the martial skills. The primary tool is the combat mindset, set forth in Principles of Personal Defense.[2]

In the chapter on awareness, Cooper presents an adaptation of the Marine Corps system to differentiate states of readiness:

White - Unaware and unprepared. If attacked in Condition White, the only thing that may save you is the inadequacy or ineptitude of your attacker. When confronted by something nasty, your reaction will probably be "Oh my God! This can't be happening to me."

Yellow - Relaxed alert. No specific threat situation. Your mindset is that "today could be the day I may have to defend myself." You are simply aware that the world is an unfriendly place and that you are prepared to do something, if necessary. You use your eyes and ears, and realize that "I may have to SHOOT today." You don't have to be armed in this state but if you are armed you should be in Condition Yellow. You should always be in Yellow whenever you are in unfamiliar surroundings or among people you don't know. You can remain in Yellow for long periods, as long as you are able to "Watch your six". In Yellow, you are "taking in" surrounding information in a relaxed but alert manner, like a continuous 360 degree radar sweep.

Orange - Specific alert. Something is not quite right and has gotten your attention. Your radar has picked up a specific alert. You shift your primary focus to determine if there is a threat (but you do not drop your six). Your mindset shifts to "I may have to shoot HIM today." In Condition Orange, you set a mental trigger: "If that goblin does "x", I will need to stop him." Your pistol usually remains holstered in this state. Staying in Orange can be a bit of a mental strain, but you can stay in it for as long as you need to. If the threat proves to be nothing, you shift back to Condition Yellow.

Red - Condition Red is fight. Your mental trigger has been "tripped" (established back in Condition Orange). You take appropriate action.

The U.S.M.C. also uses "Condition Black" as actively engaged in combat, as do some of his successors, but Cooper always felt this is an unnecessary step and not in keeping with the mindset definitions.

Also note that the Color Code was never meant to be a warning system. Rather, the Color Code was designed to be a mental crutch. It was designed to allow someone to "get over" the resistance that a normal person has in pointing a pistol at the center of someone's chest and pulling the trigger.

In short, the Color Code helps you "think" in a fight. As the level of danger increases, your resistance to shoot decreases. If you ever do go to Condition Red, the decision to use lethal force has already been made (your "mental trigger" has been tripped).


I am always in the "yellow" unless otherwise higher.  The only time I am in "White" is when I'm asleep. Even then I'm barely in the white. I've woken up upon hearing something and taking immediate measures to investigate.

"Black" has also been classified as sensory overload, and in a deadly force encounter there are 3 reactions, "fight, flight, or freeze".  "Black" is consider as "freeze". 
 

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Thanks for posting this, I think many people that might understand the mindset are not aware of what Col Cooper published (the color code). I knew nothing about it until my wife went to Gunsite this spring and came home and took me to school (yes, she has more formal training than I do).
 

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Col. Cooper also had what might be charitably called an extreme dislike for the "black" code, which was appended to this system later on. I don't recall his exact reasoning, but he felt it was unnecessary.

I think the unprepared element of white is what is the real issue. It's always possible to be blindsided, but having a plan--your mindset--is what will make the difference. You shouldn't have to think about your reactions. That's the key, I do believe.
 

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I'm yellow all the time, without really knowing what it was. I just consider it being aware of your surroundings. I 'm trying to encourage my wife to be in this state more often, but I must say she is more aware of what's going on around her than other women I know.

Along this same line, during the Level 1-4 pistol training of Tactical Defense Institute, they took us through someting interesting. We did a roughly 10 minute of meditation of sorts. One of the instructors is a psychologist and they sat us down and had us close our eyes and then he proceeded to mentally walk us through a deadly force confrontation. It's the simple principal of if you see yourself doing it, then you will do it. As opposed to freaking out. It's just another way of mentally preparing yourself for the fight. The main istructor even admitted he thought it was B.S. until he finally did it and admits it's great mental prep for what they do as military and law enforcement personnel.

Have you ever stopped to really think about what it will be like in that situation when it happens? The sounds, smells, your bodies' natural reaction, adrenaline, tunnel vision... all while making life and death decisions for you and possibly those around you. That's a heavy, heavy, responsibility.
 

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Have you ever stopped to really think about what it will be like in that situation when it happens? The sounds, smells, your bodies' natural reaction, adrenaline, tunnel vision... all while making life and death decisions for you and possibly those around you. That's a heavy, heavy, responsibility.
You are correct, I had the "oppurtunity" to use a firearm in a self defense situation back in July. Fortunately no shots were fired but if the badguy had even hesitated to comply I would have put him down. It was a very sureal situation that has completely changed my outlook and perceptions. My wife has always thought I was a little "paranoid", I just like to think I am perceptive of my surroundings. Smoeday I will relate the whole story but not until all legal proceedings are complete.
 

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Have you ever stopped to really think about what it will be like in that situation when it happens? The sounds, smells, your bodies' natural reaction, adrenaline, tunnel vision... all while making life and death decisions for you and possibly those around you. That's a heavy, heavy, responsibility.
While you are thinking about it. Now put your self in the mind of an 19 year old Marine NCO in combat. Trying to get the bad guys, and keep his own guys alive.

Life can get very exciting very fast.

I did it back in 1967 for the first time in Vietnam. My favorite question is for folks who think they have "tasted" fear.

What does it taste like? True fear does in fact have a flavor.

I actually hope no one else ever has to taste it.

Go figure.

Fred

Semper Fi

If you are going through Hell, keep going.
--Sir Winston Churchill
 

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My experience has always been that as a soldier you just react on instinct and then training takes over. Afterwards things start come come back into frame as you stop and think back through what happened. During lulls you can get scared, if you don't you are probably a danger to those around you as you'll do something stupid because you don't respect the danger. Even so, it's a job and you get on with it, it's almost mechanical. You're well trained and a professional. Maybe it's different, I spent most of my time in four man teams behind enemy lines conducting recce, incursions and hunter-killer ops. It was different to main line troops in massed engagements. How often do four main line troops take out a SCUD convoy on their own because air support is actively engaged elsewhere.

As a civilian it's different, you get slower and more rusty, but even so once it gets moving instinct and training take over. My shooting today is OK, but it's very different from service when we were dropping 500 rounds a day to stay at the peak. Also as a civilian, the duration of any engagement is likely to be much shorter and the likelihood of contact is also smaller, plus your opponent is likely to be even less well trained that those of the past so the checks and balances are still in effect. We also like to think we are constantly aware of our surroundings and alert, but in reality that is most likely not so. Civilian life is too comfortable and too cosseting and as a result there are likely to be frequent lapses. It's not a criticism, just a fact.

As for the taste of fear, it's personal and different for everyone. For me it's not a taste, but a knotting of the stomach and dryness in my mouth. Drink water and you're still dry. I was never sacred of dying though, only of fucking up and getting my guys killed.
 

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Just read this thread. Terra, how did you know that????? Nasty ass taste. The first time you have a tendency to upchuke, later occasions the taste comes. Copper flavor?????
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I haven't a clue what "fear" is supposed to taste like. But if it does have a taste, I probably like it.


This is how I play chicken, and this was no "accident" and that aint tortillas in that Durango that happens to look like an unmarked unit:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm in AZ. That happened in Naco/Bisbee. I'm in Yuma now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
If you go about your day in WHITE you will bump into things. Tat is usually a good clue to move to YELLOW. :eyesclosed:
Many people are always in "white". You couldn't get them in "yellow/orange/red" even if you shove a hot iron up their ass. They are the one's that go from white to black at a flip of a switch and are convince a cop will always be nearby to protect them.

Here are some more, just for you Aussie. None of these were as of a result of any prior or extensive investigations like some other agencies do just to pop a few kilos. I've got a few more but I can only post 4 pics :(
 

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