Training with Steve Morris

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Training with Steve Morris

Post  Jeff Menapace on Fri Jul 27, 2007 5:36 pm

During my recent trip to the UK, Mick Coup was kind enough to treat me to a seminar with the legendary Steve Morris in Coventry.

For those of you who have never heard of Steve Morris, he is quite simply...AMAZING. The guy is 63, looks 43, and hits and moves like he is 23.

The guy is an absolute goldmine of information that has the rare ability to back up each and everything he says.

What's somewhat frustrating is that Steve is only really well known amongst dedicated and learned martial artists and this needs to change. Keeping this guys knowledge bottled up from the public is almost criminal.

After speaking to Lito and getting Steve's permission, I hope to be starting and article or two about Steve for Black Belt Magazine in the very near future.

If you have the opportunity, look Steve up and train with him. You have my guarantee that you will not regret it.

Jeff
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Re: Training with Steve Morris

Post  Dave Turton on Fri Jul 27, 2007 5:58 pm

I agree with your assessment of Steve's abilities'' I have known about him for 30 years
the one problem with Steve (if it IS a problem) is that he isnt the easiest guy to train under .. nuff said

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Re: Training with Steve Morris

Post  George Ryan on Sat Jul 28, 2007 12:24 am

Jeff,

Could you please give a debrief of your training day with Steve Morris?

Also, I'm sure that Lito will try to convince Steve to come to the States in order to conduct a seminar. I'll keep you posted.

Take care and be safe!

George

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Re: Training with Steve Morris

Post  Les Turpin on Sat Jul 28, 2007 6:49 am

yep gotta agree...

i went to one of his seminars once about 10 yrs ago, awesome stuff

i wont forget it,
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Re: Training with Steve Morris

Post  Rusty Shackleford on Sat Jul 28, 2007 8:03 am

Does the Morris Method specifically address the sneaky ambush type stuff or is it exclusively a support system.
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Re: Training with Steve Morris

Post  Jeff Menapace on Sun Jul 29, 2007 7:22 pm

George and Rusty

I am away from my computer right now. I will try and write a brief summary ASAP.

Take care

Jeff
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Re: Training with Steve Morris

Post  Chris on Mon Jul 30, 2007 2:54 am

Hey Jeff,

I've heard a lot of good things about Steve Morris his ability and his knowledge.

I'd be interested to read your write up of the day.
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Re: Training with Steve Morris

Post  Jeff Menapace on Mon Jul 30, 2007 5:28 pm

Does the Morris Method specifically address the sneaky ambush type stuff or is it exclusively a support system.

Steve's stuff would appear at face value to be 'support system' type stuff, but he always shows ways to apply it in a street situation. Everything he teaches is geared towards and applicable towards self-protection.

I'll tell you guys what, if you ask a specific question like Rusty did I will do my best to answer them.
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Re: Training with Steve Morris

Post  Monty Sneddon on Tue Jul 31, 2007 4:17 am

Dave Turton wrote:I agree with your assessment of Steve's abilities'' I have known about him for 30 years
the one problem with Steve (if it IS a problem) is that he isnt the easiest guy to train under .. nuff said

Dave, in all the videos and DVD's I seen of Steve Morris, he comes across as being an excellent communicator and a pretty easy going guy. I think some of the comments about his attitude to training may be from the fact that he expects commitment from his students, which isn't much to ask I reckon.
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Re: Training with Steve Morris

Post  Chris on Tue Jul 31, 2007 4:26 am

From what I have heard and read recently I think Steve Morris has a different approach to training and teaching than he maybe had some years ago.

People don't stay the same all their lives and as noted Steve Morris is in his sixties now. Like Ali said, if I think the same way at 50 as I did at 25 then I've wasted half a life. From reading his work it doesn't look to me that Steve Morris was ever slow at developing, adapting and researching methods. Makes sense to me that this approach of finding the best methods available would filter into how he trains and teaches.

Recent clips show a very affable, and communicative instructor. Definitely doesn't seem to be the uber demanding and nazi-like terror of the training halls that I had read and heard about him being in his earlier years. He's got the skills though, that's for sure.
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Re: Training with Steve Morris

Post  Jeff Menapace on Tue Jul 31, 2007 11:07 am

I can only comment on the day I spent with Steve and the conversations we've had.

He is one of the NICEST men you will ever meet. For all his ability he is a sincere and humble man who is easily approachable and a pleasure to talk to about anything.

After the seminar we (Steve, Mick, myself and handful of those in attendance at the seminar) went out for a meal. Mick made playful mention of the fact that in the past Steve had trouble holding on to students. This was NOT because Steve was mean or abusive or whatever to his students. It was because Steve not only lived what he teached, he was that. He was beyond dedicated, and to an extent, he had trouble understnading why his students didn't have the same outlook about training that he did.

Steve told us that while he was in Japan he would train EVERY DAY for 8-10 hours a day, and this was eating only once every other day due to his limited funds! When you are that devoted and determined an individual who only knows one speed, it is understnadable why he would have little tolerance for those who were in it for just 'a little bit of training.'

Steve is now making a concerted effort to streamline his approach and cater to the masses as he is well aware of the issues I mentioned above and the possibility of losing students.

I can only tell you this. If you are a devoted practictioner, then you owe it to yourself to train with the guy, even if it's for one day.

Jeff
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Re: Training with Steve Morris

Post  Lito on Tue Jul 31, 2007 4:12 pm

Hi Gents,
Tailgating off Jeff, Steve Morris is truly a full-spectrum phenom! Thanks to Mick, I've befriended him and we've had some great phone conversations (my wife's gonna kill me when she sees the phone bill but he's worth it).

As Jeff mentioned, he really is a nice guy who has a wealth of deep, deep knowledge and skill. Mick, Jeff, and I are going to do are best to make sure he's no longer a "hidden treasure."

In regards to Chris' assessment, I think he's on the money. We all evolve. I also believe many people have misperceived Steve due to the "deepness" and commitment that underscore his extraordinary skill. His intellectual prowess matches his phenomenal physical prowess. This man is on another level; a level I have not seen in anyone else.

I've only known him for a few weeks, but two of the qualities that separate him from the rest is his total, unwavering BELIEF in himself and the INTENT behind all he does. I've never met a man so committed, so possessed to maximize his potential, to perfect himself. He's relentless, voracious in all he does. Coupled with some, actually many, serious God-given attributes, this is what makes him standout and stand alone.

I wish I would have befriended this man sooner. Now that I do know him, I'm gonna make the best of it from this point on. I suggest for those who are serious about improving their martial skills, study with this man if and while you can. He's really that good. Those of you who live close to him are very lucky. I wish he was here in LA...

Take Care,
Lito

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Re: Training with Steve Morris

Post  steve morris on Fri Aug 03, 2007 2:39 am

After reading this thread, plus Mickís comments on his Q&A, Iíve decided to do something that Iíve never done before. Iíve joined a forum.

Iíd like to first of all thank Mick Coup, Lito Angeles and Jeff Menapace for their support and enthusiastic interest in what I do. Iíd also like to thank Steve Rowe and Dennis Jones who have also encouraged me to put out my ideas to a wider audience.

Iíve been reading the forum for quite a while, and there is some interesting discussion going on. Whenever I can, Iíll try to contribute to the discussion.

By the way, I noticed over on Nick Hughesí Q&A there are some remarks and questions directed at me. Iíve been working on an article which will address these points as well as some others. But itís pretty long and you guys would probably all fall asleep. Iíll be getting that up on my site shortly.

All the best.

Steve
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Re: Training with Steve Morris

Post  sly fox on Fri Aug 03, 2007 2:45 am

I trained with him in the mid nineties and what he was teaching at the time was way ahead, in fact coming from a tma background at the time i struggled with getting my head round it, it was on a level above me and he kind of expected you to work stuff out for yourself a bit, they were hard sessions but afterwards you felt a sense of accomplishment, and hes actually a pretty funny guy, and i always found him decent.

I was a student at the time and made something like £60 a week working evenings, a training day i think was £35 so i must have really valued it Smile

I wrote my car off on the way to training, well actually it was my mums, so had to start working weekends to replace it, but for the 6-8 months i was with him it was a great experience...

Its inspired me to pull out my old videos of the training and watch them again Smile
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Re: Training with Steve Morris

Post  sly fox on Fri Aug 03, 2007 2:48 am

cripes he just posted as i was writing!

steve awesome to see you here, i never got to thank you, but thanks
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Re: Training with Steve Morris

Post  Chris on Fri Aug 03, 2007 3:03 am

Great to have you here Steve, thanks for joining up.

I look forward to reading more of your thoughts. There's some great material on your website that I'd advise everyone on this forum to check out asap.

all the best
Chris
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Re: Training with Steve Morris

Post  SteveT on Fri Aug 03, 2007 3:15 am

Fantastic! Welcome to the forum, Steve. I hope you find it interesting here and I look forward to reading your contributions.

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Re: Training with Steve Morris

Post  Guest on Fri Aug 03, 2007 3:33 am

There goes the neighbourhood.......

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Re: Training with Steve Morris

Post  sly fox on Fri Aug 03, 2007 3:36 am

hehe...any chance of a q&a with steve morris section??
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Re: Training with Steve Morris

Post  Guest on Fri Aug 03, 2007 4:16 am

sly fox wrote:hehe...any chance of a q&a with steve morris section??
seconded!

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Re: Training with Steve Morris

Post  Socrates on Fri Aug 03, 2007 4:20 am

Light Fantastic wrote:
sly fox wrote:hehe...any chance of a q&a with steve morris section??
seconded!

Yes please!

And welcome, Steve. Iīm looking forward to reading some interesting debates!
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Re: Training with Steve Morris

Post  Les Turpin on Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:02 am

welcome to the forum Steve.

i cannot wait to see your input and i think it's great that you have decided to use this medium, will you be a regular contributor?

beleive it that your INPUT will be much appreciated and in all honestly

IT'S ABOUT TIME TOO Very Happy

Also Steve i just tried to get onto your site as i have not looked for a while and it was unavailable, is it my pc or you upgrading stuff ?
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Re: Training with Steve Morris

Post  melvinfferd on Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:56 am

hi brian,

maybe you missed this ... http://selfprotection.lightbb.com/Expert-Q-A-Forums-c1/Q-A-with-John-Skillen-f15/punching-for-the-street-t1427.htm

posted about 9 months ago. it may go somewhat to answer your question.

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Re: Training with Steve Morris

Post  Jeff Menapace on Fri Aug 03, 2007 10:23 am

Welcome Steve!!!
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Re: Training with Steve Morris

Post  steve morris on Fri Aug 03, 2007 3:36 pm

Thanks for the warm welcome, especially from Mick!

Les, about the siteóTrish is reconstructing it and she had forgotten to link back to the old pages, so thanks for telling us. It should be there now, www.morrisnoholdsbarred.co.uk.

Brian S.óin addition to whatís already been posted, a couple of tips. Because thatís all they are, really, not things written in stone.

When youíre conditioning your hands, itís important to work towards hitting with the ferocity that you anticipate needing to deliver a knockout or finishing blow. Itís no good working at intensities which are below that. So if youíre working on the bag, you hit the bag with the anger and ferocity and destructive intent that you intend to use on a man.

One way you can maintain that level of aggression, and which will support your anaerobic system, is to do it for short bursts, up to ten seconds for example. Take half the work time period and use it to recover, actively or passively, and then do it again and again and again.

A lot of people think when youíre conditioning the hand, they do it dispassionately and in a detached way, and at an intensity thatís not representative of an exchange.

Take a look at this clip that a friend, Luciano Imoto in Brazil, sent to me:: http://www.videopop.com.br/robervaldo2/8710. The clip shows the changing dynamics of the fight, and not only how the guy both adjusts to the changing situation but also how he dictates it. He does this with his footwork and dynamically changing positions. His positioning allows him to strike not only one man, but to deal with multiple opponents even when heís going backwards. Thereís no wasted development or delivery time. If he stood his ground and fought, and relied on a big finishing punch, heíd be dead.

For the purposes of this question, look at the way he strikes. Heís not totally committing everything to the strike, because heís got another bullet ready in the chamber, ready to fire. And the blows are cyclonic. Theyíre glancing, or what I refer to in the letter posted above as ripping or tearing shots. These donít do as much damage to your hand. So when youíre fighting, donít try to go too deep. Try to cut in at angles, as if you were trying to tear something out of him. Itís tactically effective because the blow is returning to you quicker. It complements the way the body moves naturally. And it saves your hands.

But you must train the hand as you intend to use it, or as you will have to use it. Thatís why you canít hit the bag in an idealized way. And you need to build up to using a hard bag. All the bags Iíve ever used are really, really hard.

The delivery of the shot is crucial, because if youíve got no delivery system, he ainít going down. But what happens sometimes, if you set up the bag or whatever youíre using and itís too hard, it discourages you from developing maximal force. So rather than changing the target, itís better to wear a thin glove that will take some of the brunt of the impact but not interfere with the shot like a full boxing glove might, or give you the wrong perception of distance and delivery.

And like I said in the other piece, make sure youíve got something to grip on to, initially anyway.

One last thing. You have to get references in your head as to what this effect youíre needing to cause is. What will cause a knockout or a damaging blow? And you also need a representation of the generative forces by which to achieve it. If youíre lucky, you might have a trainer who can serve as an example for you. But if not, which was always the case with me, then you need to look for other examples. Thatís why I watch the fights. Boxing, Muay Thai, MMA. To get a sense of how the delivery of the shot is made, where it was targeted, and what effect it caused, and the type of total body effort required to do that.

And of course with You Tube you can watch CCTV of knife incidents as well as streetfights. Men, boys, girls, whatever. You can get an understanding of the chaos and violence in which youíve got to act. And you can determine which blows are being effective and which are not. Youíll also get a sense of the time frame in which youíve got to act. This is what you need to transfer to the bag when youíre doing your work. Otherwise, youíre building the wrong impression of what you need to do.

Itís hard to develop unless you have such a reference. You need to know what level you have to get to so as to be able to knock somebody our or seriously injure them. And whilst itís true that boxers wear gloves and MMA fighters wear gloves, and there will be a certain rebound effect in the glove which adds to the penetration of the force as well as the confidence to release the shot, the effort of delivering the force still sets a standard that youíve got to rise to. Whether with closed hands or open, thatís the ball park youíve got to be in.

And to accept that even after all that, the blows may still not be effective, even if they manage to hit him, unless theyíre repeated over and over again until the jobís done. Thatís why you need to train anaerobically and with what I call Uzi mentality.

OK, Iím doing the spider brain stuff again. You wanted to know how to stop your hands getting damaged from hitting guys in the head. The truth is, when you hit a guy in the head real hard and youíre really up, you donít feel anything until afterward. But in your training youíve got to test yourself in the gym as close to that street reality as you can.

Naturally, by strengthening the muscularity of the hand to support the bone, you build your own natural brace. And itís good for gripping and grabbing, pinching, tearing, whatever. Thereís lots of ways to do that.

For me, part of my testing process of the hand was breaking bricks, crushing walnuts and potatoes, bending nails. It gave me confidence in my hands.

Even with an unconditioned fist, if you hit the guy in the right part of the jaw or in the ear with the right timing and angulation, youíll probably be OK. The problem is, youíre probably going to hit him in his skull, or elbow, or his belt buckle, or whatever. So youíve got to get accustomed to hitting hard things without flinching or pulling back. And thatís a continuing process; no shortcuts there.
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