SP archives: asks from brazil

Luciano Imoto asked:

So, me and my friends in Brazil have some asks about the Morris Method No Holds Barred. Remember: in Brazil, Vale-Tudo (MMA) are our passion too.

1) I know my speed, and I know the speed of others guys.
Is it possible to my speed increase 10x more than my actual performance?
Some coaches say it is impossible because the human being have limitations…

2) If I depend on muscular strenght or weight or momentum, it is physically impossible to throw more than two people at the same time when they really hold strongly. Even using quick cinetic energy, I think it is impossible because my opponents also have potential power to a certain extent.

This is our dilemma:

I know this is a high level in martial arts, but I guess you are the man in this matter.
Recently I started some studies about mass/gravity and electromagnetic radiation (field of energy around our body), however this is very hard to translate this theory to real aplication in fight…

3) In Morris Method site, your descriptive mode of to teach fight´s principles and techniques combine well with our “Zeitgeist”, and with my personal approach of martial arts too.
Does your Method have levels or modules like Basics and Advanced courses?

4) We have a strong interest in start this systematic training in Morris Method. Maybe starting a small partner group training of Morris Method in Brazil…
Is it possible? In that old site you had a “videoclinic” in this topic…
Does your Method have a “Program of training” to abroad people like us?

5) Is it possible sharing to us some Knife Defenses into the Morris Method´s fundamentals? Maybe with some clips in Youtube…
This matter is very important, because knife defense is a great test to one fighter in real encounter. I see that guys of Piper System.com using shimmering knifes movements and after that I review all my previous arsenal…

Steve’s answer:

OK, one by one

1) can you increase your speed? yes, you can in some cases exponentially increase your speed, how much depends on how fast you are to begin with. But without getting somebody to measure that scientifically; it has to be perceptual and in relation to your opponent. You have to get an imagery of your last performance. Another way is to borrow from somebody else, emulate somebody who you want to be as fast as.

That’s why sometimes if you wnat to speed up a heavyweight, put him in the right with a lighter weight. He’s got to learn to ‘catch the chicken’ like in Rocky.

I’ll give you a couple of ways I use: I’ll go on a stationary bike and just free spin it, no resistance. So I get a perception of how fast my leg can go. To get power, I turn the resistance up and try to maintain the speed. I’ll do the same with my hands.

Another way is to run down a hill, to get the perception of how fast you can go, and then if you want to reverse it, run up the hill to put the power in.

When I used to train horses, sometimes when you’re leading them out, they’d bolt. Macho pride is telling you, ‘I ain’t gonna let this fucker go’ You’d end up running beside this horse like fucking superman, your legs going at this unbelievable rate. You could do the same running a dog. It’s getting that perception in your brain of what speed is you want to achieve.

The other way, which I’m more into now, is the conversion of mass into velocity and the startle reflex. Mass into velocity meaning that I’m using my entire body to throw the limb. Rather than using the speed of the limb itself. And the startle reflex, like the withdrawal reflex (pulling your hand off a hot stove) allows you to initiate unbelievable speed.

So either recall the startle, so you feel like there’s a sudden noise or a sudden stimulus has made your whole body jump. And as that takes place, convert it into your punch or your kick, elbow, head butt, whatever.

2) I’ll be addressing this kind of supernormal stuff in the other letter regarding your clip. You are able, in a certain state of mind, to produce supernormal strength. That’s a possibility. The problem with that, is that the fact that it’s possible is a phenomenon sometimes exploited in the martial arts to make ridiculous claims.

There is usually a basis of truth in certain of these phenomeonon.

I’ll give you one example from my own experience. When I was in Japan, I had a reputation, and I was fighting this one guy, a kyu grade. And I feinted towards his head with two hands as I was going to change level to come in. In anticipation of being hit, he threw himself backwards and fell over. It was more or less a submissive gesture on his part. I never touched him.

So this can happen, but it can be explained, and unfortunately in the martial arts, legends are built around these things and current-day masters in order to live up to the legends of the past, have to fake that legend and make it seem like they’re equally as powerful.

I think, anyway. And it becomes like a ‘fish story’. The original master might have ‘projected’ his opponent back a couple of feet after a contact point, but now it’s twenty feet without even touching the guy.

In boxing matches you sometimes see a guy throw a wild swing and he actually goes flying. Sometimes that’s because of the evasive skills of the defender, or because the defender instinctively avoided the shot. But it wasn’t the intention of the defender to send the attacker flying, it’s just what happened.

So whether it’s with striking or throwing or anything, it’s a possibility that this could happen, but it would be foolish to train with that in mind. Technique can improve your delivery, but it never becomes so refined as to be magical!

The bottom line is, don’t rely on demonstrations. Rely on what you’ve seen in fights or rigorously tested against non-compliant opponents in the gym.

The idea of holding two guys down is interesting, but for me not in the way that you might think. I use a form of two man or even three man ground grappling, where one man takes on two or three guys consecutively or simultaneously, or tries to. And you can also do that in the standup, for takedowns and strikes. It challenges the single guy and raises his game at all levels.

While I can see that there’s practical value on the street to deal with two or three guys on the feet or even in ground grappling, I can’t see the value in actually holding down two guys. I could see the reason for a policeman holding down one guy in a situation where there’s nobody else around to pose a threat.

Luciano, the thing is I really can’t see the practical point of wanting to do this

3) No, I don’t do ‘basics’ or advanced. It isn’t a system, it’s an approach. And in my classes, I treat everybody the same in the sense that they are all individuals and they’re going to do their own personal training. I’m just here to provide the methods and rationale for them to do that, and to give some personal coaching on their performance.

4) I do knife, but I haven’t got any recent footage.

I’ll have to look at that piper system stuff before I comment, because I don’t recall seeing it.

The thing about knife drills, is that no matter how good they look when you see them demonstrated, you have to test whether the content is true. And the only way you can do that is not in a real fight (a bit too late, then) but in the gym in conditional fighting. That simply means you take elements of the fight, say a slash, and if the drill is suggesting a certain way of dealing with that slash, you need to test full speed, full power, to see if you can make it work for you. Obviously, it goes without saying, with a training knife and eye protection! Or use a marker pen.

I will be doing some more knife. I’ve got lots of stuff.

I looked at the piper system stuff.

I’d recommend you look at silat/kali/arnis, etc., the Filipino systems. Here’s one guy:

Ray Dionaldio


If you look at the comments you’ll notice I checked out the soundtrack–it’s a great workout piece. Black Eyed Peas ‘pump it’

With regards to weapons, I’d like to sincerely thank Alan Jones, Richard Cotterill and their friend, Pep Padovano, for passing on some really great information about the balintawak system on their visits down to Horsham in the early 1990s. There are a couple of links if you’re interested: www.balintawakarnis.co.uk
and http://www.balintawak.co.uk/