One of the things we learned at Front Sight was color awareness. It’s a color code, like the US one for threat levels.
I wrote in my notes:
In White, the lowest level of threat awareness, you aren’t aware of anything. You are living like there is no threat and never will be. And that is when you get
Most people have 2.3 to 3 seconds of unawareness. On the street all the time you have to react is 1.5 seconds. The lag time is what the bad guys are counting on.
Yellow= relaxed, aware of your environment. If you think “How can anyone live like that?” you won’t live.
Orange=hinky. Something’s wrong. You have identified a specific threat. Determine their intent. Form a plan (scream, call police). Continue to stay in condition yellow because rats travel in packs. Keep looking for the bad guys. If you make four consecutive turns and they are still behind you, they’re bad guys.
The orange here reminded me of the time some stupid guys followed my sisters and me down a road. We sped up and so did they. I made a plan, drive to the police station. But when I passed a cop, I didn’t pull over. I’d made the plan, so I kept going to the police station. By the time I realized I could have stopped where the police officer was, I was past him and it was a two lane road with the bad guys right behind us.
Now I try to make a more general plan. “Get help.” “Find a police officer.” “Get to the police station if I have to.”
C a friend of S, A’s daughter, was out driving and a guy did a U-turn across four lanes of traffic to follow her. That was defnitely hinky. So she turned left across several lanes of traffic, without warning, to get away from him. He followed her. She did several other turns, then called her parents on her cell. She drove home, into a culdesac. He followed her. Her parents were out in the yard waiting. He reversed and drove out. A’s husband said that if she had trouble again, come to his house. He’d come out into the yard with a gun and let the guy know it was dangerous to follow girls home.
It is worrisome how many people don’t have a plan for when things go wrong.
Red: a specific threat. Draw a line in the sand or set a mental trigger. If A, then B.
For example, if I pull into this gas station and the guy pulls over too, I will… What I did was get out of the car, call my family and give them the guy’s license plate number. I figured if I didn’t make it home, they could at least find the guy. I was eighteen and scared and driving in from out of town.
Black: Opponent has tripped the mental trigger. At this point you need a combat mindset.
How to develop a combat mindset:
1. Know that the world IS violent.
2. Get mad, not afraid. “How dare this dirt bag.”
Understand your opponent.
2.2% are true anti-social murderous
Your opponent will probably be a dedicated criminal.
Even in pain, keep going. Be the last one standing.
Train the way you want to fight.
You lose 50% of your ability under stress.
Therefore it is easier to win a gun fight if you’re a good shooter.
You should include simulators, hone physical and mental training.
You want a scenario that promotes success.
See it before you do it.
Pay attention to real world examples. Think through them.
See yourself winning.
Put little stickers up to remind you to be in condition yellow.
I also wrote in my notebook something very personal.
I think I used to always be in orange. Got sick of it so I hide in books.
I did, in fact, used to be in orange all the time. I was on the ragged edge of sanity. But I pushed back too far. R says they should add another color, clear.
Clear: (he says) is what I am when I am reading. I don’t hear you when you talk. I don’t see you come into the room.
He says that’s a problem because I am out in public and I zone out. For instance, he came to pick me up at school the other night because I locked my keys out of my car. And I was reading under the lamp post. I was highlighted and no one else was.
He wasn’t too happy about that. I did tell him that I knew where all the people were, and told him so he’d believe me, but that it makes me less afraid to read. However, I know that it probably does drop my seconds of reaction, even when I know where folks are.