EZ Defense & The 3 Colors of Awareness
Setting Verbal Boundaries & Nonviolent Conflict Resolution
The Three Colors of Awareness are Yellow Alert, Orange Alert & Red Alert. Each color represents a different action one takes for personal protection. In Self-Defense Awareness is key to staying safe. Whether one is warding off a bully, a stranger or a grown up which makes us feel uncomfortable knowing what to do & how to do it will protect us & could even save our life.
The first Color of Awareness is Yellow Alert. Yellow Alert is when there is no danger but there could be, in other words paying attention to our surroundings & environment. Children could be in Yellow Alert while riding their bike such as paying attention to cars or driveways to prevent or avoid accidents. Grown ups could be in Yellow Alert while driving like paying attention to the road or cars around them to prevent or avoid danger. We should always be in yellow alert, always looking to prevent accidents or dangerous acts from happening to us through paying attention to our environment & surroundings & what is going on around us at all times.
Orange Alert is when one gets that weird gut feeling in their stomach like something is wrong and they LISTEN to it. We also know this as having “butterflies” in our stomachs. This feeling could happen when we are scared or nervous such as the first day of school or getting on stage in front of an audience. It could also happen when we are being picked on by a bully or a grown up makes us feel uncomfortable. In orange alert we take some sort of action when we feel something is wrong. We might assume a self-defense stance, we might assertively set a verbal boundary or we might leave a dangerous situation & tell a grown up. Usually something bad occurs when we get that gut feeling like something is wrong & we ignore it. A great example of orange alert is setting a verbal boundary for either a bully, a stranger or to anyone when they make us feel uncomfortable. Here is more information on to how set a verbal boundary correctly.
The Verbal Boundary a Tool for Non Violent Conflict Resolution
When it comes to communication it is important to say the right thing in the right way. Be aware of using the right body language, the right tone of voice & the right words for the a situation. If we are too passive we might unintentionally make ourselves out to be an “easy target”. If we are too aggressive we may escalate a situation to become worse than it started. Assertive communication is not too passive nor too aggressive but is just right to show that we don’t want any trouble but are willing to protect ourselves if we have to. There is a physiology to every emotion we feel & body language is the biggest form of communication. The next biggest form of communication is our tone of voice & last are the words we use. In self-defense we want to become aware of our verbal & non-verbal communication.
Examples of Passive Communication might be avoiding eye contact, looking down, hands in the pockets or the body sunken in as if we are “shrinking away from the trouble”. The tone of voice would be speaking quietly or sounding “mousey” projecting a lack of confidence or willingness to protect oneself. The words used in Passive Communication may be in the form of asking instead of telling such as “please don’t hurt me” or “please leave me alone”. Passive Communication could make us seem more like an “easy target” & unintentionally invite more trouble towards us.
Aggressive Communication is not good either. While it may display more confidence than being passive if we are too over the top we might invite trouble by escalating a confrontation rather than deescalating it. Also if we lose control emotionally we will not be able to “think straight” & make good decisions. Examples of aggressive communication might be shaking our fist at someone, pointing a finger at someone’s face or standing with fists up looking like we are ready to fight. Shouting & yelling uncontrollably while saying mean or derogatory things is not an effective way to communicate as well. We might “set someone off” to lash back at us out of anger or embarrassment. This may start a fight rather than preventing one.
Assertive Communication is as if to say through our body language our tone of voice & our words “Look I don’t want any trouble but I will protect myself if I have to.” It may be as simple as “standing up” or “speaking up” for yourself or it may be setting a verbal boundary. How do we set a Verbal Boundary with Assertive Communication? We need to include the right body language tone of voice & words. The Body Language is a self-defense stance with one foot back, both hands up & the palms open as if saying “stop” while making good eye contact. The tone of voice is loud & sharp projecting confidence. It might be like a “Bad Dog” tone of voice like when yelling at a dog after it goes to the bathroom on the rug. The words we use change for different situations.
Orange Alert for a Bully
When confronted by a bully we might shout “Back Away!” or “Stop!” or “Leave Now”. Tell them exactly what you want them to do but don’t say anything that might embarrass or anger them. Always allow them an honorable exit especially in front of peers. It’s also smart not to “get into it” by getting drawn into an argument going back & forth with an aggressive discussion. Be loud to set the verbal boundary & show you are not an easy target & also to attract the attention & help from a teacher or parents nearby.
Orange Alert for a Stranger
When a stranger either aggressively or quietly approaches a child or signals them or asks a child to go with them somewhere we assume the same self-defense stance & loudly shout “This is NOT my mom this is NOT my Dad, Stranger Help!” Be loud to attract attention & then look around & go for help. Tell a grown up immediately. Go back inside a school, into a house, find a parent, friends parent, teacher, police officer, fireman, paramedic, security guard, life guard & life guard station or someone who wheres a uniform at a store, a mall or an amusement park or find a mom with kids. The main thing is to be loud & to attract attention, get help & stay in a place with lot’s of people. Never allow yourself to go with anyone. Sometimes getting away is not an option. If this is the case wrap your arms & clasp your hands together around a bicycle, street sign, park bench or some object to make it difficult for someone to pick you up. All the while shout the right words & attract help by being loud. A stranger may give up & leave if you are a difficult target. Also if a grown up, teenager or peer who is not a stranger but someone we & our family knows & trusts is making us feel uncomfortable through touching us also set a verbal boundary. Be loud & clear yelling “STOP!” or “NO!” then leave & tell a grown up right away. You might tell your parents or a teacher at school. If the grown up who you tell doesn’t do anything about it, tell someone else & keep telling someone until you get the help you need.
Turn Fear Into Power
When we become scared or nervous we experience the effects of adrenaline. Adrenaline is something natural our body produces when under stress which can make us stronger or run faster to get away from danger. It can also cause us to “Tense Up” or “Freeze Up” at a time we don’t want to. It can produce effects like “Tunnel Vision” which is when we become fixated visionally on something while under stress staring at a fist, a finger pointing at us or a weapon. “Auditory Exclusion” is when we “Block Out” all sounds like instructions. We keep control by remembering to breathe. Breathe in & out. This helps us to remain calm & make good decisions. When we shout we naturally breathe out & it forces us to breathe back in & is another great way to break “The Freeze Response”.
Whenever we set a verbal boundary be sure to breathe & keep a safety distance. Don’t let anyone inside your “Bubble”. “The Bubble” is the safety distance to keep away from a Bully or Stranger. If we are to close they could reach us to do harm. For bullies keep back at least three arm lengths away & for strangers at least ten. Extend your arm out in front of you & imagine counting these arm lengths from an object in the room or practice stepping back from an object in the room so you know how far away to stay back. Never let anyone inside your bubble you don’t want to be there.
Red Alert are the physical self-defense techniques of the martial arts & are used only as a last resort. If we do Yellow Alert & Orange Alert correctly we may never have to get to Red Alert. Preventing something dangerous from happening is always better than dealing with it after something bad occurs. That being said never let anyone harm your body. Always use as much force as necessary to protect yourself or to get away but don’t go beyond that, this is called Justifiable Force. For instance if a bully calls you a name & you push him that is not justified because you are using more force than is needed to protect yourself. Perhaps it would be better to leave & tell a teacher. However if a stranger tries to take you away you can use the techniques of the martial arts to defend yourself against the stranger. When it comes to strangers & grown ups hurting children or anytime you fear for your life in this case there are no rules in self defense. You do what is necessary to protect yourself.
“Children Protect Themselves with their Knowledge.” This is why as a part of our Martial Arts Education at TheDOJO Sensei Dan Rominski teaches through our Intelligent Curriculum The Three Colors of Awareness. For more information regarding this & other self-defense concepts please contact Sensei Dan Rominski.
Sensei Dan Rominski
52 Park Avenue
Rutherford NJ 07070 USA
Phone (201) 933-3050
Written by Dan Rominski
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