The Velvet Hammer Podcast

The Color Code of Mental Awareness

January 27, 2022 David Burnell
The Velvet Hammer Podcast
The Color Code of Mental Awareness
Show Notes

This is an excerpt from one of David online course found at


White is the lowest level on the escalator. In Condition White one is unaware, not alert, oblivious. This state can be characterized as "daydreaming" or "preoccupied". People in White tend to walk around with their heads down, as if watching their own feet. They do not notice the impending danger until it literally has them by the throat.

CONDITION YELLOW - aware, alert and relaxed
This is a relaxed state of general alertness, with no specific focal point. You are not looking for anything or anyone in particular; you simply have your head up and your eyes open. You are alert and aware of your surroundings. You are difficult to surprise, therefore, you are difficult to harm. You do not expect to be attacked today. You simply recognize the possibility.

CONDITION ORANGE - potential threat - create a plan
This is a heightened state of alertness, with a specific focal point. The entire difference between Yellow and Orange is this specific target for your attention. Your focal point is the person who is doing whatever drew your attention to them. It might be the fact that they are wearing a field jacket in August. It might be that they are standing by a column in the parking garage, instead of going into the building, or getting in a car and leaving. It might be that you have been in five stores at the mall, and saw this same person in every one of them. Their actions have caused you to take note, so you must assess them as a potential threat, just as the fighter pilot assessed the blip earlier.

CONDITION RED - Threat verified - implement plan
In Red, you are ready to fight! You may not actually be fighting, but you are MENTALLY PREPARED to fight. In many, or perhaps even most, circumstances where you have gone fully to Red, you will not actually physically do anything at all. The entire process of escalating from Yellow, to Orange, to Red, then de-escalating right back down the scale as the situation is resolved, occurs without any actual physical activity on your part. The key is that you were mentally prepared for a conflict, and thus could physically act if the situation demanded.

CONDITION BLACK - in the fight and fight to get away
The fight is on. Your outcome will depend upon your preparation. Muscle & mental memory from training is recalled. You will fight how you trained