Lee Morrison Seminar a massive success!

Lee Morrison, one of the worlds leading authorities in the field of self protection conducted a 6 hour seminar for the Taekwon-Do Academy on Saturday 25th November. With 35 students in attendance the seminar was a fantastic success. I would like to thank everyone who supported the event which included individuals from various different martial art disciplines, Focus Martial Arts from Wexford, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu students, Taekwon-Do students, Kenpo students, Judo students and students of various RBSD back grounds made up the group that attended.

By Jon Mackey.

Lee arrived in Dublin on Friday evening (24th). I was delighted to finally meet a man whom I have come to admire and look up to. I attended the first Urban Combatives seminar earlier this year when Lee came to Dublin, from then I knew that Lee's teachings of modern day combatives was something I had to get to know and understand as best as I could. That evening I got to spend a couple of hours with Lee talking about Comabative principles and training. What really struck me was Lee's very relaxed style and sense of humour. His ability to impart his knowledge and stories of real life experience was nothing short of impressive.

The seminar the next day kicked off at 10am, with everyone in attendance and eager to start, Lee called everyone in as he began by introducing himself and his background. He detailed what the seminar would cover and started with with some theory relating to self protection and the importance of having a self protection game plan.

Straight from there Lee warmed everyone up with a combination of aerobic exercises to get the blood flowing. Following on from that Lee dealt with situational control and the use of the 'fence' to protect your personal space. Using the intermitant fence he outlined the 3 functions of this none aggressive use of the hands.

- Protect your personal space

- Sensory antenna

- Range finder for pre-emptive striking

After each physical section of the seminar, Lee dealt with some theory relating to the world of combatives and self protection. Some of the topics covered in the theory section included;

- Target hardening (posturing)

- Body Language of an attacker (cue's)

- The use of deception by modern day criminals

- Verbal descalation (including scenario training from crowded bars and cramped positoins)

- The effect of the adrenal dump on the nervous system

- Creating a combative mindset, being gutteral and demonstrative in your approach to dealing with an aggressor.

After some scenario work dealing with the pincer approach used by criminals to stalk a victim and use of colour codes to identify states of awareness, Lee went straight into striking. After understanding the effect of the adrenal dump on the body and the central nervous system he outlined the reasons why all combative striking is gross motor by nature. Lee presented to the seminar a tool box of very effective strikes based on combative principles;

- Tigers Claw

- Cupped hand blow (single and double)

- Hammer Fist (cycling hammer fist)

- Elbow strike

All these strikes were used from the intermittant fence and de-escalation fence. The use of the body weight and hip torque were also discussed, using what Lee calls the drop step to deliver maximum power to the target. Lee went on to explain the use of each strike and the effect of ballistic impact to the high line and the effect it has on the brain.

A series of combinations were used on the pads while the feeder (pad holder) moved the pads to replicate the moving positions of the target, by doing this Lee explained the importance of forward pressure and vehemence. Replacing your attackers footsteps with yours as he/she is reduced to a pile on the ground. Tactical disengagment and awareness were used on this drill. While dealing with pre-emptive striking Lee took the opportunity to explain the importance developing a combative mindset. Mindset is 90% of combative training, having what it takes to step up to the mantle and see your pre-emptive striking through to the end is the most important tool you can have in your arsenal of weapons. Lee's demonstration of controlled aggression with forward pressure left nobody in any doubt about what he was explaining - hit first, hit hard and be fercious.

After several pad drills replicating the different positions of an attacker, Lee moved onto the use of the clinch when a confrontation turn close quarters. The next few drills involved pre-emitive striking working into a full clinch which then incorporated the use of the knee's. Lee also used what he calls a side clinch which he uses after a cupped hand blow pulling the assailant from the side down into thunderous round of knees to the head and chest before disengaging. Varios scaenarios were used including the use of the environment in ECQ's.

From clinch work we moved into the field of offensive take downs. Lee likes to use the 'snatch' from Greco-Roman wrestling as a follow up to some clinch work. Lee explained the necessity of using ferocious force while delivering knee shots while clinching then using the 'piking' action of your attacker to snatch him/her head first into the pavement.

From there Lee taught the use of takedowns following a pre-emptive strike to the high line. The take downs involved use of restraining the head using a sudden downward motion twisting the neck towards the ground.

Lee demonstrated the most useful take downs of this kind. He explained that he learned to use these takedowns in live situations from his many years on as head door man on some of London's toughest venues. While on the floor the assailant was suitably controlled and restrained. From the point of view of dealing with an aggressive attacker/mugger Lee explained that to escape following putting your target to the ground a series of stomps onto the limbs of the attacker are necessary in order to keep the attacker down.

With the time flying by, Lee finished up with an hour of training with improvised weaponry. The use of the mobile phone, pens/pencils, keys and watches were all put to test using the gross motor skill we had learned earlier in the seminar. Lee used different scenarios from close and crowded situations to show different methods of accessing the weapons by using artiface and non aggressive stances like the 'Ed sullivan' or the 'Jack Benny' stances.

Lee finished up the seminar with a debrief of the days topics and gave everybody a detailed hand out of everything covered during the day.

The day flew by, it was 6 hours of pretty intense training. Lee's unique teaching style and structure to the seminar made sure it flowed seamlessly from one topic to the next, keeping everyone interested and eager to learn to more. The feed back from the people in attendance was amazing. With many from traditional martial arts back grounds the world of combative training and reality based self protection was a whole new world, a new world they were very willing to enter and an education they were ready to receive. Here's what some people said about it.......

"Although I've trained in reality based self defence before, I have never attended a course or seminar before with so many topics covred with ease. Lee's is truely an incredible instructor with a very obvious understanding of life on the street through real life experience" - Daragh Bolton Head Instructor Focus Martial Arts Wexford

"A completely different approaoch and method of self defence, a very enjoyable day and valuable learning experience" - Paul O'Brein Instructor Walkinstown Taekwon-Do

" Pure self defence! I look forward to learning more from Lee Morrison in the future and bringing his concepts back to my students" - Mick Flaherty Taekwon-Do instructor Belfast.

" To finally meet and train with Lee has been a fantastic experience, I've been a fan for a long time. The seminar was without doubt top class" - Rob Pepper Combative enthusiast and practitioner

" One of the best and most interesting seminars i've been to" - Maxine Hand aged 17, Taekwon-Do black belt Dublin.

I can only finish the report by thanking everyone for their support in attending. Of course a massive thank you to Lee himself for making the trip over to share his knowledge with us, he is without doubt a very inspirational instructor. Both Lee and myself had the opportunity to discuss future plans and he was very interested in the setting up of an Urban Combatives branch in Ireland in the new year...watch this space!