The Keysi Fighting Method

When we think of martial arts then we tend to think of centuries old art forms passed down from generation to generation that are shrouded in myth and mystery. However the reality is that martial arts are something that are still being developed and there are probably just as many ‘new’ martial arts as there are ‘classics’.

One of the biggest examples of this is ‘Mixed Martial Arts’ which aims to take the best aspects of all the mainstream martial arts and then combine them into something more powerful. Then there’s Jeet Kune Do – which was Bruce Lee’s imagining of a martial art style without the ‘classical mess’. Both these examples demonstrate the possible benefits of a ‘modern day’ martial art – which is that it can draw on inspirations from thousands of years of martial arts while at the same time giving us something new that is more suited to the ways in which it is likely to be used today.

The Keysi fighting method is just that and it is something that has been developed in the last decade (though the website describes it as a ‘fighting system’ and not a martial art) by founders Justo Diguez and Andy Norman in order to meet the demands of modern fighting. While it’s relatively new though, there’s a good chance that if you were to see it in action you would nevertheless recognize some of the moves. The reason for that? The Christopher Nolan Batman films which took the modern and very practical nature of the Keysi fighting method as inspiration for the way that Batman would fight in those films.

The Concept Behind the Keysi Fighting System

The idea behind the Keysi fighting system was to create something more modern and more in touch with the demands of self defense in the 21st century. With that in mind the martial art (sorry, fighting system) is designed to be used in close quarters – such as in a pub or club, and should see the combatant being adaptable enough to grab anything and use it as a weapon Jackie Chan style. The system also includes a ‘360 degree approach’ meaning that you should be able to defend multiple attackers coming from different angles. Combatants are also encouraged to practice fighting from a range of different positions whether that’s from the ground, kneeling or even sitting.

The trademark attack is the ‘Pensador’ meaning ‘thinking man’ and this involves breaking the opponents guard by getting in very close. In this position the opponent is then unable to do any damage as you are too close for their blows to generate momentum or power. From here the fighter will then use many short close range strikes that use the elbows and knees to generate maximum power over the shortest distance and to hit with these bony parts in the style of Muay Thai.

The style also uses close range locks and holds that come from Kali and Escrima. It doesn’t stick rigidly to any structure and like Jeet Kune Do it aims to adapt and evolve to maintain practical functionality.

For the best demonstration of KFM you should try checking out the Batman films. In general though the approach is to hit hard and fast with maximum power and no delay – it’s about getting close in the opponent’s face rather than backing down and fighting defensively and being an unstoppable force of elbows and knees. At the same time it is also a demonstration of the recent progressive fighting systems that have taken inspiration from Bruce Lee and tried to apply a more practical and modern interpretation to classic martial arts.

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