The most effective weapon we possess is our mind

At Guardian Defence we won’t expect you to turn up, hit focus mitts, kick some pads and perform techniques with a partner then go home.

Learning how to defend ourselves is much more complex than learning how to strike, kick and perform techniques. All of these fighting skills have to be taught in context of a street situation, whilst prioritising how our minds function and behave under stress. We must have the intellectual capacity to embrace the fact that “the most effective weapon we possess is our mind.”

Study is a lifelong process. Acknowledging other professionals work and putting their ideas and concepts into practice is essential for any self defence instructor. 

Jeff Coopers Colour Code

In this post we will outline the simple, yet brilliant colour code as devised by the late Jeff Cooper.

This has been embraced and taught by martial arts & self defence instructors for many years as a mental process, not a physical one.

Cooper broke down alertness levels into four colours: White, Yellow, Orange and Red.


In condition white, you are relaxed and unaware of what is going on around you.

Ideally, you will only be in condition white when, for whatever reason you are drowsy. However, in reality we often drop our guard when we are at home or in some other environment we assume to be safe.


In condition yellow, we remain relaxed, but we are aware of who and what is around us.

This merely means that we are paying attention to the sights and sounds that surround us whether we are at home or in town. In comparison to condition white, we have simply moved our alertness to a level of attention that will prevent us from being totally surprised by the actions of another person.

We are not anticipating a threat, but we are  aware of our surroundings and the people that are around us.


In condition orange, we have identified something of interest that may or may not prove to be a threat. Until we are satisfied that no threat exists, our internal scanning system will stay focused on that possible threat (but not to the point where we are oblivious to other possible threats).

If we are well trained, our subconscious mind will be visualising “what if” situations as possible solutions should an attack take place.


If the focus of our attention in condition orange does something we find threatening, we will shift to condition red.

Notice here that condition Red IS NOT the trigger to unleash violence. Instead, condition red simply changes the focus of our attention from a potential threat to a potential target. We will do whatever is required only if the potential target’s actions dictate such a response.

If we are attacked in red, we should be fully prepared to defend ourselves.

We must be ready for whatever comes our way, be it an armed attacker, an intruder in our home, or simply refusing to be a victim, the central theme to this is preparing our skills physically, but most importantly, mentally.

At Guardian Defence we believe that in order to stay safe we must keep our mind sharp!

Please note that all of our Krav Maga Self Defence Classes are based in Manchester

About Dave Kay

Provided security for high net worth clients. Successfully gained Krav Maga Instructor Certification in Israel. Studied and successfully passed Sports Science degree. Led expeditions in mountain, jungle and other inhospitable environments. Regularly update skills and knowledge base in different combat sports. Specialties: Krav Maga, Self Defence, Boxing, Fitness training, Nutrition and Diet. Undertake mountaineering, ice climbing, rock climbing, skiing, fell running, orienteering, mountain biking.
All of our Krav Maga Self Defence Classes are based in Manchester