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Vigilance Pays

You are always vigilant if you are in a war zone and also when you are under threat. But are you still vigilant when there is no threat to your existence? TAKE CARE, the threat to you and your loved ones' existence NEVER ceases! An assasin can mistake you for somebody and kill you, etc. I was mistaken for somebody else several times but fortunately, they were not violent mistaken identity encounters...

The Jeff Cooper Color Code

Col. John Dean "Jeff" Cooper - Creator of the "modern technique" of handgun shooting.

Jeff Cooper was the creator of the modern technique of the pistol

John Dean "Jeff" Cooper (May 10, 1920 – September 25, 2006) was a United States Marine and the creator of what is known as "the Modern Technique" of handgun shooting, and one of the 20th century's foremost international experts on the use and history of small arms.[1] - Wikipedia

1. Condition White - Total Unawareness

People who are either day dreaming, thinking of job related problems, listening to loud music while driving, walking with either head down or up looking at the sky, etc. Criminals have a trained eye spotting these people. They may have that mighty .45 tucked in their waist, but criminals will still see them as soft targets.

Too, because you are not aware of your safety, you tend to go to bed not checking your doors if they are properly locked and secured. You might even simply empty an ashtray, without looking for any lighted cigarette still in it, to the garbage bin.

You will die, without even knowing it in this condition.
2. Condition Yellow - Relaxed Alert

It takes time before you can master this condition, (I mastered for about a year!) but continue doing it since it can only be achieved after you have trained yourself well on the following. See also our Introduction:

1. Train your peripheral vision. You can discreetly observe the people around you with it. You can watch and observe the expression on people’s faces and their movement as they walk near or towards you by just slightly tilting your head left or right to expand your field of view or to focus your eyes - in a split second - on something that caught your attention and by looking straight ahead and acting naturally. You can even observe the body languages of people standing on street corners or people passing you. If any man was observing you, that man will have the impression that you did not even focus your eyes on anything.


If you happen to see a stranger eye to eye, just nod. I have had noted this on Americans I meet in my country which I feel is an expression of friendliness. I now do it to any foreign nationals and also with the locals, too. Nodding also gives you the excuse of taking your eyes off them.
However, some people still don't like it even if you nod to them and these are the people, sad to say, who might be thinking they are superior to you.
Thus, avoid direct eye contact with strangers as much as possible. Look as if they are invisible when you meet them, but watch the shoulders and hands - always. The shoulders give the signal when a man is about to strike you or about to draw something from his waist or pant pocket. A boxer's trained eyes watch for their opponent's shoulders and hands for subtle movements, because it gives them the "big" cue when their opponent is about to give a punch.

This training will also help to minimize the so-called *tunnel vision so prevalent in case you get into a fight or you are in a particular danger. You should always be aware of "tunnel vision", which is the tendency for one to focus his eyes only in one direction. If you have perceived something different from one of the men or group of men you have discreetly trained your sight with, focused on that man and - also the others around you - don't let him get away from your "discreet" attention if he is still within your immediate surroundings.

About Tunnel Vision - FirstAide

*"A phenomenon that can render an individual unaware of impending or existing danger. There is an understanding that the individual has experienced or is experiencing some extraordinary sensory input, usually visual, and that the individual's attention is completely "tuned" into this extraordinary event. It can be a "deadly" practice for emergency care providers, for obvious reasons. It is easily avoided, in-as-much-as the individual often only needs to be advised that it is occurring."

Note from source: "I searched several dictionaries (via the web) and tried in several different places on the web to retrieve a "professional" definition of Tunnel Vision as related to EMS. I found nothing that was even close. The above definition is an "aclsman special." It does, however,explain the phenomenon."
Author's Note: This also applies in a fight. Tunnel vision has killed so many good gunfighters.

2. While walking, don’t turn your head left and right because that is a sign of nervousness. If you have to turn your head to check what you have observed in your peripheral vision do it discreetly. Remember, criminals are trained like dogs to smell fear and they know if you are suspecting them of something.

3. While driving, always observe the car behind you: Has it been following you on every turn? Watch, too for people that might approach your car while you are stopping on a red signal or while parking. Avoid turning on your car stereo when driving while practicing Condition Yellow.

- At night time where there is a moderate volume of traffic, it is hard to determine if a particular car has been following you. In case your "hunch" is working on you, stop at any store or gas station along the road and observe if something is out of the ordinary by observing cars who made their stops and note their model and color. Write the plate number of the car if they again stopped at your next "testing" stop point. Be discreet in doing this

- Motorcycles are easier to spot at night time since they only have one headlight. Simply look at your rear view and side view mirrors and see for pairs of headlights moving together minding on your driving while you do so. Take note if there is a single headlight beam alongside cars. However, motorcycle drivers tend to be always in a hurry and they would weave in out of traffic. If you noted that there was one that was always there, slow down and see if will overtake you. If not prepare for Condition Orange.

4. Avoid flailing your arms while walking and watch if you unconsciously turned it into a fist when you smell danger. Just keep it open and relaxed, but ready. Criminals are wary of relaxed confident people even if they made some threatening glances at them. Never be intimidated, but if you were, don't convey it..

5. Always look outside your house if there are people unfamiliar to you before you open that garage and drive. If there are, prepare for the next color code.

6. Always walk with confidence with shoulders straight up and eyes looking straight ahead. Always be aware, too, of your peripheral vision.

7.When you are parking your car at night in your garage, sacrifice a bit and do a reverse parking so the front of the vehicle will be facing the road. Here you can easily see if someone suddenly appears from nowhere and starts to approach you. Further, it will be much easier to drive out of the garage in case of emergency. Please read the highlighted story below which happened just a few year ago in an exclusive subdivision where security is supposed to be strict.*

*A young business executive came home at the wee hours of the morning. He opened the adjacent smaller side door and opened the garage. Probably tired and sleepy, he parked his car the usual manner we all do, i.e. front end first. He was found dead in his room that same morning.

Family members explained to police investigators that they did not notice or hear anything unusual that night but found it strange that the garage door was wide open that morning. His parents, concerned that their son had not come down to take his breakfast, knocked loudly at his room but there was no response. They got the spare key to the room and opened the door and found their son robbed and murdered in his own room.

Police investigators theorized that his attackers must have followed him while he was parking his car. Poked a gun on him and entered their house and into the young man’s bedroom, then robbed and killed him there.

Note: Use your imagination and add some more to the conditions you want to practice here.

Sooner or later, the level of awareness you have practiced will merge into your subconscious as soon as they become second nature to you, and it will automatically trigger your conscious mind to the next level of alertness in case something is indeed out of the ordinary.

3. Condition Orange - Focused Alertness

The suspicious sequence of events had your subconscious mind trigger your conscious mind of possible danger. Something is simply out of the ordinary, your mind tells you. It may be a person or a car or a motorcycle that seems to be following you on every turn. You are still not sure, though, if you are the intended target.

It is at this stage, you should be planning your defense/offense strategy or even your escape; be it a person, a group of people, a car or anything else, just in case.

Note 1: The paragraph above compels me to advise you to rehearse your mind with various criminal attacks on persons that happen in real life. Mental rehearsal of dangerous conditions that might happen to you or your loved ones is very important since they will make you decide what defense, offense or escape strategy you must employ or deploy (a military term). You will know that your mind conditioning simulations are effective if you have an elevated pulse and breathing rate. Do it while you are resting in bed. Be like the movie producers, please…

Note 2: Your cell phones must always have the telephone numbers of police stations nearest the places you frequent in case your area has no emergency hotline like 911.

4. Condition Red - Fight Imminent Condition

You have determined in Condition Orange that you are indeed the intended target. Your senses are now screaming that a very dangerous situation is at hand, and it is directed at your person! "Your veins are now exploding with adrenaline and you feel the so-called fight or flight response".

Think and don’t panic! Always remember this: “Fear is natural; panic is an uncontrolled fear.”

- Call the police and inform them of your situation. If you have a car, give them your car’s plate number, model and color; and a good description of how you look; the color of your clothes etc. Any other description to avoid mistaken identity should be given to the responding authorities. If you can make a breakout out of that dangerous situation, escape!

In an actual fight, the subconscious mind overrides the conscious mind and the defensive skills you acquired come into play even if you have not practiced it for a long time. This is the reason why most people who had successfully defended themselves in actual life or death conflict cannot remember the details of their struggle right after the fight.

Your survival now depends on how much you are prepared for a particular situation which, you are not even aware of, has somehow lessened the stress you will undergo in case of a very real threat on your person or loved ones.

At this stage, your training is your best asset to survival.

Jeff Cooper's Firearm Readiness Conditions

Cooper had always preferred the Colt M1911 pistol and other similar versions. There are several conditions by which a weapon could be carried and Cooper promulgated 4 of them:

Condition 4: Chamber empty, empty magazine, hammer down.
Condition 3: Chamber empty, full magazine in place, hammer down.
Condition 2: A round chambered, full magazine in place, hammer down.
Condition 1: A round chambered, full magazine in place, hammer cocked, safety on.
Condition 0: A round chambered, full magazine in place, hammer cocked, safety off.