The Keysi Fighting Method

The Keysi Fighting Method is a more recent addition to the Martial Arts world which is growing in interest and popularity. Interest in the combat style has largely grown from its use in Blockbuster films such as Batman the dark knight trilogy where Christian Bale can be viewed displaying the methods he was trained in by KFM’s developers and is also the Jack Reacher fighting style Tom Cruise uses in the film.

The Keysi Fighting Method (KFM) is a form of Martial Arts based on self-defence and the use of natural instinct. Its techniques focus predominantly on guard moves including the use of the elbows in close combat and defence moves that protect the vital organs such as the head. Its application can be used against more than one opponent.

History Of The Keysi Fighting Method

The combat system was developed by Justo Dieguez and Andy Norman and was introduced in 1980. Its roots are in Spain where Dieguez grew up on the streets in a town where he had to learn how to defend himself from an early age. He developed a keen interest in Martial Arts and self-defence.

After leaving the army he later became a martial arts instructor teaching various styles, before co-founding and introducing the Keysi fighting method to the world. Dieguez and Norman have since parted ways and the art form is now just known as Keysi. Dieguez has continued to endorse Keysi whilst Norman has gone on to form Defense Lab.

Keysi Fighting Method
Keysi Fighting Method by Justo Dieguez

Key Facts

  • No use of weapons
  • Self-defence against single or multiple opponents
  • Promotes self-awareness and personal growth
  • Few rules
  • Self-defence in real-life situations
  • Reinforced by classic fighting techniques
  • Follows an ethical code
  • 360-degree awareness system
  • Roots in street fighting
  • No belt or grading system

Principles Of The Keysi Fighting Method

The main principle is self-defence and the core training techniques utilize natural instinct. Its philosophy on personal growth uses the martial arts form as a medium and aims to equip the participant with extreme physical and mental training and emotional well-being.

Keysi Fighting Method Techniques

The practice largely favours protection and guard techniques in close combat situations. The arms are used protectively and striking techniques are taught using the elbows.

The method considers the head to be the most important organ and thus has developed techniques to guard the head in combat situations by resting both hands on the head, allowing the practitioner to carry out close strikes while protecting the head.

This technique is called ‘Pensador’ or ‘thinking man’. Raised forearms protect the torso while moving and striking. Reversal techniques are also taught to penetrate an opponent’s defence.
Keysi promotes the use of a person’s surroundings as offence and or defence.

For example, if there is a wall behind you and an attacker goes to strike you can avoid this by interrupting the attacker’s momentum and redirecting the strike towards the wall. The method rarely uses feet or ‘kicking’ techniques, unlike most other forms of Martial Arts.

This is designed to keep combat at close quarters. Emphasis is on hand, elbow and knee combative. Also punches hammer fists and head butts. All combative movements are rapid and fluid and aimed at low middle and high lines on the opponent.

It has a 360-degree awareness approach to promote survival and defence. Most other martial arts forms instruct participants to focus on a one-to-one basis but the Keysi method prepares its’s followers for more real-life situations such as fighting against multiple assailants.

The training includes understanding how an attacker typically moves and reacts in a fight to expose more targets. Grappling and ground defence is also taught.

Keysi has been likened to other martial art forms such as Krav Maga and Jeet Kune Do however the fighting method was introduced to address the perceived deficiencies observed in other fighting systems, to focus on the necessities of self-defence in the real world.

Keysi Ethical Code

  • Purpose
  • Respect
  • Patience
  • Persistence
  • Perspective

Where Is Keysi Fighting Practiced?

Keysi is practised throughout the world. It is perhaps most popular in Europe and particularly so in Spain from where the fighting method originated. There is a large following in the United States and the Philippines.

Author Picture William

Author Bio

Hi, I am William. I started out in martial arts with Goshin Ju Jitsu when I was 7 years old. I am passionate about martial arts and love sharing everything I learn. I created Master Fighting to become a resource for learning about martial arts and alternative fighting styles. Learn more about me.