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Old December 3, 2012, 04:57 PM   #26
G.T. Smith
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To MLeake

Well said Sir.


GT
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Old December 3, 2012, 05:22 PM   #27
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BT, during the Korean War, Col John Boyd, USAF came up with the concept of the OODA loop. This isn't color coding, per se, but it does have some relationship with the concept.

Observe, Orient, Decide, Act.

The idea being that before one can act, one must decide to take action. One can't decide to take action without being oriented to one's situation. One can't be oriented to the situation without being observant in the first place.

So, an observant person has an advantage over a clueless one. An observant person who can put his observations together to create a 3D plot of what is going around him has an advantage over an observant person who doesn't consider what he observes. A decisive person, acting on good information, has an advantage over an indecisive one.

Getting inside the enemy's OODA loop is the concept of acting, then acting again before he can figure out what happened in the first place.

Of course, if you want to go even further back, look at Sun Tzu's points about awareness of self being even more important than awareness of the enemy (though both are critical). Again, not color coding, per se, but very similar.

Sun Tzu also points out that the best victory is the one that occurs without a fight, because the enemy knows he has been outmaneuvered before he can even commence his attack.

So, I guess you could say such notions have been around for over a millennium.
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Old December 3, 2012, 08:20 PM   #28
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I have edited the opening post of the thread to add this paragraph:


I owe an apology to jmortimer, which I am making public because my offense was public. He had a typo in his post ("orange" for "yellow") in the thread that sparked this one. He's quite familiiar with Cooper's work and the color shift was a simple typo on his part, not a lack of knowledge. I truly did not intend to "call him out" with this thread, simply to take the color code discussion out of a thread where we had hijacked another conversation, and instead direct it to a thread where it could thrive on its own. However, I didn't take time to be sure he was cool with moving the discussion over, and there was some bad timing in that he was correcting his post while I was writing this one. Can't blame him for getting heated below. I'm leaving the post above unedited for thread continuity, and want to thank jmortimer here for his patience with my bumbling.


pax,

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Old December 3, 2012, 08:51 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onward Allusion
As long as the handler is not doing stupid things, the gun isn’t going to jump out of its holster and fire on its own.
There's a whole world of stuff we could unpack from this post (good one, OA).

"As long as the handler is not doing stupid things..."

In this context, stupid things would include carrying in bad gear. There are a lot of people out there who use carry devices that don't hold the gun securely, or that might even allow trigger movement while the gun is inside the device. Unfortunately, it's not that easy to find really good gear. All of the off-the-shelf holster makers sell at least one or two true dogs that should never have seen the light of day. Some of them sell nothing but dogs! But even the best have a few devices you can't really trust to hold the gun as securely as it must be held in everyday life.

What can happen when someone carries in a less-than-secure holster? Here are some examples:

Guns falling out of insecure holsters in public restrooms: Man hurt when gun blasts toilet; Man could be prosecuted for endangerment after dropping gun in restroom; Woman hit by stray bullet while sitting on toilet. Note that all of these are just the ones where the gun fired and made the local paper.* I have literally dozens more in my files, all equally tragicomic. I have even more stories that I’ve heard personally from talking to people who dropped a gun that did not fire and that did not make the news. In every one of these cases, the problem was kicked off with bad gear that failed to hold the gun securely. When someone went to use the facilities -- which would be one example of an awareness shift that always happens no matter how ninja you otherwise might be -- the holster tipped and the gun fell out. Oops.

So your carry gear can either help you stay safe, or it can contribute to dangerous situations.

What does this have to do with awareness while carrying? Everything. If you carry in poor gear, it's radically unsafe to think about anything else while the gun is on your hip. If you have a flimsy belt and a floppy holster, you're an accident waiting to happen. Not only that, your poor level of concealment -- it's much harder to remain concealed with a flippy rig -- almost guarantees that you'll be thinking about nothing else other than keeping your gear out of sight during the day. That's not just mentally exhausting; it's also a failure of awareness of a different sort.

What I'm getting at is, if your carry system holds the gun so insecurely that you can think about nothing but the gun while you're carrying it, you're doing it wrong on an awareness level, too. You need to stay outward focused to stay safe.

pax

*Edited to add: In every case where I have some knowledge past the headlines, the gun didn't "go off" when it hit the ground. Rather, the owner grabbed for it and hit the trigger inadvertently. Modern handguns are almost universally drop safe.
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Old December 3, 2012, 08:54 PM   #30
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PAX is a Straight Shooter

Not necessary as I was mistaken and the timing was off on our posting. I feel bad that I was so tiny. I have learned from this and thanks to you I further investigated all things relating to Condition White, Yellow, Orange, and Red. I was mistaken, and for sure Col. Cooper intended that condition yellow be maintained until he went to sleep. You have many friend/supporters/admirers here and well you should. You are a class act. Thanks and God Bless.
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Old December 3, 2012, 09:07 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WayneinFL
Seriously though, we should look back at the lives of people like Jeff Cooper, Jim Cirillo, Charles Askins, Jack Weaver, Ray Chapman, etc., etc. with admiration. We should admire them as men. We should bear in mind men are not perfect, and principles are not absolute.
Good point.

Let's add one more thing: there's a lot of fresh scientific knowledge available to us that wasn't available in the early 1970s when Jeff Cooper began formulating his ideas.

For example, he didn't have the benefit of The Invisible Gorilla or a lot of the really ground-breaking, mind-blowing studies about human awareness levels that followed it. He certainly did not know that even people who are paying attention to the world around them truly aren't -- and cannot be -- as alert as they feel they are.

A good use of the Cooper color codes today would be to explain to students that

1) They need to pay more attention to the world around them, which will reduce their already-low chance of becoming the victim of a violent crime;

2) There are specific things to watch for, and specific areas where they should be more alert;

3) This doesn't have to make them grim, and in fact can make them joyful; and

4) No matter how alert they become, they will still need to learn how to effectively defend themselves when caught off guard, because true 100% awareness is literally impossible with human brain wiring.

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Old December 3, 2012, 09:08 PM   #32
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jmortimer ~

No worries. I'm just glad we've gotten it worked out now. I was pretty upset when I realized what I'd done.

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Old December 3, 2012, 09:24 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueTrain
I can see how it could also apply, in a sense, to the level of danger you perceive....
But that is not the Jeff Cooper/Gunsite Color Code. The Jeff Cooper/Gunsite Color Code is a particular system intended for a particular use in a particular manner. The elements of that system have been described by a couple of students of Jeff Cooper's. We have also Col. Cooper's own statement (Jeff Cooper's Commentaries, Vol. 13, pg.4, emphasis added)
Quote:
...The Color Code refers not to a condition of peril,...
This thread was started to help clarify the Jeff Cooper/Gunsite Color Code.

There are other systems for using colors, numbers, letters, words or other forms of designator for threat levels, conditions of alertness, threat assessment (Ability, Opportunity, Jeopardy, and Preclusion) decision processes (Observe, Orient, Decide and Act), or response process (Avoid, Disengage, Evade, Escape). These systems are different from the Jeff Cooper/Gunsite Color Code and serve different purposes. They are useful for those purpose.
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Old December 3, 2012, 11:03 PM   #34
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"Provide a verifiable citation..."

Just got this email response from someone I believe you know. The "quote" in question is so widely distributed on the web that I mistakenly attributed it to Col. Cooper but reading it carefully he would not state that he is quoting himself.

""That may be a paraphrase of Cooper by someone else with some added thoughts. Transcribed from a tape of the "Wendnesday Lecture" he stated, "Yellow - Relaxed alertness. No specific threat situation. Your mindset is that "today could be the day I may have to defend myself." There is no specific threat but you are 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 your carriage says "I am alert." You don't have to be armed in this state but if you are armed you must be in yellow. When confronted by something nasty your reaction will probably be, "I thought this might happen some day." You can live in this state indefinitely.""

Last edited by jmortimer; December 3, 2012 at 11:08 PM.
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Old December 3, 2012, 11:52 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmortimer
Just got this email response from someone I believe you know. The "quote" in question is so widely distributed on the web that I mistakenly attributed it to Col. Cooper but reading it carefully he would not state that he is quoting himself.

""That may be a paraphrase of Cooper by someone else with some added thoughts. Transcribed from a tape of the "Wendnesday Lecture" he stated...
First, Wednesday, at mid-day, is indeed when Jeff Cooper would deliver his lecture on the Color Code for a 250 (Handgun) class at Gunsite. Second, the quote you posted above is very much like the description of Condition Yellow I posted in post 3, quoting John Schaefer's website. Mr. Schaefer (Fr. Frog) is a reliable source for matters related to Jeff Cooper and Gunsite. In post 3, I also linked to John Schaefer's web-page on the Color Code.

At that link, Mr. Schaefer also quotes Jeff Cooper as follows (emphasis added):
Quote:
"Considering the principles of personal defense, we have long since come up with the Color Code. This has met with surprising success in debriefings throughout the world. The Color Code, as we preach it, runs white, yellow, orange, and red, and is a means of setting one’s mind into the proper condition when exercising lethal violence, and is not as easy as I had thought at first. There is a problem in that some students insist upon confusing the appropriate color with the amount of danger evident in the situation. As I have long taught, you are not in any color state because of the specific amount of danger you may be in, but rather in a mental state which enables you to take a difficult psychological step.

"Now, however, the government has gone into this and is handing out color codes nationwide based upon the apparent nature of a peril. It has always been difficult to teach the Gunsite Color Code, and now it is more so. We cannot say that the government’s ideas about colors are wrong, but that they are different from what we have long taught here...."
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Old December 3, 2012, 11:58 PM   #36
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You pretty well summed it all up.
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Old December 4, 2012, 12:06 AM   #37
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So your carry gear can either help you stay safe, or it can contribute to dangerous situations.
VERY good point Pax.

A bit off-topic, but I always carry in a holster and I always make sure that it isn't overly worn. Even a good holster can go bad when worn.
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Old December 4, 2012, 07:33 AM   #38
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I don't know where the federal government got the idea of a code for the awareness level or whatever it is but it probably wasn't from Jeff Cooper. However, I think it's largely useless to ordinary citizens because they didn't come with any instructions on exactly what you're supposed to do or behave.

By the way, the blue in Blue Train is, well, just the color of a train.
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Old December 4, 2012, 10:43 AM   #39
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I don't use the good Colonel's codes. I've been aware of my environment for many years before knowledge of these codes. They don't change how I think and react.
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Old December 4, 2012, 04:12 PM   #40
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J3, you obviously aren't a rookie then. I find the color codes and the other mnemonics Frank mentioned to be very valuable when teaching newcomers.

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Old December 5, 2012, 11:22 PM   #41
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I am a Defensive Tactics Instructor at my job and always teach the color codes, but had never heard of Jeff Cooper before tonight. I had to Google them, because I also train being "in the black", meaning condition black. I found out tonight that Code Black is taught in the Marines. I teach my co-workers that Condition Black is a state of extreme panic that results in overreaction or under-reaction. Over-reaction meaning an excessive response, and under-reaction meaning blind panic. They are taught to always be in Condition Yellow on the clock, unless they are focusing on a specific threat/situation or taking action. The only two codes that they actually refer to, and they DO refer to them when debriefing, are "Condition White" or "in the Black". Whenever I'm in a crowd or a public place, I find it incredibly difficult to not be in Conditon Yellow. It doesn't matter if I'm armed. Whether I'm armed or not, I always feel as if I have to be ready to either take action, or get the Hell out of Dodge.
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Old December 6, 2012, 07:59 AM   #42
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Are there color codes (or any codes) for the threat level? I already mentioned the threat levels that the Department of Homeland Security used but like I said, they didn't come with any instructions that I know of.
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Old December 6, 2012, 09:39 AM   #43
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I agree - the DHS color codes was just as worthless as tits on a bull. Maybe somewhere in some bureaucrats cubicle they had a sheet of paper telling them what to do if a certain level was announced but for the General Public is meant nothing. No dissiminated plan of action tied to the color codes ever existed.

But wait - oh yea something about duct tape and plastic or was that for getting rid of a body ?? oh hell im getting old i think.


kinda the same for coopers codes - its pretty nebulous -i guess your supposed to feel different at each level. But then I do feel different when i have a client in a crowd than when hes sitting in a secured room - i do feel different when i get into a crowd of arabs then when i do hanging out with my bodyguards

But i didnt need coopers rules to tell me that.

If I tell a student to be "switched on" while on duty and he sees a potential threat he will shift his awareness levels without having to reference a color code. I think my adrenalin takes care of that for me.
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Old December 6, 2012, 09:59 AM   #44
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Again, the color codes do not simply indicate awareness level. They correspond with willingness to act. It does no good to have an orange level of concern (specific danger located) if you have only a white level of willingness (none at all). Similarly, it does no good to feel a generalized sense of alarm, if you have no preparation or will to change the outcome you fear.

More here: http://www.corneredcat.com/article/p...-is-important/

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Old December 6, 2012, 10:12 AM   #45
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It makes sense to use the Cooper system or some system of "codes" for OPSEC at home and in public. Like an atheist, they still believe something, so it makes sense to pick the system that best suits you and the protection of yourself and others. An ordered approach is better than the "I just figured it out on my own" and will be better for fluid situations.
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Old December 6, 2012, 11:07 AM   #46
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So basically, they are an aid to teaching?
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Old December 6, 2012, 11:11 AM   #47
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I think they are a aid to living and staying alive. For "teaching" I would think it would increase safety and efficacy but I'm no teacher. Col. Cooper stated that he received many reports back from his students who were "successful" in dealing with a threat, i.e. punching a bad guy's ticket.
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Old December 6, 2012, 11:20 AM   #48
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Quote:
Another reason I don't teach the color codes is because .....
What school do you teach at sir, that I might avoid it?
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Old December 11, 2012, 10:23 PM   #49
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I understand that the use of a color code is an excellent reference when giving intruction, trying to box or create a ladder of mental process for easier understanding. That same method is used in all sorts of different fields where complex understanding of method and theory is necessary. But beyond the classroom, I dont really understand the need to worry about what color is what, if you already understand the subject matter.

A person can become a master in kung-fu and if at some point they forget what a specific strike is called, it doesnt mean they are any less a fighter.
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Old December 11, 2012, 10:35 PM   #50
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Incidentally, I disagree with the good colonel when he says that if you are armed, you "must be in yellow." I believe that's a generality that's quite situational, not an absolute.
While I agree with you, Pax, I did find out that in one instance where I felt safe being in condition white (on my Grandfather's farm, private land) I should not have been.

The only time that I have drawn my firearm on a person was after he tried to take my firearm out of my holster while I was saddling up a horse. Typically I carry a firearm out on the farm for protection from feral dogs and snakes, and I trusted this man (that I barely knew) because we had bought a horse from him (the one that I was saddling). Long story short, I learned the hard way not to trust too quickly; and to always be aware, the easiest time to be caught off guard is when you are just trying to do something relaxing.
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