Int. #4: Inside the Heart of Lee Morrison
My name is Lee Morrison I work the International seminar circuit teaching Combatives to Civilians, Law Enforcement, Security and Military Units. I operate under my company Urban Combatives or UC and am based in the UK.
Q 1. What significant change(s) on a human level, have you gone through over the last decade in direct relation to your work and how has it, if any, changed the way in which you teach/instruct?
As an Instructor who always thinks more as a student, I realised that the more you teach others the more you really learn and grasp yourself. I think I’ve found my niche in life. I never really wanted to teach but kind of veered into it which on a personal level, finding something you really can do well, is a very fortunate thing as there are many things I’m not so good at. I guess I feel it has given me purpose and direction so far in life. I like working with good people that get something worthwhile from what I teach, I don’t just mean in a Self-Protection sense but things that translate to other areas of life in general. Combatives just gives me a vehicle for that.
Q 2. Is there a particular incident/occurrence/situation you recall having directly experienced/been involved in that has deeply & emotionally touched and/or altered you and your perceptions of the world in general?
Oh mate, many from the earliest age, none of which make fun reading. During my life people and human nature in general never fucking failed to disappoint. With that said I have met many of positive influences also. In regards to dealing with violence? I learnt long ago that people only treat you the way you let them.
Q 3. Have you ever thought of quitting the game altogether? If yes, why? And if you were to at this stage in your life (today) do something entirely different, what would it be?
I did look to doing something else as the travelling and various other elements of working the circuit were having a negative impact on a previous relationship. So I took a regular job and did a lot less teaching for a while but the same outcome became inevitable. During this time I felt like I should be doing what I love best, but career was in no way more important than my relationship at the time and so I tried. In view of the future, injuries and of course age dictate a timescale. There is no way that I will continue doing this when I am in no way as capable as I am now. I will hang it up and pass it to my top guys if they want to continue. For me, I have a few ideas, some lecturing in University, working on my media company, some clothing line ideas but most of all I’d like to get into fight scene choreography for ‘realistic’ depictions of violence in film.
Q 4. Do you feel you were proverbially ‘born’ to do what you do, that this was your calling? Is there perhaps another thing you wish you would have done instead, or believe you are just as good at and should have perhaps explored instead?
Yes I think so, like I said before, it was a calling I was born to do this shit!
Q 5. How has your work affected your personal life in regards to the relationships with those outside our field/profession? (Professional, personal, familial, romantic, etc.)
Travelling 3 times a month abroad takes its toll in a relationship, working a regular job brings a fair basic living if you work hard at it. But UC has made me a comfortable living, nothing fantastic by any means but good. I am not a materialistic man in any way, but I like to take care of the people I care about so it has been a necessary means to that end, doing something I enjoy very much.
If you work around, study, immerse yourself and have had a vast experience of violence it is possible to a certain degree, to become somewhat de-sensitized to the small things most people may have a larger reaction to. I mean this in a verbal/conversation sense.
Example a bigger kid shoves your kid over in class; there is a procedure to follow with such things with teachers etc. My response to my son was to take the kid by the hair and bounce his face off his desk a couple of times, it WON’T happen again son! There I proceeded to show him how. Not acceptable in ‘normal’ society apparently.
A ‘pikey’ threatens to punch my 65 year old mother in law in the face, so I realize no amount of conversation with this man will bring about a suitable outcome. So I go to his house and tell the man if he ever says a single word in her direction again I will fucking end him, I offer him the opportunity to show me what he thinks he can do, he declines!
A good result I think made possible from projection of pure Intent and confidence to back it up. No physical response needed. But apparently NOT normal behavior. Bit of a catch 22, when you share less love of the human race than some, you get branded anti-social, yet when family or friends potentially have a confrontational problem in my circle, who do you think they think about, to bring it to a conclusion for them?
I think serious people within our field that have come to their general conclusions from live experience, may be less tolerant with anti-social people and if that feels like a normal response to them, can also have a profound effect on those around you that don’t think that way.
Q 6. Do you have any regrets at all? If yes, which is the one that haunts you the most?
Yes of course I’m human. Best left unsaid I think.
Q 7. What are your proudest moments/achievements in both your private and professional lives?
In personal life the birth of all my children 🙂 in my line of work, getting to work alongside my most motivation role model, Kelly McCann at the Crucible with an Elite Unit. Was just great like Robby Williams getting to sing with Frank Sinatra
Q 8. How do your friends and family outside the industry/self defense/martial arts world view what you do for a living? What are your thoughts and feelings about it?
They think I’m an educated thug! ( : Just kidding, I don’t know, they see me on YouTube and stuff but know me in a very different light. They know I’m capable and caring some say I have a presence about me, but I tend to leave my work at the gate.
Q 9. How often do you find yourself going against what you preach and teach, after all, we’re all human, we all have our ‘bad days’ and the like; and how often are you aware of it enough in the present moment to catch yourself do you think?
Not often but I realize it immediately and usually say something like ‘do what I say, not what I do’ will a smile and a laugh.
Q 10. What now? Where do you go from here? Where do you see yourself in 10, 20 years both on a personal and professional level?
I am doing a lot more in the US right now so I’d like to explore that further. I absolutely love Australia, I have two good guys out there who you know Rich, Nox Tauakipulu in Sydney and Jimmy Armstrong in Melbourne I’m there every year and the plan is to move there.