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Col. Jeff Cooper's Awareness Color Code


Important message: the goal of civilian self defense is to return home unharmed. There are many situations in which a physical response to a threat is not called for and should not be undertaken. You should be prepared to give up your wallet, mobile device or even your vehicle to a threat, with very little thought. This means thinking things through before they happen. You also must be prepared to do whatever is necessary to escape if the threat is to your person rather than to your "stuff". Again, this requires thinking things through ahead of time so that very little thinking is required in the moment when you need to take action. 



Self defense is about keeping yourself safe. For civilians in our society, this starts with paying attention to your surroundings (awareness) and avoiding trouble (avoidance). However, when awareness and avoidance are not enough, additional skills may be needed to protect yourself.

The following books are invaluable recommended reading. They also contain references to many other resources.


*New* Left of Bang - a self-defense book I am reading right now! U.S. Marine Corp. Combat Hunter System.

The Little Black Book of Violence - What Every Young Man Needs to Know About Fighting. ***If there is one book I wish I had when I was a young adult, this is it. Highly, highly recommended, especially for young men.***

The Gift of Fear - Gavin De Becker's classic self protection book. Protect yourself by learning how to trust — and act on — your instincts. Highly recommended for everyone.

Child Lures - What Every Parent and Child Should Know About Preventing Sexual Abuse and Abduction. If you have young children, you need to read this book. Eye opening.

Self Defense for Women - Fight Back! - Not just for women, this book is great especially if you have a karate or kickboxing background as it will be easy to adapt your techniques using the advice given in this book. I re-read this book every few years, highly recommended.

The Ultimate Guide to Unarmed Self Defense - a hidden gem amongst self defense books, especially if you are looking to make your martial art functional for self defense. I re-read and refer to this book from time to time, highly recommended.

Boxing for Self-Defense: Taking the Sweet Science from the Ring to the Street - the title speaks for itself! Waiting for the sequels!

There are many other books I have read and would recommend, I'll add them from time to time.


Excellent sources of eye opening information. I'll add more over time.


*Parents: Review the material before allowing children to visit the websites or watch any videos.

Functional Self Defense

​Active Self Protection

Chiron Training

Marc MacYoung

Wim's Blog

Loren Christensen

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