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Do you know about Colonel Cooper's Color Code?

by Daniel @HolsterCentral on March 10, 2021
Estimated 8 Minute Read

Colonel Cooper's Code could save your life!
Colonel Coopers Code

Today I want to talk about Colonel Jeff Cooper's Color Code and discuss why it's important to pay attention to what's happening around you.
It could simply be a quick scan of your mirrors while in a parked car for anybody approaching.
It could be sitting facing the door and not with your back to the door in a restaurant.
Or not standing and texting in public.

The late Colonel Jeff Cooper was a United States Marine. He believed that the most powerful tool we have to protect ourselves is actually our mindset!
He introduced a color code that enables you to move from one state of mind to another to enable you to handle any given situation.

colonel coopers color code
It provides a great way of approaching your day-to-day life. The key is to be mindful and aware - not paranoid!
Colonel Cooper recommends that on a daily basis we stay in the Yellow Zone, but being honest, are you like most people who are usually in the White Zone
You only have to take a good look around you when walking through life to see that the majority of people are unaware of their surroundings.
They don't pay attention to who is around them and they are completely unprepared for any kind of danger.
They don't expect anything to happen so when something arises they're caught off guard.
When this happens they are immediately hit with a huge rush of adrenaline from their fight or flight response and go straight to the Black Zone
Being unaware, they're not mentally prepared. With no tools, and no skills and they are overtaken by adrenaline as they become frazzled and go into shock.
Their fight or flight response kicks in and often they are unable to avoid the attack and end up being a victim.

Unfortunately, women are often targeted by attackers as quite often they are preoccupied.
Often women are distracted getting their keys out of a purse, carrying a toddler, or even just talking on their phone.
More often than not when predators strike, they are crimes of opportunity.
The following video shows a classic example of this.

And this happened in broad daylight in Manhattan, New York City.


The lady is on her phone and the attacker comes from behind, chokes her unconscious, and steals her belongings.

If she had been paying attention to her surroundings she could have seen the attacker coming and avoided being attacked from behind.
Unfortunately, this is just one of many attacks that happen on a daily basis, especially in big cities.

Colonel Jeff Cooper preached that we should aim to be in the Yellow Zone on a daily basis, particularly when in unfamiliar surroundings.
We need to develop good situational awareness, scanning for possible threats, and be aware that the world is not always a friendly and safe place.
If necessary, we may need to defend ourselves at a moment's notice, and being aware buys us time, giving us more options in the event of an attack.  
This means being aware and alert, being cognizant of your surroundings and who is "in your world".
This does not mean living in constant paranoia, but simply being aware of who is around you and what could be a possible threat.

Today could be the day you have to defend yourself!
You can be more prepared by carrying a defensive tool such as a gun or pepper spray.
As soon as you make the decision to carry a weapon, as a person you think differently.
It makes you more mindful of your surroundings and also how you act.

After Yellow the next stage of Colonel Cooper's Color Code is Orange.

This means you have identified a threat.
For example a group of men approaching you with a potential weapon in hand.
A drunk abusive person coming at you making threats.
A "road rager" approaching your car with a golf club in hand. 
I have only been in the Orange Zone twice in my life.

One of them was when I was on a road trip with my mother and we were stopping for the night in Little Rock, Arkansas. 
We parked as near to the hotel entrance as possible and the car park was deserted as it was dark.
I had already checked to make sure there was no one around before we got out of the car.

As we were unloading our bags from the car, in my peripheral vision I noticed there was a man coming out of some bushes towards us.
I had only looked in that direction 30 seconds prior, and as I looked again he had crept up behind us and covered about 30 yards.
I alerted my Mom and told her to run to the hotel and he froze in his tracks when he realized I had seen him.
We ran with our bags to the safety of the Hotel Lobby and I was glad I had parked as close as possible to the door!
What were his intentions?
I don't know.
Was he about to rob us?
Was he about to pull a knife?
Was he simply a homeless person about to ask us for money?
I don't know and frankly I don't care, but by being in Code Yellow it allowed me to be aware, identify a possible threat and avoid it!
Had he increased his pace and pulled out a pocket knife I would have gone from Orange to Red and I may have needed to draw my firearm.
Thankfully I was aware and we got away and avoided that possible scenario.
I hope none of us ever have to enter Code Red in our lifetime.
So in conclusion you need to remain in code Yellow the majority of the time to enable you to Avoid, Escape, Defend.
Being in Code Yellow allows you to Avoid and Escape so you do not have to defend.
Avoiding could be as simple as not going to a bad part of town at night, or avoiding walking down dark alleyways.
If a threat presents itself and there is a way to escape that is your next best option.
This could be driving off in your car away from a road rager, running away to safety, or getting out of a building through an alternative exit.
And finally, if you cannot escape a threat, you have to defend yourself as a last resort.
Whether that's physically or with a defensive weapon.
Remember to follow Colonel Cooper's code, it's really not that hard and it could one day save your life! 

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