An essential part of the Morris Method involves watching the fight. Rather than being a passive observer, enjoying the entertainment or supporting a favourite fighter, the idea is to take key components from superior fighters and to use these in your training. Steve Morris encourages you to watch, empathise and take the impression of relevant aspects.
Watch the fight, empathise and take the impression. What on earth does that mean? The first fighter I watched in this in mind was Tyson, early years Tyson. I watched both his fights and clips of him training. The training clips are easier, perhaps, because you can get an idea of the physical aspects he was addressing, without being distracted by the raw power, speed and aggression on display in his fights. A very obvious feature of Tysons fights is the force he delivers, which generally knocked the other fighter senseless. A second noticeable feature is that the other bloke tended to be bigger, requiring Tyson to get in close to finish the opponent off.
The Force generated by Tyson, and anyone for that matter, is simple physics, F=ma, force equals mass multiplied by acceleration while his general tactic was to use evasion skills to get to his opponent to deliver the force. In an earlier post I included a great Tyson training clip, which I’ll embed below as it’s a great example of the kind of training Tyson used to accomplish these two key requirements of success, for him.
Throughout the clip you can see training designed to enhance force delivered via the two variables, mass and acceleration. Lots of speed work and use of the head to shift the mass into the target, thereby producing massive force. But the head movement was for more than just moving mass, his head movement enabled evasive tactics. So from watching clips of Tyson training and fighting we can analyze and start to use these features in our training. We can begin to empathise with what he needed to do and how he achieved it and what it did to his opponents.
Now through this process it’s possible to build a useable impression of Tyson, of his speed, force, evasion and the obvious aggression. With a bit of imagionation you can use this impression to ‘become’ Tyson on the bag for the duration of that bag work, or similar. Using the personal impression you have built from watching the clips, using his training examples. In effect you take the essence of Tyson on display in the clips and using it in your training.
It’s difficult to describe, and I probably haven’t done a very good job, but while this process requires some lateral logic and a certain amount of trusting the subconscious mind it can help in a number of ways. An obvious example would be to call on the Tyson aggression to ramp up a lame bagwork session. Alternatively, you could apply the manner in which he uses his head in evasion drills, which does not mean simply repeat a particular drill but to perform it as Tyson would have.
If I think of Tyson now I imagine him doing the drill with the swinging weight which he evades with a lateral head movement and a punch. It’s fast aggressive and powerful and can get me going! There’s far more to watching a fight than entertainment.