Posted On Monday, 03rd December 2007 at 13:10
Steve Morris is an experienced Martial Artist who has been training for 50 odd years. I have wanted to train with him since I read about his views on mimicking and enhancing natural movement patterns. This makes more sense to me than trying to create an artificial movement pattern and then trying to perfect that for the next 30 years. I have seen a couple of his dvds (see earlier review) and finally got to train with him on Sunday.
The warm up was the best I have done, or seen in any sporting context (and I make a habit of studying this), and miles better than any Karate class. It lasted an hour, and everything was related to the fighting movements and attitude that would be required for the next parts of the session. I shall unashamedly be using lots of it for my own work and training. The warm up was the only part of the class where I felt I had some competence based on my previous training and conditioning.
We then did partner based strength work for about an hour. This involved grappling in standing positions, moving into throws and take downs, as well as lifting the partner. This was again new to me, but both Steve and my training partner were helpful in assisting me.
Next was more ground based work, developing into alternate attacks and defences and then into attack, attack attack and defend. This was not choreographed and you had to adapt to what the partner was actually doing, not get them to change position to accommodate your favourite move. We worked on submission, escape, submission escape and so on. All this was completely new to me and my training partners I suspect were taking it a bit easy on me.
For the last hour we put the gloves on and practised striking and countering those strikes. We worked on covering up and body evasion. One drill involved the defender trying to move in on the attacker who did a 3 punch combination with their eyes shut. The defender had to move in through the danger zone going around or down, the punches. I was used as an example of how not to do it! Frustrating on my part because mentally I knew what to do, but struggled physically. We then worked on the same sort of sequences as the ground work - alternating attack and defend and then going into more free fighting.
To finish we did some more ground work rolling around until Steve said stop; the attacker then went to strike the head repeatedly until the defender could clinch or defend. My 100kg partner neglected to tell me I could defend and took full advantage. By this stage the fatigue had set in and I struggled to lift my own arms, let alone shift his considerable weight.
This session easily met and exceeded my expectations. Steve has an excellent coaching style- he communicates well with verbal explanations and physical demonstrations. I did feel a bit like a Christian being thrown to the Lions as 80% of the work we did was new to me. Luckily the Lions were helpful in assisting me. I thought the environment was challenging but encouraging too. Steve said that you learn by making mistakes - I must be a World Class Learner then.
I would recommend this session to any Martial Artist- not a minute was wasted in useless drills or tales of what might have happened 100 years ago in a place 10000 miles away. I am going to work on what I learned yesterday, incorporate it into my training, and return as and when I can.
Details are found here: http://www.morrisnoholdsbarred.co.uk/07primal.htm