Private class-Steve Morris

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Private class-Steve Morris

Post  bob on Mon Dec 17, 2007 9:54 am

I first heard of Steve Morris many years ago in karate circles. About three years ago I was searching on the net for Steve wondering if he was still training etc. My searches didn't come to much as I didn't know that Steve had moved on and was practicing & teaching MMA, I was searching under Goju Kai. Eventually I accidentally stumbled onto a MA forum that had Steve's web site address attached to one of the threads. Over time I purchased Steve's videos & DVDs + spent many hours reading articles on his web site.

I have been living in Western Australia for 21 years & decided this year that as I was visiting the UK I would 'bite the bullet' & organise a private class with Steve. It was with more than a degree of trepidation that I entered Anthony Pillages training centre at the weekend for my 3 hour private class. Steve has become a legend in his own life time in UK martial arts, I suspect that this is one reason why some people are reluctant to visit his training sessions.

When Steve arrived at the training centre and we met for the first time I was immediately put at ease with Steve's friendly & engaging demeanor.

The private class with Steve (& the group class the following day) is without doubt the pinnacle of my MA training to date, both sessions were nothing short of brilliant.

I found the private class to be very informative & whilst the DVDs are helpful it is difficult to convey the more subtle aspects of Steve's fundamentals, not to mention seeing Steve in action on the bag etc & witnessing/feeling the ferocity and power of his strikes, Ive never seen anything like it!

What also came through strongly for me was how supportive and encouraging Steve is as a teacher, he has an obvious passion for teaching and seems to be at his best in that environment. He has a clear desire to pass on his many years of practice and expertise. The personal results for me during that one session were tangible as I was able to strike the heavy bag with considerably more power. As Steve states 'there is no bullshit, bells & whistles etc'.

I know that Steve has an open door policy with regard to his private and group classes. I highly recommend the experience to any serious MA practitioner, you wont be disappointed!

bob

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Re: Private class-Steve Morris

Post  steve morris on Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:18 am

Thanks for that, Ken. And thanks for being a great supporter of the site and myself over the years.

But remember, it's not about me. It's about my method, that's the thing I want to get out there.

And I think, on the Sunday session, you got a good sense of how to go about training, and how the different training modules can be organized in different ways. Nothing's fixed. It's understanding the principle of training and then applying it to whatever problem you might have personally, or might see within the class. It's an evolving thing.

You don't need to look outside of this method. The training process itself will teach you.

And don't forget: watch the fight! That teaches you more or less everything you need to know. Now you've seen what I do, you'll be able to see how I've gone about extracting from fights the drills, exercises, conditional fighting, etc. It's so obvious, once you know it's there.

Happy Christmas to you and your family, and best wishes for the New Year

Steve
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Re: Private class-Steve Morris

Post  JonLaw on Sat Jan 05, 2008 5:53 am

I just stumbled over this thread again and remembered what I was going to comment on…..

I think the two comments above really give a great insight into the ‘Morris Method’. Ken mentions Steve’s “friendly & engaging demeanor” which comes across on the dvd’s and more so live on courses or at primal as his “obvious passion for teaching”. While this is important and certainly helps in the learning experience as Steve says it’s really the method itself that is key to progress.

While Steve gives you pointers technically, he does not embroil you in detail and certainly is not a stickler for form, something you may be familiar with in your local karate club. Rather as he mentions above the “training process itself will teach you”. This is true and as he suggests it now seems so obvious. Steve’s method creates situations where you learn, and you certainly do, through experience. That is, the whole session is biased towards what ‘experience’ we’re doing, in a word it’s specific. From the warm-up through to the exercises and conditional fighting.

This progression means you’re set up to get maximum benefit from the ‘real’ learning drills, experientially. Personally, my ground work is pretty weak but has come on in leaps and bounds as a result of training at Primal, and certainly far further than I could have hoped for with an equivalent time in ju jitsu or similar, I can only guess as I haven’t trained in jj. I am confident that I am correct in this assumption as in jj I believe I’d be learning techniques and then trying to apply them, this is slow (similar to how karate learning is slow). With the Morris Method you adapt what you have to the drill. So, for me, it was difficult to cope with the big blokes we were training with on the ground. But the agility drills, the work we did rolling around/against the floor/wall with a medicine ball and the ‘breakdance’ movements in the warm-up, coupled with my observations from ‘watching the fight’ have given me something to work with against these blokes. You just apply it within the ‘play-fighting’ condition we practice, and you improve. And as you switch partners you learn to adapt to different body shapes and fighting styles.

It’s strange, in a way because it’s almost as if you improve without knowing why. I believe this is because we are not embroiling our left brain in the detail of a movement rather we’re ‘letting’ ourselves get on with it, if that makes any sense.

Then for your own training you take this approach on and use it, as Steve says “it's understanding the principle of training and then applying it to whatever problem you might have personally, or might see within the class”. I see this all the time, in the last session before xmas we were working on takedowns from the clinch. We did some technical stuff, then moved on to trying it with a less compliant partner and then from a play-fighting scenario. Simple really but the discoveries along the way were really useful, in terms of different body shapes/sizes. The Morris Method gives you the freedom and confidence to try what you like in terms of instruction.

While it is often said that MA teachers won’t like this approach as it may leave them with very little to actually teach, I find the opposite. It really lets my imagination go and I can try bizarre things, which may or may not work with different individuals. Whatever, it’s great stuff.

JonLaw

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