Cooper's Condition Color Code

Firearms and self-defense expert Col. Jeff Cooper created a set of color codes to weigh the seriousness of a given tactical situation, today these color codes are used across the country in defensive training and in discussions about threatening situations and tactics. Instructors in public, military and police settings use this same color code.  Your instructor may use different wording, but the overall idea is the same.

  • Condition White - Unaware of the surroundings

    Being in this condition simply means that you are NOT paying attention to what's going on. If someone was planning to attack you, you would not see it coming.

  • Condition Yellow - A state of mental preparedness

    You are attentive, but you are in a relaxed state. You are aware of what's going on around you, and you have your eye on things.

  • Condition Orange - A state of heightened awareness

    An immediate threat has gotten your attention, and you are ready. You have just identified your target,  you have noticed this individual taking notice of you.

  • Condition Red - Go Time fight / engage or escape the threat

    Defend your life stop the threat, it is your job to protect your OWN life. The most important thing is to go home to your family at the end of the day.

  •  Condition Black - (Not an original part of the Cooper Color Code) - Catastrophic breakdown

    You have not prepared yourself for an attack on your life, meaning your mind and body will shut down, and you would not be able to respond to an attack. There will be a lot of stress on the mind as well as  the body. If you don't use the training that you received while carrying a firearm, you will be the victim and you will lose.