February 20, 2020, Highway 101 South, California Central Coast
And I'm telling you, son
Well, it ain't no fun
Staring straight down a forty-four (Gimme Three Steps, Lynyrd Skynyrd)
California highway 101
Driving down the highway, after a wonderful Krav Maga seminar and visit in San Lois Obispo, taking in the beautiful scenery of California, listening to wonderful music, the wind blowing through my hair, (OK, that part is not true) I hear the familiar words....
And I'm telling you, son, well, it ain't no fun, staring straight down a forty-four.
Now the Forty Four is of course a reference to the to the 44 Magnum, or perhaps the 44 Special, a firearm cartridge used for various weapons including a powerful and intimidating looking handgun. (Gun experts, feel free to comment below).
The singer is referring to a true event that inspired the song. Having a loaded intimidating looking revolver pointed at you, is terrifying, as he says, it ain't no fun.
This is a simple truth that we often ignore.
Many martial arts programs teach defense vs. gun threats. I have seen them all, from the bizarre to the movie fantasy to the simply unrealistic poor techniques. Most involve the Three Amigos I always warn against; Precision, Speed, and Strength. These are three qualities you can not depend upon in real life stressful situations.
So what does this song bring to life? Put yourself in the shoes of the young man in the song, he enters a bar, he innocently dances with a woman that unknown to him is already "spoken for", and then a big mean looking guy points a powerful looking weapon in his face. Can you feel the fear?
I ask again, get into the song, Can you feel the fear?
I was scared and fearing for my life
I was shaking like a leaf on a tree
'Cause he was lean, mean
Big and bad, Lord
Pointin' that gun on me
This is what we need to understand before we look at handgun defenses, or any defense. We need to forget for a moment about the technique and understand the situation: It is bad!
and now we need to go back to that technique and feel the fear, taste the tense, see the sight, shake and shiver, and ask: Can you do the disarm technique now!
In most cases the honest answer is no. When you are shaking like a leaf on a tree you will not be able to pull of that precision technique.
Listen to the song, put yourself in that young man's shoes and you will sing with him, Well it ain't no fun staring at the barrel of a big gun in the hands of big man.
Rethink your self defense.
Well the crowd cleared away
And I began to pray
And the water fell on the floor
Praying might be a better option than most of the techniques being taught out there. You see the crowd cleared away and the rest should be clear.
This guy used a momentary distraction to make his wise escape
Well, he turned and screamed at Linda Lou
And that's the break I was looking for...I was headed out towards the door.
We need to understand this situation clearly when we develop self defense techniques, we need to understand this fear, praying, the water on the floor...
We at Israeli Krav International (IKI) use only simple gross motor moves. We limit our gun defenses to two very simple moves that anyone can learn. If you can talk, or sing, or pray, yourself out of a situation, Great. But if you cannot, then you will need some techniques that are not based on Precision martial arts, power, speed or supernatural guidance.
Give me three steps, the singer requests, gimme three steps, mister
Gimme three steps toward the door? Well I ask you, give me three lessons. Give me the opportunity to teach you some Krav Maga Basics so that if you do encounter such a situation you will have more options at your disposal.
Gimme three steps, gimme three steps, mister
And you'll never see me no more
I hope to see you in class, or at a seminar, or at our Five Day Training Camp or at our Tour and Train so that you will not leave "water on the floor".
Fun Facts: the events took place at a bar in Jacksonville, Florida.
The young man in the story is lead singer Ronnie Van Zant.
The bar was called The Little Brown Jug.
The name of the band, Lynyrd Skynrd, is based on the name of a school teacher who didn't like their long hair. He also did not like their music.
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