Martial Arts Blog

The Keysi Method – Martial Art for Batman or the Joker?!

 by pad-up on 18 Oct 2013 |
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Batman's Keysi Fighting Method
The Keysi Fighting Method, or KFM as some call it, has been made famous by the recent Batman movies. If it’s good enough for a superhero, it’s good enough for anyone, right?! Opinions in the martial arts world are mixed, and there are also questions about how effective it really is as a form of self defence for everyday use.

Seeing Batman take on a gang of thugs in a back alley may tempt some people to experiment with The Keysi Fighting method, but does it really offer anything different? Many people have mistaken it for krav maga or the Russian Systema martial art. The similarities are in the direct ‘get the job done’ techniques. Frankly, it’s brutal! And this is an argument about why it may not be suitable as a self defence system for many people. Being able to break knees, gouge eyes and dislocate arms may be useful on the streets of Gotham City, but it may not be a reasonable response to an attack on the streets most of us live on. If you want to be able to take control of a situation without ending up on the wrong side of the law, Japanese Ju-Jitsu may be a better art to train in.

There are many positives about KFM if you feel you want to train in a martial art with this level of violence. Firstly, you can see results in a matter of weeks. The tools and techniques you learn don’t require you to master complex stances or train your body to move in ways that may be alien to you. KFM training sessions are usually very real world, and often involve the kind of group attack scenarios that you might have to face one day. There aren’t complex patterns of moves to learn, and there’s little formal etiquette compared to more traditional arts. One of the greatest things about KFM is that it does develop ‘fighting spirit’ – the ability to explode into action in response to violence. Compare this to learning an art where there’s very little contact work, and where you may spend hours punching a bag that never hits back.

The Keysi Fighting Method has been around for longer than many people believe. Its history can be traced back to Spain in the 1950’s. The Spanish origin comes as a surprise to many people too – not a country we normally associate with a martial arts system. The founder grew up in the gipsy communities, and fighting was a part of everyday life. If you believe the story, the founder spend hours under a kitchen table imagining that the four legs were attackers all around him, and that he would imagine different ways to deal with them. Unlike the aikido response of dealing with one attacker at a time in this type of situation, KFM students are taught to deal with several people at once.

KFM was showing signs of spreading to more countries, but as often happens with martial arts there are rumours of politics and disagreements about its future within the organisation. It’s hard to say if KFM will survive, particularly with arts like Krav Maga offering an equally effective form of attack and defence.

Stay tuned for our forthcoming Dim Mak series of articles. PadUp are now the sole distributor In Ireland for Steven Burton's Dim Mak series. If you cannot wait to start training Dim Mak then our DVDs can be purchased in store now!


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