Zen Martial Arts Center

Sacramento Martial Arts and Karate

Self Defense Tip: Stay out of Code White

One of the key principles of effective self-defense is to learn awareness. In our classes I have recently been talking about the color code system that we use to denote where we are in our internal and external awareness.

The bottom level of this color code is CODE WHITE.   This signifies someone who is completely unaware of what’s going on around them.  They are switched off and distracted.  This is exactly what a potential predator is looking for when they are looking for a target.

People plugged into their iPods; texting on their cell phone; arguing with their children or spouse; counting their money at the ATM; under the influence of drink or drugs--all these are examples of people in CODE WHITE.

One side effect of this are that people will often miss the early signs of a situation occurring as they are also unaware of their internal ‘alarm bell’.

When I teach women's self-defense courses, I often ask if any of the attendees wear headphones in the street especially while texting.  There is usually a smattering of hands that go up.  Then we ask how many senses a human being has, and what they are.  Obviously they are Sight, Hearing, Smell, Touch and Taste.

So for those who text while plugged into their iPod we suggest that they are relying on identifying a potential predator by the taste!   This usually gets lots of laughs, but is a great way of identifying CODE WHITE, and why we want to avoid it.

So this week I've been challenging everyone to play the code white game, especially with your children.

While you are out and about, try to spot as many people in code white as possible. Rather like a serious game of Slug Bug, you’ll start to spot just how big a problem it actually is.  You’ll also start to notice those people that aren’t in code white, and how obvious they are.

If we can stay out of code white, we reduce the risk of being selected as a predator’s target. Plus the kids will love the code white game.

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