Yesterday, on Twitter, Priscilla Page reminded us of the time when "Stevie Nicks showed us how to kick ass in high-heeled boots in her bodyguard's self-defense book," calling our attention to the little-known 1983 book, Hands Off!: A Unique New System of Self Defence Against Assault for the Women of Today.
The book itself was written by Bob Jones, an Australian martial arts instructor who doubled as a security guard for Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Joe Cocker and other stars. And it featured what Jones called "mnemonic movements"--essentially a series of nine subconscious/reflexive self-defense moves (like a swift knee to the groin). See Jones' website for a more complete explanation of the exercise routine that also provided, he notes, a great cardio workout.
Stevie Nicks agreed to take part in a photoshoot where she would help demonstrate the nine mnemonic movements. Jones recalls," This lady was a professional: in two hours I had a hundred of the most magnificent photos ever offered to the martial arts, and just one would make the cover [above]."
"On this day of the shoot I was standing in my martial arts training uniform, wearing my Black Belt. Then Stevie appeared, her hair done to resemble the mane of a lion. She was psyched up for some serious photographing. Stevie wore her familiar thick-soled, thick-heeled, knee-high brown suede kid leather boots. High roll-over socks appeared over the top of these elegant Swedish boots and hung tentatively around her knees." "In these kicking-style photographs the sun also made her dress partially see-through: just enough to be artistically interesting."
If you'd like to support Open Culture and our mission, please consider making a donation to our site. It's hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us provide the best free cultural and educational materials.