THE WOODLANDS, TX – Former U.S. Marine Joe Morris dedicated his adult life to defending people. Today, he takes his training, dedication and passion and teaches those same people how to defend themselves.
Whatever your age or skill level, Joe Morris will teach you how to defend yourself
Just a few months ago – on May 28 – he and his wife Tia opened an innovative multidisciplinary martial arts training center, Condition 1. Since then, it has recently attracted more than a hundred students from all ages, and more and more are signing up every day. .
So that 100-member mark was kind of a first step that we were trying to hit, and we hit it in two months,” Morris said. “So we are very happy, very blessed and grateful.”
Morris has local roots, being born in Baytown and growing up in the Crosby area. He served in the USMC from 2003 to 2006, conducting combat operations in Iraq. Leaving the Corps, like so many of his compatriots who gave up the fight but later brought its ramifications into their post-military life, he found himself in need of direction and focus.
“After I came out in 2006, I was kind of lost, like a lot of us, you know, trying to figure out how to be our new normal,” he said. “I bounced back a bit. But like a lot of us who came back from those places, you know, there’s an adjustment period. So there were struggles there.
Morris decided to reuse his previous military training. “In the Corps, we went through defensive tactics training, learned marksmanship, and learned basic martial arts and discipline. So you can never go wrong with the old Marine team. And a lot of my strengths came from the confidence that was instilled in me in the Marine Corps, so I took a few steps to start rebuilding. I quit drinking and got back into martial arts,” he said.
With dedication and strength born in combat, in 2008 he began training in Krav Maga and at the same time trained in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) at another school. Following a self-proclaimed call from God, he decided to follow this path for 10 years. “And some of them were some of the best ten years of my life with some of the people I’ve met,” he said. “I developed long-term relationships with great friends.”
However, over time Morris felt there were holes in his Krav Maga training. “I started training outside of that bubble and started to realize there was more to the discipline of martial arts than what I was learning there. So I started branching out and training in other places, and every time I stepped out of that comfort zone, there was a lot of growth there.
This was the catalyst for Morris to decide to stop being the student and become the teacher instead. “I wanted to make sure that I was providing the best possible product for people, to take what I learned and then bring in and the things that benefited my life and pass those lessons on to others.
Morris and his wife decided that The Woodlands area would be a perfect location for his new school. They live with their children in Montgomery County and recognized The Woodlands as the epicenter of an ever-changing region. “There was space available in a perfectly located central area,” he said. “It took about a year to raise the capital, and it tested our dedication.” Apparently, selling lenders on the concept of a martial arts studio that didn’t just provide taekwondo lessons for toddlers was harder than they anticipated.
” Do not mistake yourself ; there is absolutely a market for these types of schools – my own daughter has taken local taekwondo classes for years. But what I was proposing was a higher level for a more specialized audience. It was outside the normal shopping area so we were often told “no”.
In the pattern of life imitating art – or martial art – Morris took some of his own life lessons and applied them to his investment situation. “You have to have confidence to fight; defending yourself is a by-product of learning to fight. So I championed my school’s concept to lenders, and I projected confidence by doing so. And finally we won.
With funding and the ability to open the school, Morris and his family worked hard to turn the workspace into a state-of-the-art, fully stocked and viable martial arts studio – Condition 1 Combat Center. “The phrase ‘condition one’ is a military term that means ‘to be ready,'” Morris said. “We have opened our doors to people of all types, especially non-professional fighters who want to protect their families.”
With this mindset, the classes Morris and his team implemented gave reality to the typically academic lessons taught at other schools and dojos. “We don’t break boards here; when you’re in a real situation, your opponent isn’t handing you a board for you to kick. Here we added components like grappling and how to take a hit as well as you give one. We want to teach you real world answers to real world situations.
Morris’ instructors include two combat veterans – one with a third-degree black belt in jiu jitsu. Having specialized instructors in different disciplines is one of the aspects that sets Condition 1 apart. Grappling, “dirty” boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, clinch and many more are merged into one style combat that can cater to a myriad of scenarios.
Currently, Condition 1 offers many courses for adults of all ages and abilities, as well as after-school courses for children, split between 5-8 and 9-10 years old. A course program for teenagers is on the horizon.
Morris hopes more potential students will come through its doors, for their own safety. “If you can’t fight, you won’t have the confidence to do the things that need to be done when you get to a certain point. You have to have confidence in your ability to fight someone. So that’s That’s what we focus on in this school. We’re going to teach you how to defend yourself. We’re going to teach you those skills. We’re going to teach you those techniques. We’re going to take those principles and we’re going to apply them to all aspects of your life.
Condition 1 Combat Center is located at 606 Rayford Rd A, Spring. The school is open Monday to Saturday, with special evening hours Monday to Thursday. Learn more at www.condition1combat.com.