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Thread: Modern Relevance of the Cooper Color Code?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Allen, TX
    The Color Code and the Four Rules are still completely relevant today. Like many others, I have different ways of communicating the concepts, besides the classic ways, so that students can better connect at times. On mental awareness I also present at least two different approaches that can be added as ways of organizing your mind on that topic. Cooper was way ahead of his time and had it down pretty good. Having used his color code and safety rules to stay alive many times, I have no intention of walking away from them now.
    Regional Government Sales Manager for Aimpoint, Inc. USA
    Co-owner Hardwired Tactical Shooting (HiTS)

  2. #12
    The thing that his color codes and the 4 rules have going for them is that they are simple, yet thorough.

  3. #13
    Site Supporter JSGlock34's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    I think the color code remains relevant, and there is really no need to re-invent the wheel here. We are all ingrained with the association of colors to degrees of caution from a young age, so the Cooper Colors are highly intuitive. I still use them regularly as a mental cue to 'snap in' and pay attention.
    "When the phone rang, Parker was in the garage, killing a man."

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    No longer relevant? Why not?

    What has changed?
    Last edited by Redhat; 08-25-2019 at 10:48 AM.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Rocky Mountains
    Maybe I'm missing something but to me the color code is descriptive. The colors aren't conditions I decide to be in they're just descriptors for the condition I am in.

    When I'm at home I'm in yellow because I live in an apartment and I can hear people moving around in the hall. It's not a decision I make, it's a response to conditions as they exist.

    Same thing when I'm at work, I watch the Meth Heads walk up and down the street all night long and I pay attention. I pay strict attention if they approach the gate. But I don't decide to be in "condition orange/red" just because I'm at work.
    Last edited by Cypher; 08-25-2019 at 11:33 AM.
    Random nobody.

  6. #16
    Member Wheeler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by Bergeron View Post
    I'm hoping that we can discuss the Color Code as classically promulgated by Jeff Cooper.

    The best YouTube videos that I've seen are these two:

    Color Code Video 1

    Color Code Video 2

    I'm hoping that we can seperate the content of Cooper's presentations from his pedagogy. I love the classroom setting, the use of chalk on a board, and his presentation style, but I want to try to seperate that from the material.

    My first exposure to a Cooper book was Principles of Personal Defense, which from my limited knowledge and understanding, does accomplish Cooper's specific goal of being independent of the type of weapons and available technology.

    I'm on the "copy machine repair-man" end of the spectrum of shooting and defense enthusiasts, I have no relevant military or police experience, I've never had to fight for my life, but the few times something really serious might have happened, I found the Color Code to be very useful.

    Does the modern professional self-defense instructor community find the Color Code to still be relevant? If it's not among the current best practices in mental and emotional framing of the self-defense mindset, what is the most superior technique?

    Was there something specific that led you to the speculation that the color code system was irrelevant?
    Men freely believe that which they desire.
    Julius Caesar

  7. #17
    Site Supporter
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Weíve moved on from many of the best practices of Cooperís time; the Modern Technique, Scout rifles, and 1911 .45s are not highly represented among the modern self defense crowd. We also have a number of high quality instructors who are focused on the management of close range threats.

    Iíve read about and used the color code myself for almost two decades now, and while Iíve gotten to Red ďIf they, then Iíll do it thenĒ a handful of times in my life, Iíve fortunately never had a a situation of my own come to blows. Iíve never been in any form of military or law enforcement uniformed service, and the formal self defense coursework Iíve taken pales in comparison to much of the membership here.

    Iíve been satisfied with the Color Code, and I donít think that thereís anything wrong with it, but considering the education and experience of the P-F community, I thought Iíd ask if anything potentially better was out there and being taught.
    Per the PF Code of Conduct, I have a commercial interest in the StreakTM product as sold by Ammo, Inc.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    I think the Color Code is particularly useful as a quick self-check prior to heading out into the world. Reminding myself to stay in Condition Yellow has helped me avoid complacency.

    A helpful adjunct to the Color Code is the question ďWho is around me and what are they doing?Ē I think I first heard that from a Tom Givens interview. That question is essentially what awareness (in the context of personal defense) boils down to and is useful in the moment as a mental guide.

  9. #19
    This in an interesting topic to me because I've spent a good portion of my adult life trying to impart the concepts of what Cooper put forth to recruit police officers.

    First let me start by saying that in my very humble opinion the Color Codes are completely relevant for today's world. But, now, let's address what Colonel Cooper didn't know that he didn't know.

    In the last several decades their have been sea changes in our understanding on how the mind works. These folks have greatly influenced the way I look at the subject:

    Gavin Debecker just scratched the surface of how the mind can work to keep us safe, if we let it, in his seminal book The Gift of Fear.

    Ken Murray - Training at the Speed of Life

    Jonathan Page - NueroCop

    To read, and study these folks - and there are many more - helps me put what Cooper was espousing forty years ago into true perspective.

    I've have said this before on other forums, what sharpened me up considerably, was learning, teaching, and practicing the art of commentary driving. I thought I was a pretty sharp cookie SA wish, but, man I was missing so much. After a short time, you just run the script in your head without thought - recognizing a potential hazard allows your 'automatic mind' to function at it's optimum in a stressful situation.

    It's late, I just woke up to let the dogs out, looking forward to reading more response on this subject.

  10. #20
    Site Supporter
    Join Date
    Jul 2017

    Law Enforcement Armorer

    Off Topic: Dan is a retired law enforcement armorer who trained at all the right factory schools.

    Can somebody rope him into participating in the armorer section where he can answer any and all questions pertaining to S&W handguns, Glocks, Colt products, and Remington and Mossberg shotguns. No doubt I have overlooked other weapons.

    Mods, do you need to move my post?
    Last edited by willie; 09-17-2019 at 12:57 PM.

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