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The colors of danger in self-defense

the colors of danger

The colors of danger in self-defense are a representation of the levels of attention in different contexts.

One of the things you often read on self-defense books is the use of colors to identify the danger level and the resulting alert status to keep.

Beyond the schematization that is useful to learn how to quickly prepare your psychology for a rapid change of behavior, what you need is to get used to being “careful”.

The first rule for self-defense is to “keep your eyes open and your ears strained,” so as to recognize danger before it becomes inevitable.

It may seem a trivial statement but it is true, indeed I will tell you more if you have a feeling that is wrong, listen to it.

Attention to the context in which you find yourself must make use of a quick and intuitive method of assessing the situation in order to do the right thing at that moment.

There is no rule that applies to all situations.

The colors of danger

Where do the 4 colors of danger and the resulting state of alert come from

In self-defense or martial arts courses it is often easy to find a legacy of military extraction where the danger color chart is used (who has never heard the fateful “red alert!”), or the alarm levels.

Surely in some movies you have heard this terminology that indicates the levels of danger, but as you have seen in recent years even the cities that have suffered terrorist attacks have used the same terminology in the real world.

Personally I had the misfortune to find myself in a place under terrorist attack and the blockade in homes and tourist facilities by the authorities in charge worked precisely on behaviors based on alert status levels.

What is it all about in practice?

If we want to use the obscure military terminology it is a question of the “degree of readiness” of each operational, defensive, tactical or logistical garrison, depending on the political, international or military situation of the moment.

If you have seen films about war or terrorist threats, in moments of war crisis, but as we have also seen in “relative” moments of peace, there is a “state of defense” (the famous American DEFCON ) defined with numbers (from 5 = Time of peace, to 1 = red alert, precisely).

In practice, nations, like individuals, should have a pattern of behavior based on the “state of alarm” to have a behavior appropriate to each contingent situation (from the international crisis, to the fool encountered on the street, to the neighbor who sclera for children who make a mess).

There are people who even have the famous bag out, that is, a baggage of ready use in case of social dangers or national crises in order to be able to escape quickly and have with them fundamental elements for survival for 36 hours or more.

The military purpose of the levels of preparation it’s used basically in terms of coordination because depending on the “state of defense” decided by the command, every military sector already knows where it needs to be and what it has to do and knows in advance the kind of “attention and aggression” that it has to face with the consequent reaction even if it does not see it yet.

The colors of danger in self-defense Fighting Tips - Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport

The color approach of danger and personal defense

This approach can be used in different ways but it essentially teaches you that you must always be present and attentive to ciò what surrounds you and behave accordingly..

Today it is easy to see distracted people on the street watching social media on smartphones while walking down the street, talking on the phone with headphones at all hours, etc. totally isolating themselves from what is happening around.

Unlike the military no one will tell you at what level of alarm color you have to be but you have to make a self-assessment of the situation and an important lesson that I want to give you: never underestimate!!

A key principle you need to know is that an aggression is all the more likely the more the surprise factor works, or the environmental advantage that can be maintained in favor of the attacker.

Experience teaches that the famous “aggressor” does not hit his victims at random because remember that:

The aggressor is looking for a victim and not a fight.”

Even considering the exceptions of the case based on the motivations of an aggression that are different, this statement remains true in most cases.

Even when we get into trouble by making useless discussions or playing to seduce a stranger in a club, perhaps openly provoking our potential aggressor, at the base of everything there is almost always a wrong evaluation of the context or the person in front of you.

So we read the chronicle where for example:

  • The sedentary employee arguing over a parking lot with a tattooed beast made of cocaine.
  • The poor lady who ventures alone into a dark street has been attacked and snatched,
  • The girl raped in the desolate parking lot and notoriously frequented by illegal immigrants,
  • etc.

Unfortunately, the news offers gruesome examples every day.

What you need to understand is that what the victim often lacks is a degree of awareness and consequent attention regarding the dangers he runs by doing a certain thing and/or being in a certain place.

Too often people feel protected behind the utopian statement of “I live in a civilized country” but it is just one of the many false securities that are somehow related to the famous saying “it can’t happen to me …”.

The fact that security in our society has been delegated to law enforcement does not mean that you do not have to worry about your personal safety yourself.

It also considers that in the society in which we live there is a high abuse of exciting drugs that alter the emotional state of people, who no longer realize the level of violence they express for trivial things or make apparently calm people do aggressive actions or abuse.

News stories

The news unfortunately is full of cases of crazy beatings for trivial discussions of both lonely people and packs.

Not to mention the presence of foreigners who come from different parts of the world where the social status, levels of violence or consideration of women are different.

Obviously I’m not telling you that you have to live in a state of paranoia as often the newspapers and some politicians propose us (instead of updating the laws and methods of security and control of the territory to adapt them to the current condition that is not that of 30 years ago) because the risk unfortunately is that some for fear of being attacked implement behaviors that worsen the quality of their lives, or simply increase the danger.

So we see people who close themselves at home limit their social life, arm themselves (with the risk at the first potential emergency of not knowing how to manage the situation and having endless problems with the law), assume xenophobic, racist or justicialist opinions that absolutely do not change the situation because without laws and regulations the result is that nothing changes!

As always, it is not the words but the actions that follow the words that lead to changes , otherwise they are just fake caresses used by the political classes of every orientation or color.

This is not the solution!!

The media uses fear and influences behaviors but not in a constructive way as the study of self-defense does.

Certainly one of the explanations lies again in the responsibility of the media that create a media hype on facts chosen with the sole purpose of creating audiences and not socially useful answers because then basically the laws remain the same, nothing changes except the increase in arms sales and incite absurd social behavior when the statistics in that period are perhaps the lowest in history.

An example is the media noise that there is around the gangs of Eastern Europe that are dedicated to looting in the villa (a few dozen cases in all) and that seems to give rise to real emergencies, when there are daily events and thousands of smaller tragedies and frightening social costs but to which no one seems to be able or willing to give a solution.

Without laws in a civil society there are no changes, those who commit crimes know what they risk criminally and are already ready and if they know that for certain crimes they risk little probably it is precisely in what they will specialize.

An example like that of robberies in the villa with people inside, a situation of high danger but if the law practically does not differentiate between a burglary in the house with people inside or without for unscrupulous people it is not easier to enter and get money or open the safe rather than looking for or burglarizing ?.

It is the laws and their severity that lead to curb certain behaviors then there will always be a percentage of malicious people who will not care and perhaps thefts will not decrease but at least the methods will be different, now someone could deny this statement but doing nothing means not bringing any change and it is not what people want who ask for answers to different levels of violence than in the past.

The problem is important but it must be solved politically through laws!

The best answer as in life is not on choices based on emotionality but in personal balance and knowledge of the real problem.

The perception of danger

Speaking of the perception of danger if you compare it to road safety, you know that car traffic every year causes thousands of victims in Italy alone.

If you compare how many people die every year in our country from road accidents with people who at the same time remain victims of crimes, we would all have to wonder why we are so affected by the single murder, perhaps more resounding because committed by the immigrant on duty, and we remain indifferent to the endless slaughter that every day destroys lives and whole families.

Now if we had the same approach that we have towards road accidents if we had a minimum of consistency you should panic every time you get in the car and not when you meet someone in the dark room under the house (who is maybe going quiet for his own business) theopposite happens.


One of the reasons is certainly the aforementioned media imprinting that is inculcated in your emotional imagination, but it is not only that.

When driving you are usually aware of the potential dangers you run, but this does not make you particularly anxious about walking alone in a dimly lit street, or going to pick up the car in the garage or public parking lot in the evening, this often creates a bit of anxiety.

There is a reason, and it is in terms of your ability(perceived)or not to cope with any unexpected.

Your belief that you can deal with the unexpected allows you to manage anxiety until you virtually cancel it out.

Two examples, try to answer:


  • How does the average school pupil feel when he first lifts the clutch pedal and hears the car moving?
  • How does the average individual feel when, alone in a dark street, he is approached by the usual shaved character, chock-full of piercings, with a swastika tattooed on his forehead, and with a convex scar on his face?


  • How does the same student feel, after two years of obtaining his license, driving quietly on the same road?
  • How does the first-time individual, who survived the first episode, feel when he meets a bunch of guys, armed with clubs, clearly looking for someone to party with?


The answer, in the case of the first example is that they’re both going pretty badly and the adrenaline and fear

are felt in all its effects and probably the first of the two will turn off the engine with a sharp uproar causing the instructor to jump, the second will stammer an inconsistent response to the unknown tattooed energumeno who simply asks for directions, because he is lost.

In the case of the second example, however, the answer is that the school student now drives through the traffic with confidence and is obviously better off than that other loser gentleman who finds himself again in a situation of being in a dark street with strangers.

But why is he doing better?

Even the guy who learned to drive runs dangers to stand in the middle of the traffic on the road and if you look at the accident numbers in Italy it doesn’t seem at all out of danger, and the guys with clubs maybe are just coming back from a baseball game and are therefore a little bit galvanized by the game.

Leaving aside other considerations of the case, the difference between the two protagonists of the example is the qualitative aspect where one of the two, the driver, has or believes to have control of the situation, the passer-by on the street, for his part, just not.

The difference lies in the perception that you can manage and control the danger


What does it mean to be in control of the situation?

It means being aware of where you are and knowing what you need to do at that time.

Ps. Beware of the Dunning-Kruger effect

The colors of danger in self-defense Fighting Tips - Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport

Car drivers know they are taking risks, but have developed technical knowledge (driving the vehicle), behavioural (code rules) and instinctive (automatisms), which allow them to have the right reactions in the face of any eventuality (or almost) even if I would like to make an emphasis: there is another mortal danger for the driver.

Often there is a message that the television and radio media pass that they emphasize to repeat, which is often not speed or drunkenness but the distraction, the imperfection, the underestimation of risk.

Hence the need for anyone to have in every context always the right degree of attention and evaluation of what he is doing, while driving the car you can not read the messages on the smartphone, video calls or see videos in YouTube (you also see this on the street!), you just have to drive.

The other character in the example, on the other hand, besides always putting himself in dark streets isolated continuously (which in itself represents a fault) does not know what he does there was going to his friend (he could have gone a longer but less isolated road) and does not quite know what he has to do to get out of trouble (he has no idea how to deal with an aggression).

the colors of danger


Now you, for example, behave?

  • As you walk down the street, as well as watching as you cross, see where you are and where are you going to get to your destination?
  • Who’s on your path?
  • Do you know the area you’re going through?
  • Are there people and what kind?
  • Are there lighting and shops?
  • et cetera.

If the place doesn’t convince you, change your ways, and stay with your eyes open.

In short, you have to know how to quickly assess the situation and be ready depending on what is happening around us and the color code.
the colors of danger


And it can do better if we have a simple reference scheme in our head, like the famous color code:

White Code:

Relaxed state. No danger. In this state you are inattentive and unprepared.

If someone attacks us in this state, we have no chance of reacting.

Yellow Code:

Attention relaxed.

In this situation you always know where you are and who has passed by you, without you having to turn around.

Even if you are not in a situation of danger, you know that such a situation can surprise you at any moment.

Orange Code:

Alarm that requires immediate attention.

Someone comes up to you running in the parking lot.

At night you hear glass breaking in the house.

You see a suspicious movement.

Code Red:

Potentially deadly danger.

It’s time to fight or escape.

This is a crucial and central point of the matter.

the colors of danger

The colors and statistics of aggression

The case shows that many of the people who were assaulted were in “
white code
“, until they abruptly realized the danger.

On the other side there are paranoid people who live perpetually in the orange code, putting us back in quality of life and also of psychological health to the point of giving up doing some related to social life (cinema, dinners, visits of certain places, etc.)

Going back to the example of one who drives, the driver of the car is (or should be) always in the alert state “
“: this is a moderate activation state that is compatible with prolonged exercise (unlike the orange and
which are only for emergencies), allowing rapid reaction in the face of occurrences.

Similarly, when you’re on the street, or at work, or in any other context that requires attention, you can’t afford to stay in the“white”

activation state, you’d be continually at the mercy of contingencies or accidents: it’s a law of nature.

It applies to animals in the savannah, it was true for our ancestors, it still applies today, when we live, or we delude ourselves of living in a civil society.

A fundamental aspect but that you have to accept and work on is that even if it is very difficult you have to switch in an instant from the minimum alert state (white) to the maximum(red).


Our organism, our brain, there are no allow it:

the adrenaline rush overwhelms our physical, psychological and mental defenses, resulting in panic, paralysis or, on the contrary, awkward, rigid and ineffective reactions.

It is much easier to defend ourselves from panic if we perceive the danger a few moments in advance and have time to prepare, otherwise the risk is to block you, stay frozen.

Another important consideration is that a person in a state “
“, is a person whose attitude shines through in the eyes of the observer classifying it as difficult to surprise and thus represents a subject “little suitable” in the eyes of a habitual attacker (such as a snatcher) who is looking for a “victim”.

The aggressor on duty, you would see yourself identified even before entering into action seeing so thwarted what is his most important ally: the surprise effect.

Such an attitude is the basis of any preventive plan for personal safety.

This does not mean that you always have to do it but at certain times your attitude must already be coded superior to white.

Stay Tuned!

Street Fight Mentality!


Ps. Don’t get paranoid but be careful!

Con una passione per la difesa personale e gli sport da combattimento, mi distinguo come praticante e fervente cultore e ricercatore sulle metodologie di allenamento e strategie di combattimento. La mia esperienza abbraccia un vasto panorama di discipline: dal dinamismo del Boxing alla precisione del Muay Thai, dalla tecnica del Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu all'energia del Grappling, dal Combat Submission Wrestling (CSW) all'intensità del Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Non solo insegno, ma vivo la filosofia di queste arti, affinando costantemente metodi e programmi di allenamento che trascendono il convenzionale. La mia essenza si riflette nell'autodifesa: Filipino Martial Arts (FMA), Dirty Boxing, Silat, l'efficacia del Jeet Kune Do & Kali, l'arte della scherma con coltelli e bastoni, e la tattica delle armi da fuoco. Incarno la filosofia "Street Fight Mentality", un approccio senza fronzoli, diretto e strategico, unito a un "State Of Love And Trust" che bilancia l'intensità con la serenità. Oltre al tatami, la mia curiosità e competenza si spingono verso orizzonti diversi: un blogger professionista con la penna sempre pronta, un bassista dal groove inconfondibile e un artigiano del coltello, dove ogni lama è un racconto di tradizione e innovazione. Questa sinfonia di abilità non solo definisce la mia identità professionale, ma dipinge il ritratto di un individuo che nella diversità trova la sua unica e inconfondibile voce e visione. Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport! Andrea


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